Trap Free Montana

End the Suffering.

aka "Trap Free"   |   HAMILTON, MT   |
GuideStar Charity Check

Trap Free Montana

EIN: 81-3736597


Trap Free Montana connects hearts and minds through science, truths in trapping, & compassion to rise to the plight of wildlife & support biodiversity, coexistence, and responsible stewardship. We partner with our nonprofit 501(c)(4) affiliate, Trap Free Montana Public Lands (TFMPL) focusing on trapping reform and achieving trap free public lands.

Ruling year info



KC York

Main address

PO BOX 335


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Subject area info


Wildlife biodiversity

Animal welfare

Nature education


Population served info


NTEE code info

Wildlife Preservation/Protection (D30)

IRS subsection

501(c)(3) Public Charity

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Tax forms

Show Forms 990



Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

"Trap Free Montana Billboard Campaign"

Our "Trap Free Montana Billboard Campaign" features billboards along major highways across Montana reaching tens of thousands weekly about trapping, its many wrongs, and the need to protect all creatures from this unnecessary and indiscriminate cruelty.

Our project began in 2018, with our "End the Suffering" billboard featuring a trapped and dying wolf exposing the truth and harshness of trapping. It's up in Gallatin Gateway, 12 miles from Bozeman, and in a prominent location for those exiting Helena, our state capital.

We've added "Indiscriminate Victims", "Killing Us Harms All", "Importance of Beaver", "Trapping Hurts All", "Be Our Voice", "Protect Us", and assisted with our affiliate, TFMPL"s, "See the Traps - Neither Does She".

Our billboards have been or continue in Billings, Great Falls, Clancy, Basin, Florence, Ramsay, Havre, E. Helena, W. Yellowstone, Frenchtown, Red Lodge, Glendive, Libby, and Cut Bank.

Donations make this costly, yet worthwhile, project possible!

Population(s) Served

Beaver are the most important mammal in North America for water conservation, wildlife habitat, and are our ally in fighting climate change. An estimated 85% of wildlife rely upon beaver and 50% of threatened and endangered species are dependent on the wetlands beaver create. They need to be respected and protected. It is scientifically unjust for the relentless unregulated recreational trapping of beaver to continue in our state of Montana.

Our efforts continue to educate the public about the vital role of beaver, a keystone species, and who are central to life. In addition to our "Importance of Beaver" billboard, we promote the use of non-lethal alternatives in addressing real or potential conflicts. These methods are proven to be cost effective with long term efficiency. A fund is earmarked for such efforts.

Our advocacy continues for the beaver in Beaver Creek Park, Havre, Montana, whereby the long standing reaction to them has been to trap and kill them, repeat. In response a fully funded grant in 2020 to the park was offered for a non-lethal demo project, but was denied by the park board and Hill county commissioners. Our outreach continues for the beaver, the wildlife, the park visitors, and the surrounding agricultural areas dependent on the water and wetlands the beaver provides.

Trap Free seeks to collaborate with many other interested parties and get many on board in support of the beavers across our vast state in which drought, temperatures, and fires have increased, whereas snow and water have decreased.

To learn more visit:

Population(s) Served

A primary goal of Trap Free Montana and our affiliate, Trap Free Montana Public Lands (TFMPL) is to save the rare ~ 5 pound little swift fox.

Swift fox are shy, fast, nocturnal, members of the vixens, i.e. fox family, that live on the grasslands. Scientists refer to them as indicators of healthy prairies. The swift fox feed on grasshoppers, other insects, and rodents thereby benefitting the vast agricultural lands surrounding them. These highly curious little vixens, the size of a small house cat, are reportedly very easy to trap. Their pelt is worth about $7, equivalent basically to their weight. According to the Montana furbearer coordinator, swift fox are trapped for notoriety purposes.

With the use of widespread traps and poisons in the war waged against wild canines and prairie dogs, the swift fox was extirpated in Montana and believed extinct by 1969.

Swift fox have since returned to Montana from reintroduction efforts in the late 1980s -1990s across the border in Canada, where they remain protected. Swift fox were also re-introduced on a few Native American reservations in Montana. Listed as a candidate under the ESA in 1995, swift fox were later removed as their numbers and expansion began to improve.

The highest recorded swift fox estimated population in Montana ever reached was 523 in the 2005-2006 census. Per trapper's request a trapping season was opened on the swift fox in Montana in 2010.

The last census, 2014-2015, indicated a population decline of 33% to less than 350 swift fox remaining in Montana. Recent research finds their future is bleak. Habitat loss, severe winters, drought, and climate change, remain major threats for the swift fox.

