There are two remarkable stories today to share with you. They involve very hard work caring for beavers and trying to explain what they need to people who should know better, and bending the media into an ally that works with you instead of against you. One of them involves a Diesel Spill and lots and lots of towels, and the other a suspicious town that was practically the subject of an Arthur Miller play. Don’t miss either of them, honestly.
Uinta Mountains • Utah’s famous Willard Bay beavers got a new home and a happy send-off Tuesday after nearly five months of living in an Ogden wildlife rehabilitation center.
”I’m sad to see them go, but it is for the best,” said Brayden Child, a Roy volunteer. “I’ll miss them.”
There were periods of trepidation, fleeting moments of success, lots of baths and the never-ending hunt for fresh aspen to feed the buck-toothed creatures.
“It has been a roller-coaster ride of emotions,” Erickson said. “We came in every morning holding our breath while we peeked in and hoped they were still alive. It was hard not knowing what we would see or what new problems may have come up. We celebrated the tiniest bit of progress.
Beavers, Douglass said, are great habitat creators and will be a welcome addition to the river drainage in the Uintas where they were released.
One beaver injured his toe in captivity and will be released with the others later after it heals. Mom gets her own makeshift lodge at the other end of the pond, and the four yearlings will be cozy together. Congratulations DaLyn and her many, many volunteers. I know these beavers cost time and resources, but they must have brought a lot of visibility, resources and hopefully your next crop of volunteers along the way. Worth A Dam is very, very proud to have helped you a little in the process and I have only one question.
When do I get my signed copy of the “Beavers in towels” calendar?
As if that wasn’t good enough news you will NEVER guess who wrote me this week, after reading my comments in their local paper and wanting to learn more about flow devices. Go ahead, I’ll wait while you scan past my disbelieving posts for the past few days. Did you find it? It involved some grave-robbing turtles and a trapper who wasn’t allowed to remove dead bodies. One of the town planners for Danvers Massachusetts, that’s who. So I wrote her about our flow device and showed her options and resources. And cc’d Mike who wrote her himself! And this morning we see this article.
With the water rising, town officials hired a licensed trapper, and the Department of Public Works partially removed the dam and set traps, Saunders wrote, adding that a “more permanent solution” is needed.
Saunders suggested the use of “beaver deceivers,” a system of large plastic pipes and mesh fences that would allow the water to flow and is hard for beavers to block. They are in use at the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary in Topsfield.
The next step will be to create a management plan to find a long-term solution to flooding from beaver dams. Trapping beavers and knocking down dams will not solve the problem, Carleo said.
“When you kill the beavers off, because they are territorial creatures, new beavers will move into the area,” said Carleo, who said that the DPW will also be involved in finding a solution.
He said “pond levelers,” pipes that allow water to run through them but don’t allow beavers to detect the running water, might make a difference, but he said they do not work in all instances.
She wrote me a few days ago and said that Mr. Carleo should be copied in our correspondence because he would be the one handling it. Looking at his lovely quotes I can see he carefully read every word.
I’m hopeful that this means good news for Danvers and their beaver learning curve. But I don’t take anything for granted anymore. Way back when we were still working the farmer’s market I learned first hand that when our town was worried about beavers our then city treasurer saw a documentary on Skip Lisle and flow devices and she was so excited about finding the answer she invited the city manager and director of public works and the entire city council into her living room for a watching party. Finally a humane solution! No flooding and no danger and no dead beavers! It’s the perfect answer.
Guess how many of our fine city minds in Martinez came for the viewing? I’ll give you a hint, it’s a round number.
The good news is that this story is already being repeated to the media, which makes it very hard to pretend later you didn’t know about it. I’m guessing Danvers will be smarter than Martinez, and I’m very, very proud to have played a tiny part in helping them get the right answers.
Still, I’ll be keeping the turtle graphic just in case.