Photo Courtesy of the Ravalli Republic
After attending a Montana Trappers Association (MTA) meeting last Saturday, I found out that the Bass Creek recreation area is officially a trap-free zone. This might be old news to some of you, but the interesting part to me was that the MTA was the group that initiated this move.
With trapping being such a controversial topic, especially since Montana introduced their first wolf trapping season this past year, this collaboration with the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks and the community was a positive move for everybody involved. Toby Walrath, District 2 Director of the MTA, was quoted in the Ravalli Republic calling the decision to make the Bass Creek area trap-free “Recreation Land Use 101. Different areas should have different uses. This area is a great place for people to come and walk their dogs. There is easy access and it’s used year around.”
Other area trap-free recreation locations include: Blue Mountain, Pattee Creek and the Rattlesnake Recreation Area.
As stated on the MTA website (www.montanatrappers.org), “hunting and trapping are important tools in managing wildlife populations. Even though the world in which people and wildlife live has changed much over time, hunting and trapping still play a key role.”
One example of how trapping is a useful tool for organizations is with a potential study on fishers. The Forest Service is reaching out to trappers to help them with a study, still in the early stages of development, being conducted to determine if logging in a specific area will affect the fishers habitat. They are asking that trappers report the areas where they have seen fishers, or signs of them, and if they trap any, accidentally, to contact them so they can fit the fisher(s) with a gps device. For more information on the Forest Service study and how you can help, contact Toby Walrath with the Montana Trappers Association at D2@montanatrappers.org.
If you wish to become a member of the Montana Trappers Association, visit their website at www.montanatrappers.org.