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: https://phas-wsd.org/event/volunteer-to-help-build-beaver-dam-analog-w-bhnf/
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:. https://phas-wsd.org/event/sd-game-fish-and-parks-may-commission-meeting-thursday-may-4th-friday-5th-2023/
WHAT TO ASK FOR:
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
Also visit our Beaver Campaigns page https://phas-wsd.org/beaver-and-river-otter/
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: