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America's 'Radical Elders' continue their work for fairness, justice; SCOTUS upholds law disarming domestic abusers; Workplace adoption benefits help families, communities; Report examines barriers to successful post-prison re-entry in NC.

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A congresswoman celebrates Biden protections for mixed status families, Louisiana's Ten Commandments law faces an inevitable legal challenge, and a senator moves to repeal the strict 19th century anti-obscenity and anti-abortion Comstock Act.

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A Minnesota town claims the oldest rural Pride Festival while rural educators say they need support to teach kids social issues, rural businesses can suffer when dollar stores come to town and prairie states like South Dakota are getting help to protect grasslands.

Fur-Trapping Rises in ID to Meet Asian Demand

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Wednesday, January 7, 2015   

BOISE, Idaho - The fur business is good in Idaho. The number of licenses issued for trapping fur-bearing animals has doubled in five years, according to Idaho Fish and Game. But those traps have also caught dogs and even threatened species.

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission has required a new mandatory trapping-education program to try to reduce the accidental catches, and rejected other proposals to minimize those incidents.

Brad Smith, North Idaho conservation associate at the Idaho Conservation League, said trapping can be lucrative, with a bobcat pelt worth about $400. Otters and pine martens also are hot commodities.

"And that is in response to increased demand in fur from Asian markets," he said. "So, while we don't see more people in the United States wearing fur, in general, we do see a higher demand in Asia."

Since the commission rejected proposals to protect pets and threatened species, Smith said, his organization is exploring other strategies and may petition public land managers to adopt their own rules.

Smith said rules need to be updated to reflect the popularity of hiking, biking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and other activities people enjoy with their dogs.

"The current regulations only require the traps be set five feet from the centerline of a road or a trail," he said. "So that's not very far. That basically puts the trap on the shoulder."

Fish and Game commissioners acknowledged that this has been an emotional topic, especially when hearing testimony from dog owners whose animals were injured or killed. Smith said voluntary reporting from trappers shows that threatened lynx, wolverines and fishers also have been caught in traps.


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