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Traps Found Near Public-Use Trails Pose Danger and Should be Disarmed

Letters / Anchorage Daily News / April 18, 2005

I would encourage all hikers in Southcentral Alaska who encounter traps while hiking along trails and fishing streams to spring 'em and fling 'em! Trap lines are supposed to be visibly marked and specify the trapper. Vague signs that traps might possibly be in the area are lip service and do not meet the requirements of state law as listed on the Department of Fish and Game Web site.

Traps that are placed close enough to be found while hiking and snowshoeing on public-use trails constitute a danger to public safety and should be disarmed immediately. Place your traps 100 yards from any public-use trail regardless of who you think may have blazed that trail.

With all due respect to Lynn Keogh and the Southcentral chapter of the Alaska Trappers Association, they are not trappers ("Trailside traps raise hackles," April 11). If you drive to wherever you set your trap lines, then you are a hobbyist.

Stop being righteous about trapping. If you want to be a real Alaskan, go live off the road system and off the grid. Run your trap line where you have to be a hardy snowshoer or have a team of dogs. Otherwise, you are just competing with the real trappers in this state who rely on fur as a source of income and a way of life.

Rich Stromberg / Anchorage

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