Montana Governor Given Written Warning After Trapping, Killing Of Yellowstone Wolf

www.boisestatepublicradio.org

Montana’s newly elected Republican governor violated state hunting regulations when he trapped and shot a collared wolf near Yellowstone National Park in February, according to documents obtained by the Mountain West News Bureau.

Gov. Greg Gianforte killed the adult black wolf known as “1155” roughly ten miles north of the park’s boundary in Park County. He trapped it on a private ranch owned by Robert E. Smith, director of the conservative Sinclair Broadcasting Group, who contributed thousands of dollars to Gianforte’s 2017 congressional campaign

While wolves are protected inside Yellowstone National Park, it’s legal to hunt and trap wolves in Montana – including wolves that wander beyond the park’s boundaries – in accordance with state regulations.

Gianforte violated Montana regulations by harvesting the wolf without first completing a state-mandated wolf trapping certification course. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks issued the governor a written warning, and he promised to take the three-hour online course March 24

According to Montana’s wolf hunting regulations, “A person must attend and complete a wolf-trapping certification class before setting any trap for a wolf,” and the state-issued certificate “must be in possession of any person setting wolf traps and/or harvesting a wolf by trap.”

The course gives would-be wolf trappers “the background and rules to do so ethically, humanely, and lawfully,” the course’s student manual states.

John Sullivan, Montana chapter chair for the sportsmen’s group Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, said the governor should’ve known about the certification requirements. 

“He has been hunting and trapping for a long time and I would be surprised to learn that he didn’t know better than to complete that education,” Sullivan said. “We hope that he apologizes to the citizens of the state for circumventing the process that we all have to go through.”

“It’s difficult to fathom accidentally not taking that class,” he added. “When you go to buy your wolf trapping license online it clearly states that trapper education is required.”

The governor’s spokesperson, Brooke Stroyke, said in an emailed statement that “after learning he had not completed the wolf-trapping certification, Governor Gianforte immediately rectified the mistake and enrolled in the wolf-trapping certification course.”

The governor did have all the necessary hunting licenses to harvest a wolf, according to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks spokesperson Greg Lemon. 

“Typically, we approach this sort of incident as an educational opportunity, particularly when the person in question is forthright in what happened and honest about the circumstances,” Lemon said in an email. “That was the case here with Gov. Gianforte.”

Lemon said the warning was a “typical operation procedure” and the governor was allowed to keep the skull and hide. As governor, Gianforte oversees Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks and appointed its director earlier this year. 

Word of Gianforte’s wolf-kill violation comes as the Republican-controlled Montana Legislature appears poised to send to his desk bills aimed at aggressively reducing the state’s wolf population through hunting and trapping. One would reimburse wolf trappers for the costs they incur, which critics call a “bounty.”

The incident highlights the polarized and overlapping debates in the West over how to manage growing wolf populations and trapping’s role – if it has one at all – in wildlife management. A decade after wolves were stripped of Endangered Species Act protections in the Northern Rockies, Montana, Idaho and Wyoming are asserting aggressive wolf management policies, while Colorado voters recently decided to reintroduce wolves to the Western Slope. 

Meanwhile, the New Mexico Legislature last week approved a bill banning the use of wildlife traps, snares and poison on public lands across the state, likely joining the growing number of Western states that have outlawed the practice increasingly viewed as cruel.

“It’s clearly not an ethical chase,” said Mike Garrity, executive director for the nonprofit environmental group Alliance for the Wild Rockies. “Ethical hunters try to have a clean shot so they kill the animal instantly. Trapping obviously doesn’t do that. They suffer for a long time and who knows how long that wolf was trapped before the governor went out and killed it.” 

Wolf 1155 was born in Yellowstone National Park and was issued a radio collar by wildlife biologists in 2018, according to park spokesperson Morgan Warthin. Collars allow scientists to track the movements – and deaths – of wolves. 1155 was initially a member of the Wapiti Lake pack but is now considered a “dispersed male,” which means it had wandered away from the pack to find a mate elsewhere.

Yellowstone wolves hold a special place in the nation’s heart, according to Jonathan Proctor, director of the Rockies and Plains program for the environmental group Defenders of Wildlife.

“People from all over the world come to Yellowstone specifically to see these wolves,” he said. “The fact that they can be killed so easily, right on the edge of the park in the state of Montana, for only a few dollars for a permit to trap a wolf – it makes no sense, either ecologically or economically.”

There are about 94 wolves living within the park, according to data from last year. Warthin said this was the first Yellowstone-collared wolf to be killed by a hunter or trapper this year. 

