Beaver Bounty

Res #: 11-10M
Number: 11
Year: 2010
Midterm: Yes
Expired: Yes
Responses Received: No
Departments: Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment

WHEREAS the beaver has been declared a nuisance animal in the majority of rural municipalities;

WHEREAS hundreds of thousands of dollars are lost to damages directly and indirectly attributable to the ever-growing population of beaver in Saskatchewan; and

WHEREAS the fur price is at an all-time low, making it not feasible to hunt or trap them;

BE IT RESOLVED that the Saskatchewan Watershed Authority budget be increased to help rural municipalities in clearing culverts and streams to protect roads from erosion caused by beaver dams.

Response from Honourable Dustin Duncan, Minister of Environment:   

While beaver activity can cause damage, the marshes created help buffer adjacent landscapes against flash floods because their network of channels, dams and wetlands slows water drainage, thereby insulating areas from drought and recharging groundwater aquifers.

The ministry recognizes that pelt prices for beaver are currently averaging $16.50, which is the lowest in the past decade and down from a peak of $30.00 in 2005. This has resulted in an all-time low harvest of 10,400 beaver in 2009-10. Harvest volume has traditionally followed fur market values. However, our government supports trapping as the most effective long-term means of regulating beaver populations.

Assistance for clearing culverts and beaver dams is provided through the Channel Clearing program administered by the Saskatchewan Watershed Authority (Authority). I recognize that the request for financial assistance significantly exceeded the budget in 2010. Your request for additional resources to help address the challenges of dealing with beaver dams will be considered as the 2011-12 budget is developed.