Living with Beavers

Image courtesy of King Conservation district

Living with Beavers

The Snohomish Conservation District can help landowners manage their property in ways that allow both beavers and humans to live together. We achieve this by providing landowners

  • technical assistance and education on the importance of maintaining beavers on their property
  • alternatives to dam removal and trapping
  • cost-share funding to permit and install beaver management devices that allow landowners and beavers to live together
  • permitting assistance to landowners interested in installing these devices

What are the benefits of beaver?

Beavers chew through trees, build dams, and plug culverts to create ponds. These ponds are critical to a beaver colony’s survival. Ponding behind dams and plugged culverts allows beavers to construct their lodge, travel, and forage in the water, where they are much safer and efficient than they are on land.  However, the benefits of beaver ponds extend far beyond improving beaver survival rates!

We encourage maintaining beaver on the landscape whenever possible because of the tremendous benefits they provide fish, wildlife, and people, including

  • slowing and storing flood waters, which recharges groundwater supplies,  decreases the severity of downstream flooding in the winter, and increases stream flows in the summer
  • providing critical habitat for juvenile salmon to forage and stay safe from predators
  • capturing excess sediment – which can harm aquatic organisms and carry other pollutants -  from the water column by slowing the water down and allowing it to settle to the bottom of the pond
  • providing wetland habitat for many kinds of birds and wildlife – herons, ducks, deer, elk and many more!

Evidence of beaver activity


Why consider an alternative management approach to beaver issues?

While beavers provide huge benefit to the landscape, there’s no doubt that sometimes their activity can cause major headaches for landowners.

In many cases, non-lethal management options are available to provide a long-term solution for landowners while maintaining many of the valuable ecosystem benefits beavers provide to the landscape. The Snohomish Conservation District continues to develop strategies to help landowners learn about and implement these management options, including permitting and financial assistance.  

If beaver activity is causing issues on your property, contact SCD to assess the possibility of an alternative management option that will reduce conflict and allow beavers to remain on-site.


News Articles

Everett Herald - May 9, 2017 - "Troublesome dams in Mill Creek fixed by the ‘beaver deceiver’"

Workshops and Seminars

Thanks for attending our first series of Living with Beavers workshops this October in Tulalip, Stanwood and Monroe!

News and Highlights

We may be able to provide you with expertise and financial assistance to help you

  • develop a management plan
  • obtain permits
  • install beaver management devices like flexible pond levelers and beaver deceivers
  • install protective caging
  • install native wetland plants along beaver ponds

Contact Alex at alex(at) or 425-377-7013 to request assistance and with any questions you have about beavers.