Throughout over 70 years of growing into an outdoors worshiper, I’ve come to evermore appreciate each and every two- and four-legged creature that inhabits this earth. So it is in that respect that I support I-177. In simple terms, this initiative will ban recreational trapping on Montana’s public lands.
I have personally witnessed the indiscriminate results of leg traps, always taking place on private lands. One was a captured red fox, in minus 20-degree weather, helplessly ensnared in an unidentified trap. I continued to check it for over 48 hours before opening the trap, massaging its leg to restore blood flow and turning it free. I then located the trap owner, suggested that he check his traps more often, and gave him a check for $50 to cover the lost pelt (for the time being). At an earlier date, I performed a similar treatment to the lowly porcupine after deciding not to end his life with a tire iron.
I likewise appreciate and respect private property rights. I cherish the memories of the enjoyable times and events I’ve had through the graciousness of many farmers and ranchers. I-177 will not violate their rights.
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I urge the voting public to perform its due diligence, gain a clear understanding of the meaning of I-177 and vote “yes” on Nov. 8.
Michael J. Griffith