Gianforte killed 1155 on Feb. 15. It’s unclear when Gianforte first laid the traps. State regulations require that trappers check their traps every 48 hours and report wolf kills to FWP within 24 hours. Trappers also have the option of releasing a collared wolf. 

This is the second time Gianforte’s personal actions sparked controversy. In 2017, he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor assault after he body-slammed a reporter from the British newspaper The Guardian. He was sentenced to community service and anger management.

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUNR in Nevada, the O’Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West in Montana, KUNC in Colorado, KUNM in New Mexico, with support from affiliate stations across the region. Funding for the Mountain West News Bureau is provided in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

https://www.boisestatepublicradio.org/post/montana-governor-given-written-warning-after-trapping-killing-yellowstone-wolf#stream/0

No traps on public lands

California becomes first state to ban fur trapping after Gov. Newsom signs law

By Louis Sahagun , Phil Willon

California has enacted a new ban on fur trapping for animal pelts, making it the first state to outlaw a centuries-old livelihood that was intertwined with the rise of the Western frontier.

The Wildlife Protection Act of 2019, signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday, prohibits commercial or recreational trapping on both public and private lands.

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), who introduced the legislation, said it was time to end fur trapping. “It seems especially cruel, obviously, and it’s just unnecessary and costly,” she said.

Although commercial trapping was an early part of California’s economy, opening the San Francisco Bay Area to international commerce even before the 1848 California Gold Rush, its fortunes have waned over many decades.

Gonzalez said that the roughly six dozen trappers still working in the state, down from more than 5,000 a century ago, cannot afford to pay the full cost of implementing and regulating their industry.

The ban also comes as California lawmakers consider more aggressive measures to protect animals and wildlife, often threatening age-old traditions.

Legislators are considering proposals to ban the sale of all fur products, including fur coats, and to outlaw the use of animals in any circus in the state, with the exception of domesticated horses, dogs and cats.

“There’s been a real change in attitudes about how we treat animals,” Gonzalez said.

A total of 68 trappers reported killing 1,568 animals statewide in 2017, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Among the 10 species reported taken were coyote, gray fox, beaver, badger and mink.

Trapped animals are strangled, shot or beaten to death, with care taken not to damage pelts before skinning them.

Under the law, using traps to catch gophers, house mice, rats, moles and voles would still be permitted.

The law followed a 2013 public outcry when conservationist Tom O’Key in 2013 discovered a bobcat trap illegally set on his property near the edge of Joshua Tree National Park.

O’Key stumbled upon the trap chained to a jojoba bush and camouflaged with broken branches just north of the 720,000-acre park, where the big cats are a dominant force in the ecosystem.

He immediately alerted neighbors and contacted the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department and Hi-Desert Star newspaper, triggering an angry tide of complaints that put a spotlight on the practice of trapping, killing and skinning bobcats to supply fur markets in China, Russia and Greece.

“I could not have guessed in a million years,” O’Key said in an interview, “that trap would spark an unstoppable movement capable of shifting legislative thinking toward wildlife.”

Assemblyman Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) pushed through his Bobcat Protection Act of 2013, which was in response to petition drives, social media campaigns and telephone calls to lawmakers from wildlife advocates who decried trapping and killing as a cruel trade.

Eight months after O’Key sounded the alarm in Joshua Tree, the California Fish and Game Commission voted 3 to 2 to ban commercial bobcat trapping statewide.

The Wildlife Protection Act of 2019 argues that the small number of active trappers in the state cannot afford to pay the full cost of implementing and regulating their industry as required by law.

It was backed by the Center for Biological Diversity, and the nonprofit group Social Compassion in Legislation, which spearheaded a recent bill that put an end to the sale of mill-bred dogs, cats and rabbits.

Opponents included the California Farm Bureau Federation, which warned that the bill, if passed, could have significant economic consequences for the agriculture industry.

The trapping industry declined over decades in California.

Before California’s population ballooned to roughly 40 million people, fur trapping played a significant role in the extirpation of wolves and wolverines and the severe declines of sea otters, fishers, martens, beavers and other fur-bearing species.

Over the last two decades, animal protectionists have partnered with mainstream environmental groups to put pressure on state and federal wildlife authorities, and to take their animal-cruelty concerns to the voters. Trappers are anachronistic, they said, and their snares subject wildlife to horrific suffering.

“The signing of this bill into law is the result of compelling data and a change of heart in public opinion regarding animal cruelty,” said Judie Mancuso, founder and president of Social Compassion in Legislation.

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2019-09-04/fur-trapping-ban-california-law?_amp=true&__twitter_impression=true

Sign Petition: End the Cruel and Inhumane Trapping and Hunting of Bobcats!

thepetitionsite.com
by: Prairie Protection Colorado
recipient: Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commissioners, Coloradomore

Help us pass a Citizen’s Petition that is asking the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commissioners to ban the trapping and hunting of bobcats throughout Colorado.

