Beavers play an important role in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. They help create and preserve wetlands that spawn ecosystems germane to our fragile environment. But when their activities are the cause of problems such as a flooded septic system or roadway beavers create hazards for people.
The “beaver law,” M.G.L. ch. 131 s. 80A and the related regulations, 321 CMR 2.08 which became effective July 21, 2000 are designed to be a new tool to help communities better handle certain beaver or muskrat created problems. This law empowers local Boards of Health to help solve those beaver or muskrat related problems that pose a threat to human health and safety. Local boards now have the authority to grant emergency permits to trap beaver, breach dams, or alter water flow.