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Montana Beaver Conflict Resolution Project

Closeup of swimming beaverIn 2019, the National Wildlife Federation, in partnership with the Clark Fork Coalition and Defenders of Wildlife, launched a pilot project to address human-beaver conflicts using non-lethal mitigation methods. With the able support of a seasonal staff member housed at Defenders of Wildlife, we’ve sought to build greater tolerance for beavers on the landscape in western Montana, reduce conflicts with beavers, and increase awareness about the many benefits beavers provide for riparian and aquatic health.

Through the Beaver Conflict Resolution Program anyone who is experiencing or have observed a conflict in Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks Region 2 area can contact Torrey Ritter (FWP Nongame Wildlife Biologist) or Elissa Chott (Conflict Resolution Technician) to learn more about how to construct devices designed to mitigate beaver conflicts. Examples include culvert fencing devices to prevent beavers from plugging culvert, pond levelers or pipe devices to lower water levels upstream of dams to prevent flooding, and tree fencing to protect mature trees and saplings from cutting.

Watch a pond leveler being installed!

Garrison Pond Leveler from Midwich on Vimeo.

Learn more about this innovative program by watching this additional video, reading our 2019-2021 impact report, and checking out the resources below. You can also contact program manager Elissa Chott at: elissa@clarkfork.org.

Useful links:
Make Way for Beavers – 6/25/20
Good PR for Beavers – 9/2/19
Interning in Conflict Resolution: How do we co-exist with our wildlife neighbors – 8/3/20
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (MT FWP) Living With Beaver information sheet

Did You Know?
More than 80% of Montana’s wildlife species rely on beaver-created wetlands for survival!

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Where We Work

More than one-third of U.S. fish and wildlife species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. The National Wildlife Federation is on the ground in seven regions across the country, collaborating with 53 state and territory affiliates to reverse the crisis and ensure wildlife thrive.

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