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Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

2 Responses to Footloose: Montana Dog Owners Find Wild-Animal Traps Put Pets in Harm’s Way

  1. avatar Jon Way says:

    “Trapping is an important part of wildlife management,” said Dave Miller, director of national and international affairs for the National Trappers Association, which claims 10,000 members. “It is very efficient and humane method of managing wildlife when properly done.”

    I am repeatedly amazed how people associated with state fish and game agencies feel that they have to “manage” everything. Have they ever been to a national park? Wildlife isn’t managed there and they generally do fine.

    Why don’t they say that we hope to trap an animal in a trap then walk up to the trapped animal and either club it to death (while alive) or shot it in the head. B/c that is what they do to a trapped animal.

  2. avatar Bob G says:

    Hate to break it to you Jon:
    Wildlife IS managed in national parks. In Glacier, problem bears are hazed, removed, or taken out. Other habituated or dangerous animals are removed by trapping. A wolverine study is being conducted using live traps to radio track the animals. These things are all “wildlife management”. Wildlife management is defined as “balancing the needs of wildlife with the needs/concerns of humans”. This has to be done to protect people from problem animals, and to protect the animals from overdone human intrusion! Would you rather the Park Service pay money (from taxpayers) to remove an animal and do nothing with it, or would you rather have the public be able to remove the animals (at no cost to the people), and be able to utilize the animal and enjoy the experience?

    A trapped animal is dispatched as “humanely” as possible by the trapper, or by the trap itself. It is similar to the concept of hunting. Trappers and hunters kill animals. That’s what they do. Everyone knows this, so why would “they” in the article have to spell it out?

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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