Right now, Bark is supporting a coalition effort by conservation and outdoor groups to pass three pro-beaver, water, and habitat restoration bills in the Oregon legislature. With enough support, these three bills will:
- Close commercial and recreational beaver trapping and hunting on federally-managed “public lands” in Oregon. Both are currently allowed under ODFW furbearer Trapping and Hunting Regulations. (House Bill 2843),
- Remove the law that designates beavers as “predators” on private lands which means they can be killed any time and there are no reporting requirements (House Bill 2844), and
- Provide resources for landowners who want to coexist with beavers (and other wildlife) instead of lethally removing them (House Bill 2689).
The trapping bill (HB 2843) has been assigned to Oregon’s House Committee on Agriculture on Natural Resources. Unfortunately, that committee has also been assigned roughly 100 other pieces of legislation—so this bill faces stiff competition for time and attention. If a bill does not receive a hearing, it dies in the committee and will not move forward for the next 6 months.
These three bills are all interrelated and complement each other. The habitat created naturally by beavers brings significant ecological and economic benefits to people, fish, wildlife, and forest. In order for these benefits to be realized, beavers must be able to safely build and maintain their dams while expanding their numbers and distributions across the state.
Oregon’s future water security, its streams, fish, wildlife and human communities need beavers, and beavers need the protection that comes with these proposed bills. Thank you for your time and partnership in support of creating a vibrant future for Oregon.
For the beavers!
Michael Krochta, Bark Forest Watch Coordinator