Upcoming wildlife-related measures on state ballots

By Emily Ronis

An angler casts his line at New River Trail State Park, VA ©Virginia State Parks

Five state ballots will include wildlife- and conservation-related measures during tomorrow’s general election, including state park funding, trapping regulations, intrastate wildlife trafficking, and the right to hunt and fish in certain states.

Alabama: Amendment 2, Rules Governing Allocation of State Park Funds

This constitutional amendment would prohibit the reallocation of state park funds for other uses. The state legislature proposed this amendment after five state parks closed in 2015 following the reallocation of $15 million from the state parks budget. The proposed amendment would also allow the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to contract with non-state entities for park system facilities maintenance and operations.

Result: Passed

Montana: I-177, Montana Animal Trap Restrictions Initiative

If passed, this proposed state statute would prohibit the use of animal traps and snares on state public lands. The statute establishes penalties of varying fines and jail time. Violators would also forfeit hunting, fishing, or trapping licenses and would lose hunting, fishing, or trapping privileges in the state for two years. The initiative would not impact trapping on private lands nor the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks’ wildlife management efforts.

The Montana Chapter of TWS recently released a statement supporting continued regulated trapping in the state.

Result: Not passed

Oregon: Measure 100, Wildlife Trafficking Prevention Act

Measure 100 would ban the intrastate sale of products and parts of any species of rhino, cheetah, tiger, sea turtle, lion, elephant, whale, pangolin, shark, jaguar, ray, and leopard. Violators of the measure would be fined either $6,500 or twice the prohibited product’s value – whichever is greater.

Measure 100 is closely based on Washington’s Animal Trafficking, Initiative 1401 which was passed in 2015 and was the first comprehensive state ban on endangered species commerce in the United States.

Result: Passed

Indiana: Public Question 1, Indiana Right to Hunt and Fish

Kansas: Constitutional Amendment 1, Kansas Right to Hunt and Fish

Both Indiana and Kansas residents will vote on similar proposed amendments that would establish hunting and fishing as a constitutional right within each state. Each amendment also establishes hunting and fishing as a preferred method of wildlife management. If voters pass these amendments, Indiana and Kansas will join 19 other states that have previously incorporated constitutional provisions providing for a right to hunt and fish.

Result: Passed in both Indiana and Kansas

Read TWS’s Standing Position on Hunting.

Updated: November 9, 2016