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Potential changes include requiring traps to be located away from trails and that signs be posted to tell people where traps are located. Photo: Jeff Vanuga

JACKSON, Wyo. – A Jackson-based wildlife advocacy group took a big step in petitioning for trapping reform in Wyoming by getting the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission to at least consider changes to current regulations two years earlier than the agency had planned to revisit the issue.

Wyoming Untrapped (WU) petitioned the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission to consider trap-free reform in 2020 instead of the scheduled 2022. The Commission responded by directing the Game and Fish Department to look into the matter by initiating an internal trapping reform stakeholder process statewide and deliver information back for the Commission’s consideration. That discussion is on the agenda for a meeting of the Commission July 16-17 in Rawlins.

Lisa Robertson, co-founder and president of WU, has pushed for trapping reform in Teton County and statewide for five years now. She says trapping mishaps and illegal trapping are being reported throughout Wyoming.

“Over the Christmas 2019 holiday in Teton County, a trapline was set adjacent to a highly used public trail in the Cache Creek drainage,” Robertson said. “Following this incident, a beloved dog, ‘Mac,’ was killed by a deadly spring-loaded snare on a public landscape in Fremont County.”

Wyoming Untrapped sent a petition letter in January to formally request that the Wyoming Game and Fish Department trapping regulations be opened for amendment this year.

“Given the alarming increase of land-use conflicts across Wyoming, WU asked the Commission to consider amendments to trapping regulations this summer 2020 instead of the review schedule for 2022,” Robertson stated.

The update on the department’s task to address certain trapping issues will be presented by Rick King, chief of wildlife division; and Jason Hunter, Lander region supervisor. The agenda item is scheduled for Friday, July 17, 10:50 – 11:20 a.m.

To participate in the meeting via ZOOM, registration is required. Once registered, participants will receive a confirmation email with instructions to join the meeting. The sign-up link is different for each day.

Currently, in Wyoming, traps need to be checked every 72-hours and snares can go as long as 13 days without being checked. Photo: Courtesy