As the most severe drought in the nation continued to pummel ranchers and farmers in northeastern Montana, in 2017, taking them by surprise, after fall rains and floods, untold numbers of beaver were still legally trapped 9 months out of year in eastern and central Montana and for almost 6 months in the rest of the state for recreation!
More than half of the state reported to be in a drought, with nearly 86% of the state experiencing "abnormally dry" conditions. Yet, studies found that "even during drought, where beaver were present, there was 60 percent more open water than those same areas during previous drought periods when beaver were absent."
"More fires are now burning in Montana than any other state! So far, they have torched 578 square miles, surpassing the land burned since 2012 and costing our state $55 million!" Homes and pets have been lost and worse, two firefighters have been killed.
So how do beavers help? Beavers create natural fire breaks. Their impact on water reservoirs is unlike any others. “Instead of (water) racing downstream and flooding, it’s slowed down and stored and you have all these areas of savings accounts being filled up.” "And those “savings” influence more than just surface water, as they can percolate through soil to become groundwater and recharge aquifers." This is of up most importance in our arid west for creating and maintaining wetlands, for wildlife, agriculture, drinking water, global warming and reducing fires!
Where is the science and economics when our native keystone species that serve as nature's critical hydro-engineers are trapped relentlessly for much of the year and do not even need to be reported? From voluntary reporting by only less than half of the Montana trappers, almost 20,000 beaver were reported trapped in the last 3 documented years for fun and profit.
How can trappers and Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks honestly proclaim that trapping is highly regulated and science based?
Please join us and speak up for the beaver and all their necessary significance, alive!
Respectfully contact Governor Steve Bullock and our Montana Wildlife Commission:
By mail: Office of the Governor PO Box 200801 Helena MT, 59620-0801
By phone: 406-444-3111 - Toll Free: 855-318-1330
By e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
On line: http://governor.mt.gov/Home/Contact/shareopinion
Montana Drought Is Fueling Wildfires and Withering Crops
Drought worsens, no relief in sight
Fires are torching Montana, and the money is running out
Beavers Can Help Ease Droughts
BEAVERS HELP BATTLE ONGOING DROUGHT
Montana Climate Assessment: impacts to drought, fire, and water resources - Sep 20, 2017
So why is the most critically necessary species for water conservation and wetlands trapped in unlimited and unreported numbers in Montana 6-9 months out of the year for fun and profit?