Footloose Montana has proposed a new ballot measure that would end trapping on all public land in Montana. NBC Montana looked back and found a similar measure was attempted in 2010, but failed to garner enough signatures.
Ballot Issue Four would prohibit trapping of certain animals by private individuals on any public lands within the state of Montana.
We followed up and find a number proposals and petitions aimed at changing the states trapping law. We wanted to know more about the trapping issue, particularly when it comes to people's pets becoming trapped.
NBC Montana caught up with one wildlife advocate, Nancy Ostlie, in Bozeman, who tells us she is working with the Montana trappers to figure out a happy medium on regulations to resolve conflicts that could arise.
"In conjunction with the Trapping Association, I have worked to identify restriction changes so we can make it less likely a pet would be caught in a trap. Trap-free zones are ideal," said Ostlie.
Ostlie also talked about keeping traps farther back from trails, trailheads and public roads.
After researching Montana's trapping regulations, we learned a trap would need to be placed 50 feet away from a trail, and 300 feet away from a trailhead.
We hit the phones and called Toby Walrath of the Montana Trappers Association. Walrath says a number of factors need to be looked into before any new restrictions and regulations should placed on trappers.
"How many people using the area, how many dogs in the area -- that are unleashed," should be taken into consideration, said Walrath.
Ostlie says she is trying to establish a connection with Montana trappers to figure out a plan allowing them to be able to trap animals and still be able to protect animals not meant for trapping.
"A systematic way, getting input from people -- talking to the trappers and the agencies about what can be done," said Ostlie.
Walrath says more research needs to be done before making a decision on various sections of the districts for regulations.
"Work through the process of identifying restrictions or regulations that are appropriate for those areas," said Walrath.
NBC Montana will keep following these proposals and let you know what happens.