Beware of traps...
Jan 09, 2014 | 1444 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
I recently spent over three weeks visiting Bluff and Blanding, exploring the country and the Anazasi ruins. Towards the end of my trip, I was headed to a large cave, driving the good, wide dirt road towards Arch Canyon.

When the road got muddy, I got out with my dog to walk the road to the trailhead. Within minutes, my dog began yelping. He’d been walking near me, on the side of the road, not wandering, when he stepped into a leg-hold trap meant for coyotes.

Last year, the Utah legislators allotted $750,000 every year in perpetuity for a coyote bounty. They are paying $10,000 for 200 hours of coyote trapping work and $50 for each pelt. Trappers sell their pelts, for personal profit, along with collecting that bounty, to China and Russia, where they are made into coats.

Tourists, on the other hand, bring in billions of dollars to Utah businesses and do not expect traps where they hike.

I happened to know how to release a leg-hold trap, so my dog was okay. But the warden told me of many tourists who sit with their pets for hours, waiting for him to arrive in the backcountry because they don’t know. Releasing a leg-hold trap is not intuitive, but takes practice and can injure a pet, or child.

Please be aware, and make visitors aware, of these potential dangers when hiking on public lands. All public lands except national parks, can be trapped on, anywhere, year round.

—Leslie Patten

Cody, Wyo.

Copyright 2013 The Times-Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

report abuse...

Express yourself:

We're glad to give readers a forum to express their points of view on issues important to this community. That forum is the “Letters to the Editor.” Letters to the editor may be submitted directly to The Times-Independent through this link and will be published in the print edition of the newspaper. All letters must be the original work of the letter writer – form letters will not be accepted. All letters must include the actual first and last name of the letter writer, the writer’s address, city and state and telephone number. Anonymous letters will not be accepted.

Letters may not exceed 400 words in length, must be regarding issues of general interest to the community, and may not include personal attacks, offensive language, ethnic or racial slurs, or attacks on personal or religious beliefs. Letters should focus on a single issue. Letters that proselytize or focus on theological debates will not be published. During political campaigns, The Times-Independent will not publish letters supporting or opposing any local candidate. Thank you letters are generally not accepted for publication unless the letter has a public purpose. Thank you letters dealing with private matters that compliment or complain about a business or individual will not be published. Nor will letters listing the names of individuals and/or businesses that supported a cause or event. Thank you letters about good Samaritan acts will be considered at the discretion of the newspaper.