Hello and welcome to the home of Montanans for Trap Free Public Lands! This is the official website of the 2016 Ballot Initiative Committee for I-177, an initiative to end all commercial and recreational trapping on public lands.
- Our initiative is a firm and legally sound document that restricts all trapping for sport and pleasure to private lands, while still creating reasonable exceptions for public safety, health, and specific cases of livestock depredation.
- It does not grant private citizens a right to trap for any of these reasons, but does provide infrastructure for Fish, Wildlife, and Parks to do so. Our language was written with one goal in mind: to restrict trapping on public lands in a way that created safe public lands for all users, including animal users.
Montana’s public lands are a precious and often threatened resource. All Montanans hold these lands and the animals on them in public trust, and respectful use is a key tenet of that trust.
Trapping is indiscriminate, commercial, cruel and dangerous. It weaponizes public lands, makes them unsafe for pets and non-target wildlife, and encourages disproportionate, for-profit use of a public resource.
Two-Thirds of Montana’s land are private, and our initiative has no bearing on those lands. There are still plenty of opportunities for trappers to trap on lands where others don’t recreate and pets are less threatened. Our supporters only feel that trapping is not an appropriate use of public resources.
This initiative’s purpose is not to threaten Montana’s hunting and fishing culture. We view both as fair chase, designed for individual use, and well regulated. Trapping by contrast is in indiscriminate, excessively cruel, meant to kill en masse, largely de-regulated by national standards, and done either for profit or to protect private interests.
We invite you to read our language, ask questions, and most of all to get involved! We have until next June to collect over 25,000 signatures, so we need active members of our statewide community to step up and help make trap-free public lands a reality in Montana. Thank you!