Looks like I’m not the only one that was disappointed by the New Hampshire response to beavers this week. After I commented on the article I got an email from Linda Dionne asking me to testify for their anti-trapping bill. (I politely pointed out I was 3000 miles away.) Turns out they had an incident recently where a dog was caught in a conibear and they want to outlaw crush traps just like Massachusetts. (There was an earlier incident where a bald eagle was accidentally trapped and it was saved by a police officer. Here is their petition. Now Linda has this smart letter published in the Seacoast Online.
Regarding the article (State removing ‘nuisance’ beavers near Exeter dam, Seacoast Sunday, Dec. 8) N.H. Fish and Game biologist Patrick Tate sounds ignorant about the importance beaver play in a healthy ecosystem. To call beaver a “nuisance animal” when they are nature’s best engineers and an important keystone species is inaccurate, unenlightened and negligent. Also, Mr. Tate seems to forget, or maybe never learned, of the recommendations of New Hampshire’s Wildlife Action Plan produced by the Nongame Program of N.H. Fish and Game, which recommends keeping beaver dams because they create “marshes, meadows and shrublands beneficial to many species of wildlife.” The Wildlife Action Plan recommends using beaver flow devices whenever possible. Flow devices maintain the beaver pond to a non-flooding level so the wetland is preserved for the long term. A healthy beaver pond is essential to a healthy environment.
Perhaps, though, Mr. Tate is simply trying to get more license money for N.H. Fish and Game. There is money to be made by N.H. Fish and Game by selling wildlife control operator (trapping) licenses and no money to be made in recommending the much better solution of using beaver flow control devices. Sad to say, when money is involved, everyone loses.
Great letter Linda! All I can say is good luck in outlawing traps because if we’ve learned ANYTHING from Massachusetts it’s that even when the battle is over, it’s never over.
Happy Birthday today to Cheryl who is still in a wheel chair and probably won’t be able to make the Worth A Dam ravioli feed this year. We will bring raviolis to her door, and activities to keep her occupied but it is hard for a woman who is used to birding and beavering in her spare time to sit at the window and wait to heal. Wish you the sweetest birthday, Cheryl!