National Beaver Working Groups

The National Beaver Working Groups (NBWG) are a collective of six-themed sub-groups researching, creating actions, sharing knowledge, and supporting each other through Science & Research, Policy & Legal, Beaver Management Practices, Education, Funding, and Communication. The NBWG’s were formed out of a national dialogue session held at BeaverCON 2022 and were launched in September 2022.

Our Vision: Beavers in North America are appreciated for their role as keystone ecosystem engineers with multifaceted, interorganizational support for human-beaver coexistence and mitigation of human-beaver conflict. Sustainable beaver management is guided by the best available transdisciplinary science within a social-ecological system framework and implemented through equitable and adaptive collaborative management for the benefit of beavers, humans, and ecosystems alike.

Our Mission: To cultivate links between practitioners, researchers, policymakers, funders, and beyond to: facilitate information exchange; provide opportunities for capacity-building for organizations and individuals; develop cross-sectoral support for human-beaver coexistence and integrative management of beavers; promote interdisciplinary and collaborative research; and serve as a trusted resource for beaver knowledge and guidance.

Our Objectives: We aim to: 1) act as an advisory body on matters of integrative beaver management and human-beaver conflict and coexistence; 2) foster transdisciplinary approaches to beaver management, human-beaver conflict mitigation, and promotion of human-beaver coexistence by providing a platform for collaboration and the exchange of best practices among researchers, practitioners, policymakers, funders, and other key parties from the private, public, and non-profit sectors; 3) cultivate and empower a cohesive community of interdisciplinary beaver researchers and practitioners through capacity-building in the form of developing and sharing best practices, assisting in resource acquisition for collaborative projects, and offering collective opportunities for continuing education and training; 4) generate and amplify beaver-related communication, media, and education to the general public; and 5) work with federal, state and local agencies to develop and implement regulatory mechanisms that provide expedited permitting for coexistence and restoration projects. 

To keep up to date on the NBWG’s please subscribe to our e-blast.


Logo by Anton Wroblewski.

Beaver Science & Research Working Group

Co-Chairs: Brian Clarke, Dr. Sandra Clinton, & Shawn Behling

Current vision & mission: The Beaver Science & Research Working Group functions broadly as a support system and resource center for scientists, practitioners, and any organizations or persons with interest in beaver related science, with the aim of compiling a database of existing scientific studies, providing a platform for promoting new collaborations and scientific research, and identifying knowledge gaps and future research needs.

Projects: The Beaver Science & Research Subcommittee is working on:

  • Building a searchable database of existing beaver related research.
  • Providing a resource to support and promote new scientific research, collaborations, and the exchange of ideas between scientists, practitioners, and organizations.
  • Identifying unanswered questions and knowledge gaps in beaver-related science and publishing these findings to raise awareness of future research needs.

Recurring meetings: second Thursday of every month at 11am PT / 12pm MT / 1pm CT / 2pm ET; scientific presentations and project-based meetings.

Check out the 2024 Spring Schedule!

If you have questions about or would like to attend future meetings the Beaver Science & Research group, please reach out to Avary Sassaman at

Beaver Policy & Legal Working Group

Co-chairs: Alexa Whipple & Rob Walton

Current vision & mission: The Beaver Policy & Legal Working Group is actively working to clarify existing beaver management related policies at the federal and state levels. We are collaborating with and sharing knowledge between practitioners, organizations, and associated stewards to chart a comprehensive vision and plan for progressive beaver policies and frameworks to support biological and ecological integrity of our watersheds throughout the United States, Tribal Nations, and Canada.

Projects: The Beaver Policy & Legal Subcommittee is working on:

  • creating an accessible resource that defines existing state and federal policies across the U.S. that are related to beavers, riparian, wetland, stream, and endangered species conservation and restoration,
  • exploring the potential for streamlining the permitting of beaver co-existence projects, staring with federal agencies including NOAA, USFWS, USACE, and FEMA,
  • creating a resource to provide a framework and understanding of existing federally mandated State Wildlife Action Plans (SWAP) or Wildlife Conservation Plans to better steer our policy makers towards fulfilling defined restoration goals in partnership with beavers or to provide pathways to include such goals in the next planned SWAP updates.
  • facilitating the building of intra-state networks to help connect people working with beavers or wetlands or related freshwater work in the same state to begin building alliances across agencies and NGO’s toward state mandated beaver management plans.

