3 initiatives proposed in Montana to protect public wildlife

We have to wish this follow good luck on these. It is very difficult to get an initiative on the ballot without paid signature gatherers, although no impossible. About 4 years ago, a Montana ballot initiative did successfully do away with the notorious elk shooting enclosures so common in adjacent Idaho. It also strongly reduced and regulated the raising of captive elk.

3 initiatives proposed in Montana to protect public wildlife. LTE. Billings Gazette.





  1. Jon Way Avatar

    What I don’t understand is how people can still sell pelts of furbearers like raccoons and coyotes. That is about as commercial as it gets and it is allowed in every state. I don’t like it one bit.

  2. Pronghorn Avatar

    I agree. Furbearer trapping is wholly commercial, and when fur prices rise, even predator and nongame (coyote, raccoon, et al) trapping becomes profitable. They are able to get away with this because it’s done under the guise of management. In Montana, they may very well “manage” the wolverine and fisher into extinction by continuing to allow trapping of these scarce and sensitive species.

  3. Bob G Avatar
    Bob G

    What exactly is wrong with some commercial use of natural resources? Selling furs is no different than selling logs or fish for food. All of the public is entitled to a share of the public natural resources. Trappers, loggers, and commercial fishermen should be able to utilize these resources too! Plus, if harvested sustainably, these resources will continue to replenish themselves. It’s not like trappers, loggers, and fishermen are “stealing” resources from the public. There is plenty of opportunity for all to utilize and/or enjoy them.

  4. Mack P. Bray Avatar
    Mack P. Bray

    Bob G, there’s nothing wrong with some commercial use of natural resources. We need timber/wood products, although only some 5% of America’s wood comes from AMERICA’S public lands; most comes from corporate and private property. We need fish. We need minerals and oil and gas.

    We DON’T need the skins stripped from our wildlife caught in inhumane traps. Trapping’s totally unnecessary.

    Trapping should be banned, period.

    I suggest we not turn this thread in to a trapping debate.

    Mack P. Bray
    Wildlife Watchers

  5. Jon Way Avatar

    Bob, I respectfully disagree.
    State fish and game agencies provide virtually no protection or regulation for furbearers. Most have no quotas or bag limits. Some (coyotes) are shot and trapped year-round, legally, on our public lands.
    I use my money to look for these animals, usually on public lands.
    Having bag limits on these species (like 1-2 per year) would be a sustainable take on our public lands. Not the current method especially since furs are largely unpopular in this day and age.

  6. hunting info Avatar
    hunting info

    well this is a easy subject. land owners have all the rights to say who walks on there land and what to use it for if they own it. the problem is they do not own wildlife period. alot but not all land owners get goverment money as crp, drought,yeild loss,planting funds fule compinsation, and dozens of other tax payer funds only to say now you have to pay to hunt. If we would take all the free(goverment funds away)then they would find out what the rest of us go through to live in this great nation. outfitters are mad about not being able to bring in as many out of state hunter as they like to bow hunt elk in the breaks. it is not about the hunters or the wildlife it is all about the money. stop fighting the public and work with them let the public hunt and outfitt at the same time and you should not have the right to say bulls or cows only remember you own the land not the animals FWP set those regs for the wildlife issues not the all mighty dollar like the land owner.maybe its time to hunt on publis lands only and make private land hunting only for the names on the deeds.

  7. Ryan Avatar

    I hunt private land quite a bit, The stewardship put out by many land owners to protect there wildlife is admirable. Take away the incentive and watch populations plummet. The CRP program is a great tool for wildlife habitat, if not there would be no wildlife present in many farming areas. People like to complain about farm subsidies, but no one complains about cheap food. Taking away a land owners right to manage there wildlife on there own property within in the confines of regulations set forth by the state is illegal. Many do not allow public access on there property because of constant abuses from the general public.


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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