Yet, despite our persistent opposition, the Montana trapping season on swift fox remains open, and has even been expanded into new areas.

Trap Free Montana and our partner TFMPL remain the only known non-profit organizations fighting for the imperiled swift fox in Montana.

Our work for this little fox has not and will not wane.

To learn more visit:

Population(s) Served

Trap Free Montana examines the hidden, secreted, historically, unknown truths in trapping.
We address the many wrongs with trapping and give testimony for the various targeted and non-targeted trapping victims, paying also towards some of their medical costs.
We expose how unregulated trapping is and the multiple loopholes in the lax and few Montana trapping regulations.
We propose commonly asked questions regarding trapping , the factual answers, and in keeping with our high standards for credibility.
We instruct people on how to look for signs of trapping and how to open traps and snares.
We promote non-lethal measures and offer support where needed.
We share our ever-growing knowledge via social media, presentations, interviews, public speaking, guest columns, blogs, podcasts, handouts, events, and on our website. In doing so, we educate the public and increase public awareness about trapping.
Whereas a decade or so ago, Montanans did not know trapping still went on, it is evident, they no longer have any doubt and are growing in opposition.

Population(s) Served

Trap Free Montana offers a reprieve at times from the darkened and disturbing world of trapping.
We share facts, beautiful captivating photos, entertaining and informative videos of various wildlife species to foster an understanding and appreciation of them. This is an ongoing and growing project as there are many incredible and often misunderstood species out there.

Knowledge leads to caring, advocacy, defending, and to protecting.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

We aim to connect hearts and minds through the best available science, the truths in trapping, appreciation and compassion for wildlife. We work to increase public awareness about the myths surrounding trapping. With that knowledge and connection with wildlife, our objective is for people to effectively rise to the plight of wildlife, oppose trapping and support biodiversity, coexistence, and responsible stewardship.

A major goal of ours is to protect beaver from trapping and killing. Beaver rightfully earned the distinction central to all life. Our objective is to educate the public on their vital importance for water resources, fisheries, big game browse, fire fighting, agriculture, wildlife, including beaver dependent habitat for rare and endangered species, and for climate change. We seek to continue to promote the effective means to reduce conflicts and spare the status quo of trapping and destroying beaver, same as other wildlife, repeat.

We strive to end trapping on public lands, wildlife's rightful and dwindling home, for them and for our safe use. Through our advocacy and support, we aim for non-lethal methods to be the norm on public and private land to mitigate conflict and respectfully coexist with other creatures.

Our goal is to accomplish respect and appreciation for wildlife and in contrast to indiscriminate and cruel trapping and snaring. Our purpose is to support wildlife and the many challenges they face by ending the unnecessary and brutal trapping and destroying of them which puts some species at greater risk of extirpation.

We hope to accomplish major trapping reform with 24 hr/daily trap checks being a primary goal to help end the suffering.

Our goal is to empower the people and inspire them to increase their voice for wildlife and their rightful role in the ecosystem.

Our goal is to promote an understanding of wildlife and the interconnections. We strive to achieve respect and appreciation for wildlife fostering compassion and love.

We focus on wildlife being honored for their intrinsic worth, rather than the increasing price on their heads. We strive for the protection of wildlife for present and future generations under the public trust.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback


Trap Free Montana
Fiscal year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

Revenue vs. expenses:  breakdown

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Trap Free Montana

Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

Trap Free Montana

Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

The balance sheet gives a snapshot of the financial health of an organization at a particular point in time. An organization's total assets should generally exceed its total liabilities, or it cannot survive long, but the types of assets and liabilities must also be considered. For instance, an organization's current assets (cash, receivables, securities, etc.) should be sufficient to cover its current liabilities (payables, deferred revenue, current year loan, and note payments). Otherwise, the organization may face solvency problems. On the other hand, an organization whose cash and equivalents greatly exceed its current liabilities might not be putting its money to best use.

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data


The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Letter of Determination is not available for this organization
Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization


As a life-long advocate, starting in early childhood, for the underdogs, animals, my passion for wildlife and their rightful role on the planet has only intensified. It isn't easy being wild and humans make it all the harder. My educational background and work experience provides a foundation to grow upon in promoting understanding and respect for the natural world and the two and four legged who call it home. We are all interconnected.

Trap Free Montana

Officers, directors, trustees, and key employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

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Compensation data
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There are no highest paid employees recorded for this organization.

Trap Free Montana

Board of directors
as of 07/17/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board chair

KC York

Barbara Booher

Ted Saurman

Mary Wulff

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 5/30/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation


Equity strategies

Last updated: 05/30/2023

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
Policies and processes
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.