Trapping takes an enormous toll on riparian ecology by especially targeting beaver. This means less water and less riparian habitat for all species (humans, songbirds, ungulates, fish, etc.)
Trapping causes excessive suffering.
Trapping is not Fair Chase.
Traps kill endangered species – wolverine, lynx, fisher, etc.
Traps are baited and thus attract pets and other non-target wildlife.
Trapping costs us millions in lost revenue due to its indirect impact on water resources (esp. in an arid state like Montana), tourism (less furbearers means less wildlife watching) and wildlife (historically, trapping was the primary culprit in sending many of our species onto the Endangered Species list, necessitating recovery, for which we’ve been paying millions ever since).
Traps are a hazard. Trapping is poorly regulated. Traps are concealed, baited and no warning signs are required. Traps can be set year-round and almost anywhere on our public lands.
With rare exceptions, trapping is no longer done for to make a living. Recreation is wonderful so long as it is responsible and is not predicated upon wanton suffering. That’s why we no longer have gladiators, frown upon dog fighting, etc.
Trapping uses a public resource for personal gain without contributing significantly to the public interest, unlike hunting and fishing. The state income from trapping is negligible. The costs far outweigh benefits.
Trapping is NOT an effective management tool, as it causes more problems than it resolves. Trapping on public lands should be relegated to public safety and scientific research and only when done by public employees for the public interest. About 60% of Montana land is privately owned. That should satisfy trappers.
"Trapper numbers tend to sway with the price of fur — as the price for fur rises, so do [sic.] the number of trappers." - Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (accessed 11/2019)