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Montana Beaver Working Group

About Montana Beaver Working Group

Connecting and providing resources to people interested in the role of beavers in watershed and riparian health

beaver in water

In 2019, the National Wildlife Federation assumed a coordination role for the Montana Beaver Working Group—an informal coalition of about two dozen diverse professionals ranging from restoration experts to wetlands ecologists and wildlife biologists led by Amy Chadwick and Steve Carpenedo. Since then NWF has convened several strategy workshops, hosted webinars and visiting speakers, and produced a semi-regular newsletter to highlight new resources, notable stories, and opportunities for engagement.

The Beaver Working Group is open to all, and we welcome materials for the newsletter.

We’ve posted here primary reports emerging from our convenings, as well as the archived copies of newsletters since the beginning of 2020. 

2017 Workshop Summary 
2020 Strategy Meeting Report and Action Plan
2021 Progress Report
2021 Montana Beaver Action Plan

Montana Beaver Working Group newsletter archives:

  • June/July 2022
    On Being a Beaver Leader: Honoring Sarah Bates; Montana Beaver Conflict Resolution Project 2021 Impact Report; Eurasian beavers' impact on the health of other wildlife; effectiveness of four different fencing techniques to prevent beavers from cutting trees; beavers and Oregon's high desert; deserving beavers; Beaver: The North American Freshwater Climate Action Plan; America the Beautiful Challenge Grant Program
  • April/May 2022
    Montana Beaver Working Group leadership transition note from Sarah Bates; Alberta virtual field tour on living with beavers; Colorado Department of Transportation report with recommendations on beaver management along roads and the right-of-way; short film on Bonneville cutthroat trout stocking in Utah beaver ponds; new research on the political ecology of beaver mimicry
  • January/February 2022
    The Montana Beaver Working Group’s Keystone Role; new long-term research on the ways beavers support ecosystem freshwater conservation and stability; new LTPBR film from The Nature Conservancy-Wyoming; recordings available for the Montana Beaver Conflict Resolution Project webinar and the Colorado Beaver Summit; reminder of ongoing LTPBR virtual training through Utah State University
  • December 2021
    Low-tech process-based restoration focuses on Montana’s prairies; Montana Beaver Conflict Resolution Project completes a successful third year; Blackfeet Ksik Stakii Project Watershed Stewardship Award presentation; new video on Dixie Creek (Nevada) recovery with beavers; low-tech process-based restoration virtual project tour in southwest Montana
  • October 2021
    Advocating for beaver restoration in national forest plans; new research on beaver relocation; beavers and the Colorado wildfires; perceptions of stream restoration; interactive beaver exhibit at High Desert Museum
  • August/September 2021
    Drought resilience through beaver mimicry with Blackfoot Challenge; University of Montana researchers exploring the impact of beaver mimicry on aquatic insects, carbon, and methane; new research on design criteria for process-based restoration; new research reevaluating lost river-wetland corridors; report on beaver ecosystem services
  • May/June 2021
    A conversation with Frances Backhouse about her children’s book Beavers: Radical Rodents and Ecosystem Engineers; beavers featured in Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks’ quarterly report; beaver habitat survey webinar recordings and tools from Montana Natural Heritage Program; new research on thermal characteristics associated with BDAs
  • April 2021
    Advancing the MT Beaver Action Plan; Montana Tech presentation on beaver and heavy metals; Association for State Wetland Managers and Bureau of Land Management 5-part webinar series; new webinar and report from the Miistakis Institute; new research deconstructing the process underlying beaver-related restoration; recordings from the California Beaver Summit; new article on beaver benefits during wildfire and drought
  • February/March 2021
    Exploring the role of reference conditions in beaver restoration; Trout Unlimited Upper Columbia Beaver-Powered Decision Support System tool
  • January 2021
    Preliminary results from BDA Feasibility Study on Lolo National Forest; new research to explore the effects of beaver mimicry on riparian food webs; article on beaver and wildfire; presentation Integrating Stream and Forest Restoration for Watershed Resilience presentation; Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission “living with beaver” video series
  • November/December 2020
    Low-tech process-based restoration workshop in Lewiston with the NRCS Working Lands for Wildlife partnership; Working with Beaver for Riparian Health: How University Research Supports Conservation and Management webinar; Beavers without Borders film
  • October 2020
    Big Hole Watershed Committee complements restoration with beaver conflict mitigation; Beaver Coalition seeks input to update Beaver Restoration Guidebook; Montana Beaver Conflict Resolution virtual field trip; Miistakis Institute’s factsheet with cost-benefit analysis of beaver coexistence tools
  • September 2020
    Beaver mimicry aims to restore habitat in north-central Montana; aspen workshop; webinar on siting and design for beaver restoration; new research on water storage, beavers & wildfire, and quantifying beaver impacts in watersheds/headwaters  
  • August 2020
    Bureau of Land Management Low-Tech Process-Based Riverscape Restoration Strategy underway; Emily Fairfax talks beavers with National Wildlife Federation’s Artemis Program; low-tech wet meadow restoration resources; US Forest Service paper on ranchers, beavers, and stream restoration in western rangelands
  • July 2020
    Montana Beaver Conflict Resolution Project at Council Grove State Park (with video); presentation on beaver ecology
  • May 2020
    Montana Beaver Action Plan released; Helena-Lewis & Clark National Forest Plan calls out beaver for watershed health; Understanding Beavers as Natural Infrastructure Solution (Cows & Fish and the Miistakis Institute); beaver life history and ecology literature review; riparian and groundwater-dependent ecosystem assessment webinar
  • April 2020
    Montana Beaver Conflict Resolution Project launches second year; beaver restoration strategy meeting recap; Big Sky Watershed Corps project support; research connecting beaver disturbance to channel/floodplain evolution and riparian plant recruitment; US Forest Service on the “stream evolution triangle”; Ranger Rick beaver learning activities
  • February 2020
    Beaver presentations at University of Montana, Montana Tech, and more
  • January 2020
    Developments for a Beaver Restoration Assessment Tool model in Montana; Montana Water Summit conversation; The Nature Conservancy’s monitoring protocol; Heidi Perryman’s resources on living with urban beavers; Montana Beaver Conflict Resolution Project at BeaverCON

    Please contact Shelby Weigand at WeigandS@nwf.org to receive the latest email news and updates.

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