Archive for the ‘Who’s blaming beavers now?’ Category

Franklin Fumbles Frantically

Posted by heidi08 On August - 4 - 2017Comments Off on Franklin Fumbles Frantically

We have visited the town of Franklin, Massachusetts before. The town is thAmeribeavere site of the very first library in America, created by the donation of books from Benjamin Franklin himself. It has a beautiful 136-acre nature reserve that it recently decided to turn into a formal park. And guess what’s there mucking up all that nature? Obviously the town is unaware of it’s patron’s affection for the animal. Or how he cast them as the noble creature that bravely fought the British. I wonder if someone like me will write them and tell them.

Franklin: Beavers raising water, worries

FRANKLIN — Local officials are weighing what to do with a colony of beavers whose natural handiwork threatens an earthen berm at DelCarte Reservation off Pleasant Street.

An expert from ESS Group, an environmental engineering firm, walked around the ponds and other parts of the reservation on April 7 looking for signs of beaver busywork. After discovering that the critters were indeed making themselves at home, ESS installed a motion-activated camera for 13 days.

Four beaver lodges were found along the shoreline, two of which appear to be in use. One dam in the area is blocking water flow from the upper basin to the southern basin. The dam is flooding trees near a berm on the upper basin, or pond, according to an ESS study. That could be a problem if the berm continues to flood.

“There are undesirable conditions which, over time or during a large rainfall event, could lead to erosion of the earthen berm and potentially impact its structural integrity,” ESS reports.

ESS recommends removing the dam but first clearing trees from the berm. Beavers would use those trees to rebuild their dam. If the problem continues, experts suggest trapping and moving the beavers elsewhere.

The study also suggested the town employ a dam safety engineer to inspect the berm to ensure it does not erode.

“Keeping a berm stable is not too much money,” said ESS Vice President Carl Nielsen. “Building a new berm is very expensive.” The Conservation Commission will discuss the results beginning Aug. 10.

“From Mass Audubon’s prospective, unless there is a direct conflict, the general message is to leave them alone,” Lautzenheiser said. “Beavers are a keystone species in our ecosystems. A lot of the other animals would not be in the landscape without beavers.”Trapping beavers without a license is illegal in Massachusetts, however trappers can perform emergency trapping at any time if authorized by the town. Beaver populations in the state have fluctuated , and their numbers are now back up where they once were.Capture

“When beavers returned to Massachusetts and other places, it was heralded as a conservation success,” Lautzenheiser said. “I think the negative interactions they have with roads and development, greatly overshadows the value that they have ecologically, which is a shame.

Mass Wildlife furbearer biologist, Dave Wattles, said that since a regulation was passed in 2001 to give municipal conservation agencies the power to grant emergency beaver trapping licenses, Mass Wildlife has not been able to keep any sort of record on beaver populations. Wattles said his department also has little to no control over trapping license administration. He said he hopes towns will consider non-lethal and practical methods.

The best and most effective method is water diversion pipes, he said. The pipes, also known as “beaver deceivers,” are placed through the dam and into the middle of the pond, allowing water to flow freely through the pipe. This method effectively confuses the beavers, while the water evens out on both sides of the dam.

The pipes require regular maintenance and care to ensure they don’t become blocked. The town of Medfield used that method in 2015 to divert water at the Fork Factory Reservation to prevent flooding on Rte. 109.

In Franklin, flooding has yet to be a problem, and some residents, like neighbor, Karen Baumgartner, of 7 Matthew Drive, are enjoying the natural view from their own backyards.

“Honestly I go down there pretty frequently and I’ve only seen a beaver once,” she said. “Frankly, we love it. We’ve never had any flooding. They kind of joined the ponds together, so we have a water view. … We love the land, and I think that any creature that wants to live there, should.”

The study also suggested the town employ a dam safety engineer to inspect the berm to ensure it does not erode.

“Keeping a berm stable is not too much money,” said ESS Vice President Carl Nielsen. “Building a new berm is very expensive.”

The Conservation Commission will discuss the results beginning Aug. 10.

Conservation Agent George Russell said, “We had a study done that shows there’s a significant beaver population out there, and as usual they’re extremely industrious.”

Options for beaver problems that other municipalities have used including lethal and non-lethal trapping, said Tom Lautzenheiser, central western regional scientist for Mass Audubon.

