Fisher trapping needs to stop

It is heartbreaking that Montana’s wildlife managers still allow Northern Rockies Fishers to be trapped. Their dwindling population could be on the brink of extinction, but fisher were denied federal protections because authorities do not have an accurate count of these creatures.

If wildlife managers do not know how many fishers remain in our state, how can they continue to allow them to be killed via trapping? The small, isolated population straddling the Montana-Idaho border will not survive if the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission does not ban this cruel practice soon.

According to reports, 186 fishers were killed in traps set for other animals in Montana and Idaho between 2002 and 2016.

If that many are being killed unintentionally, why would any state allow intentional trapping of this species known to be at risk? Idaho does not allow the intentional trapping of fishers; but sadly, Montana does. We are falling behind our neighbor in using proven methods to preserve declining fisher populations.

The Center for Biological Diversity has petitioned the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission to ban fisher trapping in the state. I support this petition. Without a ban, these important little predators may disappear from Montana forever.

— Michele Dieterich, Hamilton

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