TWIN FALLS • This election, Idahoans will be asked to vote on whether the right to hunt, fish and trap should be added to Idaho’s state constitution. Here are the details:
What it’s about: Sen. Lee Heider, R-Twin Falls, who crafted the amendment, said it’s about protecting Idaho’s heritage. Hunting, fishing and trapping have always been part of Idaho’s culture, and adding the amendment will protect that heritage from future attempts to erode Idaho’s wildlife management laws, Heider said.
The Idaho Fish and Game Commission supports the amendment.
“The Idaho Fish and Game Commission’s legal authority to regulate hunting, fishing, and trapping and require licensing is not impacted by this amendment,”says an Oct. 3 open letter from the commission. “This amendment would also keep punishment for those who violate our wildlife laws.”
Idahoans Against Trapping launched a campaign against the amendment effort earlier this year, arguing that trapping is cruel and inhumane, and shouldn’t be protected in the constitution.
The campaign Facebook page has photos of domestic pets who have been maimed or killed after being caught in leg-hold and conibear traps.
What a “yes” vote means: The following section will be added to the Idaho constitution:
“The rights to hunt, fish and trap, including by the use of traditional methods, are a valued part of the heritage of the State of Idaho and shall forever be preserved for the people and managed through the laws, rules and proclamations that preserve the future of hunting, fishing and trapping. Public hunting, fishing and trapping of wildlife shall be a preferred means of managing and controlling wildlife. The rights set forth herein do not create a right to trespass on private property, shall not affect rights to divert, appropriate and use water, or establish any minimum amount of water in any water body, and shall not lead to a diminution of other private rights.”