Urge the ODFW Commission to ban beaver trapping by 5:00 pm on June 17th!
Please urge the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission (Commission) to close all federally-managed public lands in Oregon to commercial and recreational beaver trapping and hunting [LINK TO ACTION] during their June 17, 2022 meeting, when the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) Furbearer Trapping and Hunting Regulations are open for revisions. This closure request is a climate change, drought, wildfire and fish and wildlife emergency measure. We ask that comments be made by June 10, 2022 if possible so that the comments are included in the Commission packets and meeting website. However, comments are accepted until 5:00 on June 17, 2022.
Image from Creative Commons
Currently the draft revisions in the 2022 ODFW Furbearer Trapping and Hunting Regulations still keep most of Oregon’s federally managed public lands open to beaver killing. Regulated trapping and hunting occurs from November 15 to March 15. These are the breeding and pregnancy period for beaver. Killing of beaver makes it more difficult for them to build and maintain dams, raise families that then disperse, creating more complex riparian and wetland habitat that provide many benefits to human communities and ecosystems (see Frequently Asked Questions for explanation of those benefits).
The Commission must hear from Oregonians who want them to take action now to close federally-managed public lands to beaver trapping and hunting [LINK TO ACTION]. This would represent about 50% of the state with these lands distributed across Oregon. ODFW does not have jurisdiction as it relates to beaver on private lands, only public lands.
Time is of the essence. Individuals should stress that bold and widespread action must be taken without further delay, and that there is no need to wait until ODFW staff respond to the recent Beaver Management Work Group Recommendations, scheduled for August 2022. Although these recommendations do not include immediate action items, such as trapping closures, the science and economics are clear that beaver can help address multiple important issues in the state. Closing public lands is within the Commission’s authority and the magnitude of the climate, wildfire, drought, and biodiversity crises requires immediate action.
As of May 26, 2022, 74% of Oregon is in moderate to exceptional drought, making it the third year in a row where large parts of the state are experiencing a water deficit. With drought comes wildfire and inevitably human conflicts. In 2020 & 2021, Oregon communities endured more wildfires than any time in recent memory. Farmers, ranchers, cities and towns have had water challenges and will continue to have more without widespread improvements to our stream systems. An example is the Klamath Basin which again experienced water conflicts between Tribal nations and farmers due to limited water for salmon and agriculture in 2021.
Under current global climate change mitigation strategies, salmon and other cold-water fish species may be replaced in many areas of Oregon by warm water fisheries over the course of the 21st century unless other measures are taken. Already some streams are recording summer stream temperatures of 80°F or greater. The magnitude of these impacts is directly related to human decisions, such as allowing beaver to continue to be legally killed as a recreational activity on public lands under the ODFW Furbearer Trapping and Hunting Regulations.
Beaver are an essential component to any natural climate change solution because they create habitat that will rapidly (and at the landscape scale) help restore water abundance and water quality and habitat stability and complexity to the stream systems and their riparian zones. Natural climate solutions must play an integral role in Oregon’s approach to climate change mitigation and adaptation and have the added benefit of being low cost.
Comments to the Commission are accepted up until 5:00 on June 17, 2022, but people are urged to get them in much sooner so their comments are contained within the Commissioners’ packets and posted to the ODFW website.
Frequently Asked Questions will give you talking points on how beaver can help Oregon’s human and wild communities and why they are so important and essential. It is best to speak from any personal experience you have about why beaver and the work they do is so important to you.
Urge the ODFW Commission to ban beaver trapping before the review on June 12th!
Urge the ODFW Commission to ban beaver trapping before the review on November 13th!
Your comment has been submitted! Thank you for speaking up for the future of Oregon's water security.