Bobcats are mostly hunted for their fur, which is then sold to China and Russia to make high-end fashion items. The rest of the carcass is discarded. Due to Amendment 14, trappers in Colorado are only allowed to use box traps. When trappers catch bobcats, they usually strangle them with “choke poles” or kill them by drowning or standing on their chests to suffocate them. The reason they do this is because they don’t want to get blood on their pelts, “there is less of a mess to clean up,” and “the fur is worth more.” Trappers typically don’t shoot the bobcats because they don’t want a hole in the fur or their traps to get damaged.

As wildlife advocates, we must organize and resist by raising our voices for the bobcats and for Colorado’s rapidly diminishing wildlife communities. We need each and every one of you to help support this ban and one way to do that is to sign this Care2 petition illustrating just how many of us want our wildlife communties to be protected not destroyed.

Join with us and help change these outdated, cruel and inhumane practices during this urgent time when habitat fragmentation is occurring at disastrous rates.

Sign this petition today and please sign up for our newsletters to get more information on how you can help protect Colorado’s wildlife!

For Colorado’s Bobcats!!

 

Sign Petition

https://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/931/371/256/

 

Sign Petition: Threatened Species, Pets and All Fur Bearing Animals Are Cruelly Trapped and Killed!

thepetitionsite.com

Over the past few decades, trapping in California has had a devastating impact on wildlife populations and continues to put furbearing animals, non-target animals, including threatened and endangered species, people and pets at risk.

Sadly, hundreds of furbearing animals continue to be trapped every year in the state for nothing more than their pelts, which are being sold in foreign markets. Not only is this harming individuals animals, and posing a risk to others, it’s also harming local ecosystems — especially when top predators are targeted.

Now, however, conservationists and animal advocates are hopeful that new legislation will end the practice in California for good.

The bill (AB 273), which was just introduced by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, would protect furbearing animals from this cruel and archaic practice by banning commercial trapping in the state.

Not only will it end the suffering of animals who are trapped for their fur, it will also save taxpayers who are currently subsidizing this practice because it’s bringing in far less than what’s being spent to oversee this program. Additionally, it will also help increase wildlife viewing opportunities, which generate far more revenue than trapping does.

While this bill is bound to face opposition, it’s being cosponsored by organizations including the Center for Biological Diversity and Social Compassion in Legislation, and will hopefully garner enough public support to pass.

You can help by signing and sharing this petition urging California lawmakers to protect wildlife by banning commercial trapping throughout the state.

https://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/341/881/149/

Petition:This Unlucky Cat Suffered an Excruciating Death in the Jaws of a Metal Animal Trap

thepetitionsite.com
by: Care2 Team
recipient: Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairsmore

44,650 SUPPORTERS – 45,000 GOAL

The Fenn Mark 6 Rat Trap just claimed another victim, and this time it wasn’t a rat. While no animal should be subjected to the torture of a slow death between the metal jaws of an animal trap, it’s even more shocking when the victim is a beloved pet.

That’s what recently happened to one unlucky pet cat in Wednesbury, United Kingdom. According to witnesses, after the jaws slammed shut around his neck and throat, he flopped and jostled around frantically as it tried to free itself from the metal clasps.

The pain must have been unimaginable and the cat died a gruesome death as people were unable to help.

The Fenn Mark 6 is not currently illegal however it is supposed to be used under strict controls in order to avoid tragedies like the one described above. Trappers are prohibited from using them on non-target / non-pest species and they are supposed “to be set in an artificial or natural tunnel which is fit for purpose and secured to the ground, to avoid catching non-target species.”

Regardless of their legality, using a spring trap like the Mark 6 is not a humane way of dealing with animals some people regard as pests. They cannot be trusted to reliably kill the intended target instantly without pain, which means that it might suffer for minutes, hours or possibly days before it expires.

For example, the Agreement on International Humane Trapping Standards (AIHTS) — which “attempt[s] to establish and enforce an international standard on humaneness for traps” — recommends banning Fenn traps for stoats, a ferret-like animal.

The UK will implement the AIHTS by 2019 but the new rules will likely only prohibit Fenn trap use on stoats. That’s not right, these traps should be prohibited outright, not just for use against stoats. They are simply not humane.

No animal should suffer the way this poor cat suffered.
Not even animals like rats which some people may find distasteful.

