Letter to the editor: Traps are a safety hazard on public lands

Cali O'Hare file photo

Dear editor, 

As an eager visitor to the naturally beautiful state of Wyoming, I was appalled and disappointed to learn of the ubiquitous and indiscriminate trapping and snaring practices present on these precious public lands. My family and I highly value the natural world, including wildlife and its vital role in our ecosystem; we traveled to the area to enjoy the awe-inspiring and historically significant wilderness and were in disbelief that trapping is still permitted. Not only have we seen traps cause needless suffering to wildlife, we discovered that thousands of non-target animals, including pets, livestock, endangered and threatened species and birds of prey are victims as well. As a result, not only does our family feel unsafe to recreate on the trails as we see this as an issue of public safety, but also no longer wish to support communities that engage in cruel and brutal behavior towards highly sentient animals, secondary to outdated management practices. Additionally, from a bio-diversity perspective, a law of ecology states that complexity brings forth stability. Indiscriminate killing of mammals and raptors therefore opposes this basic principle. As an avid outdoorswoman, I implore state and local wildlife management agencies to expeditiously implement the models of modern-day wildlife biology and ethics through laws and regulations that reflect empirical evidence.

Very respectfully,

Elena Tillman, San Diego