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Please vote "yes" on I-177, which puts an end to rampant trapping on public lands. Wildlife targeted through traps serve important roles on the land. Otters, mink and pine marten are valuable predators in a healthy, balanced ecosystem. Beavers and muskrats are nature’s engineers that can slow snowmelt runoff in the mountains, keeping waters in our rivers colder and more reliable over the season.

Hunters use ethical "fair-chase'"guidelines as they harvest wildlife, but that ethic is missing with trapping, which injures and kills pets and wildlife without discretion.

Past efforts to get small changes to restrict the waste and suffering of trapped animals have failed. In early 2013, citizens who met for months with trappers and Fish and Wildlife personnel proposed 10 reasonable changes to trapping regulations including mandatory education, timely trap checks, and banning equipment especially lethal to dogs. The Fish and Wildlife Commission adopted only one suggestion, increasing some trail setbacks, which has not resolved the problem.

The time is right to end a practice that indiscriminately kills wildlife and endangers pets. I-177 makes reasonable exceptions so that landowners can still trap trouble makers on their property, and is the right choice for our public lands.

Nancy Ostlie

Bozeman

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