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Utah Big-Game Protection Law Enacted

Also from Sportsmen's Alliance: Colo. petition to ban trapping abandoned.

Utah Big-Game Protection Law Enacted

Coyote walking near a road in Northern Utah. (Shutterstock image)

Editor’s Note: The following are two press releases from Sportsmen’s Alliance.

Legislation in Utah has been enacted that grants the director of the Utah Division of Wildlife Services the ability to take more preventative and immediate action to reduce bear, coyote, cougar and bobcat populations that threaten the long-term outlook of big-game herds, such as mule deer, elk, bighorn sheep, moose, pronghorn, mountain goats and bison. HB 125 was introduced in January 2020 by State Representative Carl Albrecht.

The Director of the Division of Wildlife Resources already had the ability to increase predator permits after big-game herd numbers demonstrate a need for greater protection. This legislation would enhance the ability of the director to take immediate action to more proactively protect big game.

“Working proactively to keep predator and prey species balanced is sound wildlife management. Many predators have few, if any, natural enemies, and if not balanced with available, suitable, habitat and current populations of prey species, they can quickly wreak havoc on big-game herds that will take years to correct,” said Jacob Hupp associate director of state services at the Sportsmen’s Alliance. “The enacting of this law sets an excellent precedent for all western states to follow in addressing predator populations.”

Colo. Citizen Petition to Ban Trapping Abandoned by HSUS

The Humane Society of the United States unexpectedly pulled their citizen petition to prohibit trapping that was to be voted on by the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission. The petition proposed a ban on all forms of trapping, including live cage trapping. The petition was to be voted on later this week.

The Sportsmen’s Alliance, in coordination with a number of other sportsmen and conservation groups around the country and in Colorado, wrote letters and emails to each commission member asking that they vote against any and all changes to current trapping regulations.

In 1996, a ballot initiative in Colorado amended the state constitution to outlaw recreational trapping and all lethal traps, even live cage traps were banned for recreational purposes. Ten years later in 2006, sportsmen in Colorado scored a major victory when the Colorado Wildlife Commission voted to open a recreational cage-trapping season for bobcats and furbearers. These live trapping seasons for bobcats and furbearers will now lawfully continue due to the HSUS’ abandonment of their petition.

”Even though trapping is managed through scientifically based regulations that are strictly enforced by conservation officers in every state, it continues to be the number-one target of animal-rights activists across the country,” said Jacob Hupp associate director of state services at the Sportsmen’s Alliance. “While it remains unclear as to why the petition was pulled, we anticipate a similar attack in the near future and we will be ready to fight again.”

About the Sportsmen's Alliance: The Sportsmen's Alliance protects and defends America's wildlife conservation programs and the pursuits — hunting, fishing and trapping — that generate the money to pay for them. Sportsmen's Alliance Foundation is responsible for public education, legal defense and research. Its mission is accomplished through several distinct programs coordinated to provide the most complete defense possible. Sportsmen's Alliance: Online, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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