Kill traps spark an ethical chord for Lautzenheiser, while live-trapping seems nonsensical because once beavers are released, they just dam up some other river.

“From Mass Audubon’s prospective, unless there is a direct conflict, the general message is to leave them alone,” Lautzenheiser said. “Beavers are a keystone species in our ecosystems. A lot of the other animals would not be in the landscape without beavers.”Trapping beavers without a license is illegal in Massachusetts, however trappers can perform emergency trapping at any time if authorized by the town.

Beaver populations in the state have fluctuated , and their numbers are now back up where they once were.

“When beavers returned to Massachusetts and other places, it was heralded as a conservation success,” Lautzenheiser said. “I think the negative interactions they have with roads and development, greatly overshadows the value that they have ecologically, which is a shame.”

Mass Wildlife furbearer biologist, Dave Wattles, said that since a regulation was passed in 2001 to give municipal conservation agencies the power to grant emergency beaver trapping licenses, Mass Wildlife has not been able to keep any sort of record on beaver populations.

 Wattles said his department also has little to no control over trapping license administration. He said he hopes towns will consider non-lethal and practical methods.

The best and most effective method is water diversion pipes, he said. The pipes, also known as “beaver deceivers,” are placed through the dam and into the middle of the pond, allowing water to flow freely through the pipe. This method effectively confuses the beavers, while the water evens out on both sides of the dam.

The pipes require regular maintenance and care to ensure they don’t become blocked. The town of Medfield used that method in 2015 to divert water at the Fork Factory Reservation to prevent flooding on Rte. 109.

In Franklin, flooding has yet to be a problem, and some residents, like neighbor, Karen Baumgartner, of 7 Matthew Drive, are enjoying the natural view from their own backyards.

“Honestly I go down there pretty frequently and I’ve only seen a beaver once,” she said. “Frankly, we love it. We’ve never had any flooding. They kind of joined the ponds together, so we have a water view. … We love the land, and I think that any creature that wants to live there, should.”

Poor beleaguered Massachusetts, it’s just Franklin’s bad luck that they ended up with those rare INDUSTRIOUS beavers. And that they are a fully 88 miles away from the man that could fix this in a moment. (Mike Callahan at beaver solutions) And that they are so penny wise and dam-foolish that they think that the law requiring LIVE traps means that the beavers get to LIVE. Hahaha, foolish little children. They don’t realize that live trapping in the bay state means you have to trap them live and then kill them immediately after. No relocation is allowed. And finally, poor little Massachusetts that thinks the beaver population is what it once was.

johannaI wish I had time for more sustained mocking because everyone but the Audubon fellow deserves plenty. But there are things to pack and beavers to festival! And yesterday we got a last minute addition to the silent auction from Johnna Eilers of Utah at Wild Unforgotten. She’s such the artist she even sketched the envelope, as you can see left.  The necklace is a simple beaver of hammered silver with tiny cascading turquoise beads and among the most lovely we have ever been given. Go check out all Johnna’s hand stamped, hand sawed creations, because they are breathtaking. She’s a wildlife biologist in the field by day and a talented jewelmith by night! Thank you Johnna!IMG_3559

 

Beavers swim, who knew?

Posted by heidi08 On July - 13 - 2017Comments Off on Beavers swim, who knew?

All of the UK is scratching their heads this morning and tsking at the news that a mother and kits has been suddenly ‘discovered’ in Beauly Scotland. This is miles away from the Tay or Knapdale, nearest the town of Inverness. At the moment they are exclaiming the beavers were “illegally released” because obviously there’s a beaver bandit of sorts who is running around the countryside stashing beavers were they aren’t wanted.

I mean the dumb animals couldn’t it be doing it themselves, right?

Row over illegal beaver family found near Beauly

Trees for Life said a mother and at least two kits have been observed on a river near Beauly. It has asked that the mammals be allowed to remain where they are or be relocated.

The government has instructed that the beavers be trapped and then kept in captivity. Trees for Life believes the animals have been in the area for at least five years. The presence of beavers has been found previously in the Highlands.

In 2008, one was found dead on a beach at Eathie on the Black Isle after suffering what police described as a “cruel” death after ingesting a large quantity of sea water.

Pohqdefaultlice suspected the animal was linked to illegal releases of beavers in other parts of Scotland.

