Wednesday June 7, 2023

California Department of Fish and Wildlife

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has implemented a new policy recognizing the ecological benefits of beavers while mitigating conflict over damage to land and property (depredation). CDFW’s new policy builds upon its existing beaver management policies and lays the groundwork for projects that harness beavers’ natural ability to help protect biodiversity, restore habitat and build wildfire-resilient landscapes. This includes a process that enables beaver relocation as a restoration tool and a new non-lethal option. The policy also outlines a process to mitigate beaver depredation conflict, prioritizes the use of nonlethal deterrents whenever possible and ensures that lethal removal of depredation beavers is done in a humane manner.

The new policy, signed by CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham on June 5, is available on CDFW’s beaver web page. Here are a few key take-aways related to depredation permits:

  • CDFW shall document all nonlethal measures taken by the landowner to prevent damage prior to requesting a depredation permit.
  • CDFW shall require implementation of feasible nonlethal corrective actions by the landowner to prevent future beaver damage.
  • CDFW shall determine whether a property is located within the range of listed species and add permit terms and conditions to protect native wildlife.
  • CDFW shall continue to prioritize issuance of depredation permits if it determines that an imminent threat to public safety exists, such as flooding or catastrophic infrastructure damage.

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