Beaver Damage Management Services Update

The NC Cooperative Extension – Sampson Center has received a letter from Gerald Adams, the District Supervisor at USDA, providing a positive update on beaver damage management services. The services are conducted as part of the Beaver Management Assistance Program (BMAP) by the USDA Wildlife services (USDA-WS).

This update covers the period from July 1, 2023, through December 31, 2023. During this period, beaver damage problems were resolved at 20 sites throughout the county, 9 of which belonged to private landowners or businesses; the remaining 11 sites were along Department of Transportation (NCDOT) rights-of-way. Note that the services provided to NCDOT are funded by NCDOT.


Since its creation in 1992 by the NC legislature (NC Statute 113-291.10), BMAP has been a truly collaborative program, providing North Carolina’s landowners with affordable beaver damage assistance and mitigation. BMAP is overseen by an Advisory Board made up of representatives from the NC Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC – Chair), NCDOT, NC Department of Agriculture, NC Division of Forest Resources, NC Soil and Water Conservation Division, NC Association of County Commissioners, NC Farm Bureau Federation, NC Forestry Association, and USDA-WS.

The goal of BMAP is to address beaver-related damage on private and public lands to minimize financial losses to the parties involved when beaver’s dam-building behavior impounds water in undesirable ways. For practical and ecological reasons, the program is not designed to eradicate beavers; rather its focus is to assist in addressing site specific beaver damage issues.


Beaver Management Services Rendered – By participating in BMAP in FY23-24, landowners in Sampson County gained access to approximately $6,875 in services on top of those covered by the $6,000 county participation fee and were able to receive those services at a significantly discounted cost-share rate. In addition to the participation fee the county also contributed an additional $100,000.

During the report period, BMAP Specialists removed 8 (6 DOT, 2 private) beaver dams manually using hand tools, 12 (7 DOT, 5 private) beaver dams using explosives, and 64 (34 DOT, 30 private) individual beavers. They spent approximately 407 hours on sites actively addressing beaver damage (setting and checking traps, removing dams). Those hours do not include time spent on educational activities, administrative duties, or driving time that account for approximately half of the time spent on BMAP projects.

An important part of BMAP services involves educating customers about a variety of beaver management strategies such as exclusion, pond levelers, and other nonlethal techniques - a service which is provided at no charge. BMAP Specialists remove beavers and/or dams wherever deemed necessary, by request of the landowner, and always use humane and environmentally acceptable methods. BMAP’s 30-day guarantee means that projects are not considered complete until the issue has been resolved.

Resources Saved – BMAP services prevented the impending loss or repair costs of approximately $203,840 in public and privately-owned property in Sampson County:

$42,880 in crops/pastures
$5,000 in dikes/dams/impoundments                                             $155,960 in roads/bridges

Dedication to Quality Service and Communication:

USDA-WS staff are dedicated to providing high quality service through BMAP. Highly trained personnel provide year-round beaver management services using methods tailored to each project site and season. BMAP only employs methods that meet high national standards for effectiveness, practicality, humaneness, and safety. Its services are guaranteed for 30 days following the completion of a project; if a problem recurs within the guarantee period, the project is reworked at no additional charge. In addition to protecting property, methods used by BMAP are environmentally responsible, protecting natural resources such as non-target wildlife.

An effective assistance program necessitates those clients it was designed to serve are aware its services are available. USDA welcome opportunities to partner for educational events, outreach, and other efforts that promote BMAP services to the landowners who need them. Public meetings for farmers, landowners, timber managers, and other affected citizens can be one effective way to get the word out about beaver management options and who can help. USDA-WS staff are more than willing to participate in such public meetings as desired.

Useful information about the program, including digital and printable resources, are available at

To review the NC Wildlife's publication "Landowner’s Guide to Obtaining Services", please click here.