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Spin Control

Posts tagged: moles

Maybe they should try Wack-A-Mole?

OLYMPIA – A state agency has used illegal traps to kill moles around the Capitol and the governor’s mansion for about a decade, ever since voters banned them with an initiative.

That surprised another state agency, the Department of Fish and Wildlife, which enforces the law against “body-gripping” traps. On Tuesday, it issued a warning to the General Administration Department, the same thing it would do to a homeowner found using the traps.

General Administration has used the spring-loaded steel traps for years in the late winter to kill moles, which do significant damage on the Capitol grounds, Steve Valandra, a department spokesman said: “We want to get to the moles before they start breeding.”

The department thought the traps had been exempted from the law, Valandra said. It has seven of the traps, and typically kills a couple dozen moles as the traps are moved around the grounds, based on some sign of the critters.

That stopped Tuesday, after Rep. Joel Kretz, R-Wauconda, got a call from a constituent who spotted a trap near a walking trail by the old state Conservatory. He checked out the traps on Monday, and was convinced they were banned by the 2000 initiative, which isn’t popular in his northeastern Washington district.
“A private citizen would be in trouble for using these traps,” Kretz said, adding there was a safety concern. “I was worried about a kid coming along and putting their hand in there.”

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

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