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Status: Current
Originally Posted: July 17 2008


Please TAKE ACTION Here Now on this issue !


Montana's Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) has proposed several changes to their trapping and furbearer regulations that would expand trapping and establish a trophy hunting season on wolves. YOUR VOICE IS NEEDED NOW to speak out against these proposals! Specifically, these proposed rules would:

Allow the continued trapping of the North American wolverine - even after scientists have shown that trapping can negatively affect their populations and conservationists petitioned for listing the species under the Endangered Species Act;

Expand bobcat trapping by increasing the legal quota for the species in different parts of the state;

Establish a trophy hunting season on gray wolves - just months after removing federal protections for gray wolves, Montana is now proposing to establish a statewide trophy hunting season on the species!

In addition, in an effort to avoid litigation by wildlife conservation groups, FWP has proposed minimal restrictions on the use of certain traps to ostensibly protect lynx from indiscriminate traps. However, these changes would in actuality do little to protect lynx as explained below and instead provides cover for the agency to avoid costly litigation to do their job of protecting threatened and endangered species from deadly traps and snares.

Time is of the essence and comments are due July 18th so please take a minute now to write a brief letter to the Montana's Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission to express your opinion about these proposed rule changes. Send your comments to:

FWP - Wildlife Division
Attn: Public Comment
P.O.Box 200701
Helena MT 59620-0701

Send a comment electronically:


For more information, call the Wildlife Division office at 406-444-2612

Points to include in your letter:

Oppose the allowance of wolverine trapping. Facts: Wolverine face an uncertain future ─ in fact what we know about this elusive creature is that the stability of its populations are tenuous at best - so much so that the species was petitioned for listing under the Endangered Species Act. Yet Montana is the only state in the lower 48 to still allow commercial and recreational trapping! Trappers consider wolverines trophy animals ─ their pelts are valued at close to $300 each. Researchers estimate that there are between 100 to 200 members of this rare species in the entire Rocky Mountains. Although federal protection under the Endangered Species Act was recently denied by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the results of several research studies conducted over the past five years all point to the imminent dangers wolverines face and the possibility of regional extinctions of the species throughout their historic range. Studies show that trapping pressure can be intense on regional populations. Moreover, in the face of climate change and increasingly fragmented and shrinking habitats, it is incumbent upon wildlife managers to do all that they can to protect this rare species.

Oppose the proposed expansion of bobcat trapping. Facts: FWP has failed to demonstrate that trapping does not have negative effects on regional bobcat populations. Moreover, bobcat pelt prices are at an all time high with individual pelts selling in excess of $800 at auction. Such high prices can result in increased trapping pressure and poaching which may have devastating impacts on regional bobcat populations.

Oppose the proposed wolf trophy hunting season. Facts: Just months after removing federal protections for gray wolves, Montana is now proposing to establish a statewide trophy hunting season on the species allowing hunters to annually kill up to 75 wolves! After millions of tax-dollars were spent reintroducing gray wolves to the Northern Rockies region, Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming are proposing to reduce their populations by up to two-thirds in some regions. Conservation organizations have filed suit, challenging the de-listing and calling for an emergency injunction to stop continued killing of gray wolves in these states. Tell FWP that it is ethically and scientifically indefensible to start gunning down a species that has yet to even fully recover from the brink of extinction.

Tell the Commission that the proposed restrictions on leghold traps and Conibear traps will do little to protect Canada lynx and other non-target species from traps. To effectively protect lynx and other species from indiscriminate traps, FWP should prohibit all traps and snares used on land in the lynx range. Moreover, FWP should mandate that all traps used statewide should be checked at least once every 24 hours to reduce the possibility of injuries and increase the chance for non-target species to be released alive. Montana is among the few remaining states that does not have a mandatory trap check time. FWP merely recommends that trappers check their traps every 48 hours. As a result, animals can linger and suffer in traps for an indefinite period of time.


THANK YOU for making your voice heard and speaking up for Montana's wildlife!


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