The following is the letter submitted by Friends of Pathways to Wyoming Game & Fish Department in support of a proposal by Wyoming Untrapped to prevent trapping at popular trailheads in Teton County.

 

April 2, 2020

Wyoming Game & Fish Commission

c/o Sheridan Todd

5400 Bishop Blvd.

Cheyenne, WY 82006

RE: Trapping restrictions on popular trails in Teton County, WY

 

Dear Wyoming Game & Fish Commissioners,

I am writing on behalf of Friends of Pathways (FOP), a local non-profit in Teton County, WY that,

among other things, promotes healthy recreation through a robust trail stewardship program on the

Bridger-Teton National Forest (BTNF). FOP works under an MOU with the BTNF, providing trail

building, maintenance, and education services on Jackson’s close-to-home trail system, including

Cache/Game, Teton Pass and Munger Mountain areas. Our organization dedicates over $200,000 a year

to ensuring that these areas are well-maintained and accessible to a wide-range of activities – including

hiking, biking, dog-walking, skiing and horse-back riding. Through volunteer, seasonal and yearly staff,

as well as an 8-person Youth Trail Crew, FOP works to keep Jackson’s most popular trails sustainable

for both wild and human neighbors.

I understand that the WY Game & Fish Commission is reviewing regulations for the Jackson area at a

Commission meeting in April. Please consider amendments to WYG&F trapping regulations at that

time, instead of waiting until 2022. FOP supports any actions by the WYG&F which would result in

restricting trapping from popular trail systems in Teton County. User data collected by FOP from

June 1-August 31, 2019, through permanent and mobile counters along trails in the Cache/Game and

Teton Pass areas, showed a daily average of 3,962 counts, or 1,981 people using these trails (see

attached). In all likelihood, this figure is a low representation of the daily number of people that are

walking dogs, running, mountain biking, and getting out to enjoy the recreational experiences, nature,

and scenery that these trails provide. While trapping may be a compatible use in other areas of the

BTNF, it should not be allowed in areas where pets and people congregate. Just as certain areas of

the BTNF are restricted from motorized, extractive, or recreational uses, trapping should be limited to

areas that don’t have high traffic volumes or invite conflict. Please don’t let the actions of a very few be

prioritized over the safety and well-being of thousands of people and pets in Teton County.

Thank you for your consideration and for the work you do on behalf of the people and wildlife of

Wyoming.

Sincerely,

Katherine Dowson, Executive Director

Friends of Pathways