November 2, 2020

Oregon Fish and Game Commission to Consider Permanent Ban on Beaver Trapping on Federal Lands

Contact: Aoibheann Cline, Western States Coordinator

In September, a petition was brought before the Oregon Fish and Game Commission (Commission) to initiate rulemaking to amend OAR 635-050-0070 to permanently close commercial and recreational beaver trapping and hunting on federally managed public lands and waters in the state. The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) and a coalition of in-state sportsmen partners submitted a letter opposing the petition.

CSF opposes this petition due to its lack of science-based wildlife management justification. The petitioners claim that banning the take of beaver will improve habitat for salmon, however, the petitioners have previously acknowledged a lack of scientific studies and data to support this claim.

CSF previously opposed a similar and narrower petition to ban recreational and commercial beaver trapping in the Siuslaw National Forest and on state lands within the Upper Nehalem watershed, approximately 736,000 acres, combined. However, the Commission vote was delayed because it was improperly noticed to the public. The Commission approved the re-establishment of beaver trapping working groups to consider the merits and public opinion on the ban. The working groups were never formally established and instead, the same petitioners brought forward a new petition to permanently ban recreational and commercial trapping and hunting of beaver on all federally managed lands and waters in the state of Oregon.

The hearing on this petition is expected to be heard by the Commission on its November 13 meeting. CSF is prepared to testify in opposition to the ban based on its lack of scientific data and inconsistencies with the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation.

Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?

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