JACKSON — A group in Teton County continues to push for a prohibition on animal trapping on the grounds of a ski resort and along popular trails around Jackson Hole after snares killed dogs elsewhere in the state.
Legal snares recently trapped and killed three St. Bernard dogs at the base of Casper Mountain near Casper. Last year, traps caught two dogs within 30 feet of a road in the Jackson Hole area.
Lisa Robertson, of Wyoming Untrapped, proposes a prohibition on trapping at Snow King ski area and within 500 feet of trails and seasonal roads in Teton County.
"We're taking an incremental strategy so that we can have some reasonable expectation of public safety as soon as possible," Robertson said. "We'd like to do a lot more; we'd like to do a whole lot more. But this is what we know can get done in the next six months."
Twenty proposed no-trapping zones include trails along Game and Cache creeks, Crystal Butte Sheep Mountain, Crater Lake, Ski Lake and Jackson Peak. Closures in the greater Snow King ski resort area and around Munger Mountain also are proposed.
Fur trapping has deep history in Wyoming and Jackson Hole, going back to the days of mountain men in the early 19th century. Some locals continue to run trap lines, and the practice occasionally causes problems in developed areas and with pets.
Wyoming Untrapped and the Wyoming Trappers Association have been in talks for a year about the proposal to change county regulations, said Wyoming Game and Fish Department regional wildlife supervisor Tim Fuchs.
The department can specify which snares may be used and regulate the use of bait and the frequency with which traps must be checked.
Game and Fish could not end trapping of coyotes, foxes and other predators in places such as Snow King, however, because of jurisdictional issues, Fuchs said.
"We have a very, very limited scope to affect any kind of trapping for predatory species," he said.
Still, he said the agency would try to find a way to address concerns about trapping.
"We'll be able to eliminate the fur-bearing traps," she said. "But the predator traps are still going to be out there until we get this through the legislative process."