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
Katherine Dowson, Executive Director
Friends of Pathways