California’s Trapping Ban is Already Costing Them Millions of Dollars

Back in September the Governor of California signed a bill that banned trapping an animal for its fur. This is the first statewide ban on trapping in the United States. But now it looks like that move will end up costing the state millions of dollars.

According to the Sandusky Register, the ink of his signature was barely on the bill when there was a call for the state to spend $10 million on trapping nutria, an exotic furbearer that is destroying prime marsh habitats there.

Basically, the state is now paying for what trappers would have done for free. This is just par for the course for California. In my book, Why We Hunt, I discuss conservation and how their ban on hunting mountain lions hurts wildlife management does very little to stop the killing of mountain lions.

Picture of a Mountain Lion Taken in Las Angelos

Hunting is a huge cost saver in wildlife management. Hunters pay to hunt. Wildlife management costs money in areas that forbid hunting. Agencies spend hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, controlling non-huntable populations, which include controlling deer populations in urban centers and populations of protected animals.
 A great example of how this works can be seen when hunting is eliminated as a tool for wildlife managers. Back in the 1990s, mountain lion hunting was banned in California, even though there was no scientific reason for doing so. Their populations were stable and not even close to being endangered. Nevertheless, the ban passed on a ballot measure based on emotion.

Now California is forced to manage mountain lion populations by paying trappers and hunters to do something they would have gladly paid money. The interesting thing is that the paid trappers and hunters kill just about the same amount of lions that hunters would have killed if hunting them was still permitted.
What the ban caused was the waste of hides and meat because it became the property of the state.  None of it could be kept by the paid hunters because the lions were protected animals. The ban is doing more harm than good and encourages the waste of a resource that would otherwise be utilized. The waste is appalling, but reinstituting lion hunting could fix it. The killed lions could be used for their hide and meat, but it would also be a revenue stream — instead of expenditure for California’s wildlife agency.” 

As you can see these bans never work out as intended because they are based on emotion and not science. So far the trapping ban has only cost them $10 million, but that is just the beginning.