Recurring meetings: Second Monday of the month at 9am PT / 10am MT / 11am CT/ 12pm ET

If you have questions about or would like to attend future meetings the Beaver Policy & Legal group, please reach out to Adam Burnett,

Beaver Management Working Group

Co-Chairs: Mike Callahan & Jakob Shockey

Current vision & mission: The National Beaver Management Working Group is an ad-hoc, diverse group of beaver experts whose goal is to offer guidance to the public on the efficacy of various beaver management methods to support the widespread use of the best management practices. Utilizing over 5 decades of combined beaver management experience, our Working Group is uniquely qualified to assess, comment and guide others on what beaver management techniques are promising and deserve further research, and which ones have been unsuccessfully tried before and should not be pursued. It is our goal to direct practiioners towards promising techniques and prevent prior unsuccessful attempts from being repeated. This process is transparent and submissions for review and our comments are available for the benefit of all.

Our Group works collaboratively with the other 5 National Working Groups. If you have beaver management experience and are interested in joining our volunteer Working group please contact Avary Sassaman at


  • The Beaver Management Working Group has an application and review process to assess new and novel beaver coexistence techniques. Download the BMWG Submission Form to submit your novel beaver management technique for our Working Group review. 
  • Download a comprehensive guide to the best management practices to protect trees from beavers. Protect Trees from Beavers – BI Sheet

Recurring meetings: First Friday of the month at 11am PT/12pm MT/ 1pm CT /2pm ET

If you have questions about or would like to attend future meetings the Beaver Management Practices group, please reach out to Avary Sassaman at

BMWG Novel Device Review Form

Beaver Education Working Group

Chair: Alison Zak & Sally Albright

Current vision & mission: The National Beaver Education Working Group works to improve the quality of beaver education programs and the accessibility of educational resources for educators and ‘students’ of all ages across the United States.

Projects: The group has compiled a Beaver Educator Resource Library to support those planning to engage audiences of all ages in beaver-related programming. This is a working document that will continue to be revised as new resources become available. The group also works to foster youth engagement at the biannual BeaverCON conference, and collaborates with other working groups to support projects with educational components. Finally, we provide occasional beaver education related training opportunities and professional development.

Meetings: Project-based meetings as needed

If you have questions about or would like to attend future meetings the Beaver Education group, please reach out to Avary Sassaman at


Beaver Funding Working Group

Chair: Rachel Siegel

Current vision & mission:The National Beaver Funding Working Group creates resources and capacity for individuals and groups/organizations to realize beaver-related restoration/coexistence projects via grants (government, private, foundation). We collect and analyze successful beaver-related grant applications in order to get a feel for “what works” when applying for funding for educational projects, beaver restoration projects, and co-existence projects. Additionally, we are available to assist other beaver advocacy organizations and national beaver working groups with grant application review and funding leads. CLICK HERE to find out more about how to apply for funding for beaver advocacy.

Recurring meetings: Monthly

If you have questions about or would like to attend future meetings the Beaver Funding group, please reach out to Avary Sassaman at

Beaver Communications Working Group

Chair: Sheanna Steingass & Adam Burnett

Current vision & mission: The Communications WG is an ad-hoc, project-based group that addresses outreach, engagement, and branding, as well as a forum for participants to grow their capacity and knowledge-based in grass-roots communication efforts. This group intends to support and steward the efforts of each working group.

Projects: In Fall 2022 the group was counseled through a workshop by Dr. Emily Fairfax on how to communicate to the general public and the media on beavers. With this as a firm structure to build upon, the group recently collaborated on a communications campaign for International Beaver Day (April 7, 2023) and will work with the Education group to research and advance local, place-based beaver-related projects into a published booklet for preschoolers through senior citizens. In June 2023, the group launch a public program, Beavers Uncovered, on under explored beaver topics

Recurring meetings: Ad-hoc, project-based meetings

If you have questions about or would like to attend future meetings the Beaver Communications group, please reach out to Adam Burnett,

Goose nest in beaver pond

Beaver BioBank

Since beaver-created wetlands preserve and protect our precious, biological assets, we call every beaver pond a “Beaver BioBank. Learn about our assessment and data collection plans.

Learn more