brown animal on body of water

Beaver Alert

We are supporting the BHNF Northern Hills District’s beaver dam analog construction project on Friday Sept 8th-9th. We ask folks to volunteer with the Forest Service to help build these dams.  For more info:


BEAVER –SD GFP at the Commission meeting  on May 4th. 2023, decided to keep the old 2021 rule and made not changes to the season.   A hunting season is adopted as administrative rule.

Prairie Hills Audubon Society  petitioned for rule change to seek a better rule, but the petitions were denied. For details on the Commission meetings  — here are links to May and June meeting alerts:.   

For June


While we did not achieve our objectives at May 5th meeting, the Commission may reconsider its’ season after seeing the population data on Black Hills beavers they collect in fall of 2023.  So please write to the Commission and ask for reform of the beaver management in SD and ask for river otters to be reintroduced to western SD. (River otters use habitat created by beaver. Increasing beavers increases opportunity for otters)

Currently trapping/hunting is allowed 365 days of the year statewide on private and public land except on Black Hills National Forest land and a subset of private land in the Black Hills. See administrative rule:    41:08:01:07 . SD has a law that allows folks with “conflict beaver” to call up SDGFP who will then allow them to kill the beaver (SDCL – 41-8-23). Staff will also come and kill beaver on request. Please ask SDGFP Commission for:

1. A moratorium on beaver hunting/trapping in the Black Hills Fire Protection District and 

2. Also ask SDGFP to reduce or eliminate the months of  beaver hunting/trapping from all other public land in SD, especially when the public land has a multiple use or wildlife management objective — to not allow more than 5 months of trapping/hunting. 

3. Folks should ask for 5 months of beaver trapping statewide (reduced from current 12 months) on private  land. 

4. Ask for GFP to create a management plan for beaver

5. Ask for GFP to prioritize non-lethal  control of “conflict” beaver

 Folks should ask SDGFP to create a beaver management plan, so SDGFP can address the importance of beavers as creators of habitat, and protectors of surface and ground water values and provide options  for non-lethal management of conflict beaver. The legislature was considering a bill (SB 73) in 2022 that would allow night hunting of beaver using night vision glasses (it passed).

We always provide information about contacting the SDGFP Commission and dates of the next Commission meeting in PHAS web site’s section on – Calendar events and deadlines

Written comments can be submitted at To be included in the public record of the next meeting, comments must include your complete name and city of residence and meet the submission deadline of seventytwo hours before the meeting (not including the day of the meeting) (Usually Sunday night before midnight CT or MT depending on time zone of physical meeting)  If you miss that deadline your letter goes to record of the next meeting.  Unless you want to contact each Commissioner directly (no deadline)  –  
You can testify at GFP meetings which are held in person and by Zoom, generally at 2 pm on the Thursday of the meeting, in time zone of the meeting.

Also visit our Beaver Campaigns page

FUTURE – SDGFP & BHNF plan to start inventorying beaver in the Black Hills, using helicopters, in a jointly funded effort starting in summer or fall 2023. They also plan to find suitable habitat for beaver reintroduction in the Hills & have habitat improvement efforts.

HISTORIC   – OLD FACTS FROM 2021 & 2022- They planned to have a report or proposal on beaver trapping/hunting in the Black Hills at a fall Commission meeting in 2021.  They actually had it at the December 2021 Commission meeting & no rule change was suggested. They claim they needed $30,000 to fund study to inventory the Black Hills beaver.  TNC has suggested it can be done for less money. Commissioners failed to pass rule changes for Black Hills beaver in 2022.      


Sign Nationwide Petition on Beaver to Biden before 5/31/23

Letter to Biden from environmental groups on 2/27/23 – 8 pages with lots of information on the issue: