This AP story is worth a read. For over 60 years the US Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services division has pursued an aggressive strategy of lethal control and removal of beaver, despite much progress has been made in 'living with beaver' mitigation strategies that have proven more effective and cheaper. Some staff scientists within the agency have continued to ignore the science and improved management practices, and some have gone as far as publishing studies with questionable study designs and interpretation to try to support their practices. It will be interesting to see how this unfolds. First and foremost, it needs to be recognized that beaver can and do cause undesirable damage to some infrastructure, and mitigation strategies are needed. Lethal control is rarely effective in the long-term, but it could be argued it might be a useful last-resort in the tool-box. This is an interesting angle the plaintiffs are taking invoking an ESA take.