Beaver Conflict Resolution

In 2019 the Clark Fork Coalition, in partnership with National Wildlife Federation and Defenders of Wildlife, launched a pilot project to address beaver conflicts using nonlethal resolution methods. Beavers provide many important ecological services to river systems and watersheds. Where they are present they can help improve both aquatic and terrestrial resources. In fact, more than 80% of Montana’s wildlife species rely on beaver-created wetlands for survival!

Program Goals

  • Build greater tolerance for beavers on our landscape
  • Reduce beaver conflicts, and
  • Increase awareness through outreach and education

Beaver can help:

  • increase water storage
  • improve habitat diversity and complexity
  • retain sediment
  • cycle nutrients
  • filter contaminants
  • enhance fisheries and aquatic habitat
  • increase groundwater recharge

But while the benefits of beavers are numerous, some behaviors, such as damming and tree cutting, can pose problems. “Nuisance” beavers have often been trapped or killed—but effective non-lethal management options can help reap the benefits while minimizing impacts.

Solutions that Work for Beavers and People

Example of a pond leveler.

Through the Beaver Conflict Resolution Program, we select demonstration sites to construct devices designed to mitigate negative effects of beavers. For instance, when beavers are plugging culverts, we install culvert fencing devices. If beaver dams are causing problematic flooding, we use pond levelers or pipe devices to lower water levels upstream. And tree fencing protects mature trees as well as groups of saplings trunks from cutting.

Learn more about this innovative program by watching the video, reading our 2019-2020 impact report, and checking out the resources below. You can also contact program manager Elissa Chott at:



Love beavers? SUPPORT the Beaver Conflict Resolution Program with a donation in the “Special Purpose” drop-down box. Thanks!


Beaver resources

Additional links and info:


Willow Creek Beaver Pond Leveler Project resolved beaver-caused flooding problems.

Special thanks to the MT Watershed Coordination Council (MWCC) Watershed Fund and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service for their support of the Willow Creek Beaver Conflict Resolution Project in 2021. This project resolved beaver-caused flooding problems for a MT Rail Link line near Garrison, MT by reducing the pond depth and preventing re-flooding of infrastructure. It also leaves the beaver colony intact, with a pond deep enough for over-wintering. Thanks MWCC, DLV Conservation Dist., MT FWP, MRL, and Lolo Watershed Group for their help!