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Ban Trapping and Snaring in Sourdough Canyon

Bold Visions Press Release

Ban Trapping and Snaring in Sourdough Canyon

The Sourdough Creek drainage is vital habitat in a key wildlife migration corridor that extends from YNP to the Gallatin range to the Bridger range and beyond. It is a core linkage area that connects the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem to the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem and has been officially recognized as such by the US Forest Service. It also serves as the primary watershed that provides the Gallatin Valley with its drinking water and serves as one of the most popular recreational trailheads where citizens of Bozeman spend their outdoor time.

The land ownership in Sourdough Canyon is a mosaic of federal public land along with municipal land. There are approximately seven sections of City of Bozeman deeded land abutted against US Forest Service land. The city-owned land starts at the trailhead and is comprised of multiple blocks that run alongside Bozeman Creek, which runs parallel to the popular trail. This high-use area at the wildland-urban interface, where the public routinely recreates with family, friends, and pets, is currently open to trapping and snaring.

The public safety issues this raises are clear: small children who wander away from a distracted parent can get their foot caught in a trap and our beloved dogs who legally run off-leash can get caught in traps as well. There have been multiple incidents where our pets have been caught in a trap. The lucky ones survive with brutal soft tissue or bone injuries. Some are forced to become tripod dogs who must hobble for the rest of their lives due to amputation. Others less fortunate do not survive the trauma endured.

Trapping is indiscriminate and non-target animals are often victims. Our pets are not the only victims. Sourdough Canyon is part of the core habitat for many protected species, including lynx and grizzly bears. Traps are baited and hidden from view so they are effectively land mines for anyone, human or animal, to step in them. Animals routinely suffer for days and are forced to endure an agonizing death from either hypothermia, hunger/thirst, blood loss, or psychological trauma. All the regulations that guide trapping, as written in the policies administered by Fish Wildlife & Parks, favor trapping as a “recreational pursuit” in the context of the state’s cultural heritage. Less than half of 1% of Montana citizens are trappers and yet they hold the rest of us hostage on our public lands. Please consider breaking from this historic tradition of 18th century barbarism. The cruelty and suffering of trapped animals is significant and the public should not be forced to recreate in fear.

Please help Bold Visions Conservation urge the Mayor of Bozeman and the City Commission to ban all recreational trapping and snaring on city-owned land in Sourdough Canyon. We strongly encourage you to contact them and tell them you support our campaign in Sourdough Canyon.

Contact Info:

Bozeman Mayor- Terry Cunningham:

Deputy Mayor- Joey Morrison:

City Commissioner- Jennifer Madgic:

City Commissioner- Douglas Fischer:

City Commissioner- Emma Bode:

If you prefer to call them directly, all of their phone numbers can be found here:


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