Open Letter: Coexistence with beavers in Calgary

A beaver family shares an affectionate moment in Alberta. Photo by Dan Pepper / Getty Images

Dear Mayor Gondek and Councillors,

The Fur-Bearers is a non-partisan charitable organization founded in 1953 to protect fur-bearing animals through conservation, advocacy, research, and education. We have received numerous communications from supporters and concerned residents regarding the trapping and killing of beavers.

Beavers and their damming activities can present many challenges to communities; beavers also bring many ecological and social benefits. The City of Calgary has noted a desire to coexist with wildlife and has made active efforts in past, though currently is utilizing inherently inhumane methods to kill beavers. These unethical methods are out of touch with today’s societal values and citizens across Calgary and the country are calling on their local governments for change.

We implore the City to consider alternatives such as flow devices and exclusion fencing to protect waterways, culverts and trees, while allowing beavers to remain on the landscape. Flow devices are systems installed that can manage water levels within existing beaver dams and infrastructure; exclusion fencing can also be used to prevent access for beavers to specific areas where damming behaviour may be undesirable; and, fencing of trees and specific planting can protect landscaping.

The Fur-Bearers offers a scholarship to The Beaver Institute, where individuals (such as municipal staff) can learn how and when to implement various flow devices, and protect infrastructure, from experts in this field. This program involves an online written curriculum as well as in-field practicums.

We have attached our beaver coexistence booklet for your review and consideration. Calgarians have voiced their concerns and desire to see coexistence prioritized. We are hopeful that Calgary will take advantage of these coexistence tools and end trapping activities that put people, pets and wildlife at risk of significant harm and suffering.

We are available for more in-depth conversation, guidance and providing educational resources to the City upon request.

Sincerely,

Lesley Fox
Executive Director
The Fur-Bearers

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Established in 1953, The Fur-Bearers is a charitable, non-partisan organization whose goals are to end the commercial fur trade and promote solutions for wildlife coexistence in communities. Your donation is tax-deductible. Charitable registration number: 130006125RR0002

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