Montana Trappers Association members such as Jason Maxwell, VP, resort to all kinds of underhanded ploys to continue their indiscriminate cruel irresponsible recreation on our public lands.
Witnessed by many Montanans, trappers have intimidated and harassed our signature gatherers for I-169 and interfered with the First Amendment and voters’ right to sign the ballot initiative. Trappers have stolen our petitions from vet clinics and events. They have illegally inscribed on the petition showing a complete disrespect for the initiative process. They have sent us nasty emails and publicized completely false allegations. They have sent us emails pretending to be supporters, telling us of trapped animals in desperate need of our help and then mocking us as wildlife biologists and rehabbers for falling for their lies. They fabricated requests for demanding a public apology they deceptively orchestrated to begin with and that was of a private email between our actual supporters. The trappers act as trolls among our supporters and show up to block potential signers at events, telling them we are liars, following and taunting inexperienced signature gatherers and sabotaging the democratic process for all Montanans to be able to vote.
They are bullies and what they do to trapped animals is cognizant of how they treat weaker beings unable to defend or escape. Saturday, they were no longer given the warning and the police were called when a trapper at least three times the size decided to yet again pick on women behind a booth gathering signatures at the Hamilton farmers market.
In their efforts to oppose I-169, the Montana Trappers Association and their sidekick, Montanans for Effective Wildlife Management, are now under investigation for multiple violations of financial reporting. This is what we do know. Imagine what we don’t.
Since trappers cannot defend their recreation on our public lands and cannot find fault in our fair and reasonable ballot initiative, it appears they have nothing left but to resort to these unlawful, deceitful and bullying behaviors.
Is this what should decide a ballot initiative?
KC York, Chairman
Trap Free Montana Public Lands I-169