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Western Washington can have relocated beavers

UPDATED: Fri., April 21, 2017

This is Chompski, a beaver relocated in Bodie Creek outside Wauconda, Washington in 2012. (Chandra Hutsel / Courtesy of state Rep. Joel Kretz)
This is Chompski, a beaver relocated in Bodie Creek outside Wauconda, Washington in 2012. (Chandra Hutsel / Courtesy of state Rep. Joel Kretz)

OLYMPIA – When it comes to relocating nuisance beavers in Washington, east is east and west is west.

Western Washington beavers who are trapped by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife can be relocated to a more opportune location west of the Cascades, a bill signed into law by Gov. Jay Inslee Thursday says.

The department has had a program to relocate nuisance beavers it traps in Eastern Washington for several years, with the restriction that they can’t be shipped over the mountains to the “wet side” of the state. The program started when Rep. Joel Kretz, R-Wauconda, thought some of the toothy rodents that the department was already trapping might be sent to land owners that were trying to improve their water tables by impounding creeks or streams.

This year, some Western Washington landowners decided they wanted to try it, too. The original bill took Kretz several tries to make it through the Legislature. This bill passed the House 98-0, and the Senate 45-1.

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