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Let’s Close a Trail to Trapping

by Stephen Capra, Executive Director, Bold Visions Conservation

Our new address Bold Visions Conservation, PO Box 941 Bozeman, MT 59771

As I head to Bozeman to speak with the mayor and county commission, along with Tom Rodgers, my Washington, DC, educator of all things federal government, this trip has another purpose. It is closing a very popular Bozeman trail, known as Sourdough Trail, to trapping. Sourdough, like many hiking trails across the West, is in an urban interface. Some of the land on the trail is on City lands; others are cross-sections belonging to the US Forest Service. We spoke to the USFS and the city several years ago. The FS indicated that if the city closed the 9-mile trail to trapping, they would follow suit.


Michael Stroeger, our Bozeman-based Director, has been meeting with elected officials and people across the community to emphasize the danger to pets and families hiking this busy trail. The Mayor and Councilors have indicated they will move this to a vote soon.

The bottom line remains we must create safe landscapes for wildlife. Protecting a hiking trail may sound minor in scale, but it is something that trappers have been fighting, and we must begin to take away their control of our city and public lands. We can start with this trail and continue to push back on trapping anywhere near the urban interface and erode their power once and for all. Let's face it: we want to hike with security, and we want our families and pets to be safe. Most of all, we want the nightmare of trapping to end once and for all.


We will meet these city officials on Monday, pushing for a vote soon on closing the sourdough trail to trapping. We will also brief them on our Monument proposal and work to get their support for a monument that would ban trapping and protect wolves, grizzlies, and other vital predators.

So we ask you to write to them and ask not only for Sourdough Trail to be closed to trapping but also for their support of this Monument for Wildlife—1.6 million acres designed to protect our most important species. We will work hard to convince them of both. The reality remains: It's time to end trapping now and start to erode trappers' sick control of our precious public lands.




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