It’s horrifying to imagine that they would try and trap a mother and kits so early in the summer when they’re obviously young. And more horrifying to think they could capture part of the family and leave a kit or two behind.  This story is literally an hour old as I type this and I can imagine there’s going to be a major ‘call to arms’ on both sides soon. The town of Beauly is over 100 miles away from the River Tay and it’s not like beavers could have travelled up the Tay to the Tummel to the  Garry up, walked over land a few miles and swam up Beauly Firth, because beavers NEVER do that right?

This seems like a good time to remind our readers that Dietland Mueler-Swarze observed in his book on behavior of the animals that beavers can disperse long distance over land and water. In fact he specifically reported on Castor Fiber:

CaptureThat pesky beaver bandit has so much to answer for.

Meanwhile,  here in sunny California the county recorders office contacted me yesterday because they wanted to make a children’s activity book to make sure their services are more visible and of COURSE wanted to pick the best possible mascot for their story. I’m sure you can guess already what animal they picked.

Remember, that the original beaver habitat was right next to then new county recorders building, and its previous head (Steve Weir) was a huge beaver protector. Workers would visit the beavers every morning before they came to the office, or tell us if there were new things in the creek, and they were the one to photograph that turtle laying eggs on the bank. Its second story windows was famously crowded with eager secretaries watching the shirtless Skip Lisle installing the flow device back in 2008.Long, long ago, when Gavin Newsome originally made gay marriage legal for a split second in California, Steve and his partner were famously married IN beaver park. I wrote about the huge historic event in one of my favorite posts back in 2008.

Let’s just say beavers and the county recorders office go WAY back.

So it seemed wholly appropriate for them to want to ‘launch’ their activity book at the beaver festival, and we found them just the right spot. I was given a preview of the book yesterday and because I’m very bad at keeping secrets I’m going to share my two favorite pages with you. Shhh

CCCIn addition to being darn adorable, I’m pretty sure  this is exhibit ‘A’ about the beavers’ civic importance when we have to go to court to protect the NEXT beavers that settle in Alhambra Creek. :-)

The heavy hand of beaver fate

Posted by heidi08 On July - 9 - 2017Comments Off on The heavy hand of beaver fate

It’s OGNS! (Only good news Sunday) And we have a whopping dose for you this morning. Starting with on of my favorite beaver stories in history. Ever. Sure, it’s not exactly well written, and  it describes a dam washout in the usual hyperbolic way, but it’s where the dam washed out that matters. I mean sometimes you just feel the hand of fate is playing tether ball with you.

Seriously.

Large beaver dam on county-owned land in Perryman draws local ire

 Beavers are unmatched in the animal kingdom at being able to alter and control their environment – unless, that is, they run into an environment already controlled by humans.

That’s what happened recently on a piece of Harford County-owned land in Perryman, where a resident reported the most intense beaver dam he has seen in three decades.

The local beavers’ hard work at a small lake on Forest Green Road, off of Perryman Road, has created a headache for residents and the county has begun dismantling their efforts.

Perrymancalvin-and-hobbes-laughNot only is the ruptured beaver dam in Perryman, Maryland (which I never knew existed btw) but it’s on frickin’ Perryman ROAD! For extra measure the article even goes on to talk about the good that beavers do for other wildlife. I have always said that I don’t really have ‘good luck’ or ‘bad luck’ – I have GREEK DRAMA luck! Coincidences that couldn’t possibly be explained in real life just happen in mine both good and ill. I have no idea why. But this is a fine culmination of a career saving beavers. Don’t you agree?

Bay Nature 2017More predictable good news comes from Bay Nature Magazine where our beaver festival ad is nicely placed this year. Combined With our Community focus, and Water bill ads my fingers are crossed we have a great turnout.

The third piece of good news is the VERY BEST of course. I’ve been told to give him or her time to get bigger before I blast it all over the press and facebook, but you folks are true beaver believers and I know it’s safe to tell you because no one but crazy beaver people would EVER read this site.

Check out their 2017 model. It’s a fairly dark photo because in the beginning the parents are very cautious and don’t let kits outside until the coast is clear. But look at that adorable face, straight tail and bright eye. I believe Napa gets a cigar.

2017 model in Napa

2017 kit: Rusty Cohn