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In November 1994, the Colorado Division of Wildlife (CDOW) initiated a stakeholder process to develop trapping regulations that would seek to achieve compromise among divergent interests. A telephone survey was conducted to provide stakeholders with information about the Colorado public's acceptance of trapping. A random sample of 900 residents, stratified by geographic region, indicated that the public would vote to ban trapping and that they believed the ban would eliminate a cruel activity and help to preserve endangered wildlife. Most, however, agreed that trapping was acceptable to prevent spread of disease and to protect livestock, but unacceptable on the basis of providing recreation or making money. Beliefs about trapping were found to be rooted in a protection versus use value orientation about wildlife. The regulations subsequently adopted by the CDOW were consistent with survey findings; however, the regulatory process was bypassed by legislative action, giving trapping authority to the Colorado Department of Agriculture. In response, citizen activists succeeded in placing a ballot initiative before voters. In 1996, the ballot initiative passed, banning trapping in Colorado.
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Public acceptance of wildlife trapping in Colorado