That’s why we are asking the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to protect all animals and ban the Fenn trap altogether.
Please sign and let’s get these cruel contraptions out of the UK.Photo credit: RSPCA more

Sign Petition

https://www.thepetitionsite.com/728/026/496/this-unlucky-cat-suffered-an-excruciating-death-in-the-jaws-of-a-metal-animal-trap/

44,650 supporters

Petition · Vermont Fish & Wildlife Board: Vermont’s otters need your help! · Change.org


https://www.change.org/p/vermont-fish-wildlife-board-vermont-s-otters-need-your-help?source_location=petition_footer&algorithm=promoted&grid_position=4&pt=AVBldGl0aW9uADafoQAAAAAAWNb1fJIvoBgzMWQxMDY3Mg%3D%3D

Stop US Forest Service Plan To Trapping in Santa Fe National Forest


http://mountainlion.org/ActionAlerts/080516FStraps/080516FStraps.asp?utm_source=NM+Letter+to+USFS+Individual+Invite&utm_campaign=Eastern+Cougar+Letter+Invite+07%2F26%2F2016&utm_medium=email

Petition · Tell City of Torrance to stop killing coyotes! · Change.org


https://www.change.org/p/tell-city-of-torrance-to-stop-killing-coyotes/sign?utm_source=action_alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=612239&alert_id=iCLHXfahpY_yyLGXzeWLdAAXqdHaxZWPMpzIg5%2BpKgqmN3AK%2BoaD6E%3D

petition: Outlaw the barbaric and ineffective use of gin traps in South Africa!, South Africa

image

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/357/449/989/

Protect Endangered Ocelot From Cruel Snares and Traps

 

The endangered ocelot is dying due to the use of cruel snares and traps. The traps are part of an effort to control predatory animals, but they end up killing innocent animals in the process. Take a stand for the ocelot and support a ban on snares and traps.

Source: Protect Endangered Ocelot From Cruel Snares and Traps

Petition update · THE NM GAME and FISH COMMISSIONERS yesterday VOTED UNANIMOUSLY to NOT CONSIDER OUR BAN. · Change.org

image

Susana Martinez: BAN Snare Trapping on our Public Lands
by Wick Beavers · 147,630 supporters
Petition update
THE NM GAME and FISH COMMISSIONERS yesterday VOTED UNANIMOUSLY to NOT CONSIDER OUR BAN.
Wick Beavers
Taos, NM

May 13, 2016 — We need to make them pay for their barbaric, murderous and indiscriminate Trapping Law.
Please post this on your FB page- tweet it, too- and ask your friends to sign the petition and to email each commissioner.
Here is are the email addresses of each uninformed and cruel commissioner:
paul@kienzlelaw.com
billmontoya@hotmail.com
robert_nmgf@live.com
ralphramos@comcast.net
bob.ricklefs@gmail.com
dicksalopek@hotmail.com
bethryanlawyer@gmail.com
The photo is of Bella, killed in a snare set for who knows what?

Discussion
Previous
Taking it to the Governor! Please Sign and Post on Your Social Media Pages.
Share this petition
147,630 supporters
2,370 needed to reach 150,000

Share on Facebook
Susana Martinez: BAN Snare Trapping on…
Send an email to friends
Send a message via WhatsApp
Tweet to your followers
https://www.change.org/p/susana-martinez-ban-snare-trapping-on-our-public-lands?recruiter=44240641&utm_source=petitions_show_components_action_panel_wrapper&utm_medium=copylink

Uphold Ban on Cruel Snare Traps

Don’t let New Yorkers kill animals with snarled traps!

The welfare of innocent animals is at risk from a proposed bill that seeks to make cruel snare traps legal. Demand that snare traps remain illegal for the sake of wild animals and household pets.

Source: Uphold Ban on Cruel Snare Traps

petition: Ask Amazon to stop selling traps used to capture and torture animals!

image

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/867/724/824/ask-amazon-to-stop-selling-traps-used-to-capture-and-torture-animals/

Justice for Cat Injured in Illegal Coyote Trap

A cat suffered tissue damage after it stepped into a coyote trap. The steel-jawed trap is illegal due to its inhumane mechanism and is dangerous, especially in an occupied neighborhood. Demand an immediate crackdown on illegal trapping.

Source: Justice for Cat Injured in Illegal Coyote Trap

Stop Selling Inhumane Animal Traps on Amazon

Amazon is currently selling vicious leg-hold animal traps on its website. These traps inflict extreme suffering and can catch, injure or kill non-targeted animals like family pets. Urge Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to stop selling these cruel devices immediately.

Source: Stop Selling Inhumane Animal Traps on Amazon

petition: Federal Ban on Steel Jaw Body Gripping Traps

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/606/715/001/federal-ban-on-steel-jaw-body-gripping-traps/