Laws & Permits

Massachusetts Beaver Law:

M.G.L. c. 131, s. 80 A — An Act relative to Foothold Traps and Certain Other Devices.

The law grants permitting authority with local Boards of Health in situations were beaver activity is causing threats to human health and safety. The law also outlines what types of beaver conflicts could constitute a threat to human health and safety, though the local Boards of Health can use their own discretion.

Many state environmental statutes specifically exempt mosquito control work authorized under the provisions of M.G.L. c. 252, including, most notably, M.G.L. c. 131, §40 (Wetlands Protection Act) and M.G.L. c. 40, § 8C, (Conservation Commission Act). Because of this exemption CMMCP is not required to obtain permits from the Conservation Commission. However, CMMCP will notify the Conservation Commission when modifying a beaver dam (i.e. breaching or installing a flow device). CMMCP will provide the Commission with a copy of the CMMCP Beaver Management Guidelines. Any information supplied by the Conservation Commission will be considered when developing a plan for beaver control.

Note: Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) typically have considered the emergency permit issued by the Board of Health satisfactory for CMMCP to conduct dam removal and have not required any other paperwork.

Massachusetts Permitting:

Permitting for Beaver Removal and Beaver Dam Breaching or Installation of a Water Flow Device.

The main remedies for beaver control are trapping beaver, breaching dams or installing water-level control devices (beaver deceivers).  The use of these measures will be assessed on a case-by-case basis by the Wetlands Project Coordinator and recommendations will be discussed with the property owner and town officials.  The most appropriate form of control will be utilized per M.G.L. 131, s. 80A.

To initiate a site assessment, please e-mail Wetland Project Coordinator Katrina Proctor.