Up fur debate
by Adam Petry
Steel-jaws, conibears, snares: Endangered species and pets in the West have been injured and killed by these "body-gripping" traps, triggering a wave of recent public concern. After six Mexican wolves were hurt in New Mexico, leaving two with leg amputations (including AM871, alpha male of the Middle Fork Pack, captured by a trail cam at left), outgoing Gov. Bill Richardson, D, banned trapping for six months, effective Nov. 1, on over 3 million acres of the state’s Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area. Silver City and Dona Ana County also voted for local bans, but long-term support for legal changes in the state, which has no other trapping restrictions, remains uncertain. In Montana, an initiative to ban trapping on all of the state’s public land failed to make the 2010 ballot. It received over 31,000 signatures -- well over the 24,337 needed -- but at least 8,000 have been rejected, mostly those of students whose addresses didn’t match their voter registrations.