After 177 defeat, FWP still looks to work with both sides

While Montana voters spoke definitively at the polls Tuesday, defeating the ballot initiative 177, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks will continue to work with people on both sides of this divisive issue. 

“Trapping is an important tool for wildlife management in Montana and will continue to be,” said Ken McDonald, FWP wildlife division administrator. “We also know people will continue to have concerns and we’ll keep ensuring our furbearer management and trapping seasons are well designed and clearly communicated and monitored.”

Even prior to I-177 making it to the 2016 ballot, the Fish and Wildlife Commission directed FWP staff to work with a broad spectrum of the public on improving existing trapping regulations and minimizing conflict. That work will continue, McDonald said. 

Montana’s furbearer populations are healthy and robust, which is in part due to sound scientific management focused on conservation of populations and sustainable use. Trapping is a legitimate and ethical tool for managing and monitoring these populations. 

“We know Montanans expect us to continue to ensure that our trapping regulations are based on sound science, designed to kill target animals as quickly and humanely as possible, and be effective in minimizing conflicts,” McDonald said.

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