Silly me, all these years I’ve been working to ‘solve problems’ when I could have just blown them up instead!
Woodlands County offers a service to it’s ratepayers with explosive results. The beaver flood control program provided by the county uses dynamite to blast away beaver dams that are flooding resident’s properties.
Dawn Fortin, Woodlands County manager of agricultural services, says that the intention of the service is to relieve flooding on private property and near roads to protect infrastructure. “We call it our beaver flood control program,” Fortin said. “We’ll remove the dam using dynamite or sometimes we use mechanical means like a backhoe.”
Ahh yes, no one is happier than a technician with explosives at a beaver dam. Sure it destroys wetlands for fish, birds and wildlife, does nothing to prevent flooding, destroys creek channels and will need to be repeated next year, but at least the price is right:
Glen Renfert, agricultural services technician, performs the service and is an employee of the county. The service costs only $70 and according to Renfert, just covers the cost of materials.”We don’t want to make a profit on it,” Fortin said. “If you get a whole bunch of dams on the property and there are some that are not causing an issue. We don’t just blow them up just because. If we only need to remove two or three out of five, we’re going to save them that much money. We don’t want to incur more costs for them unnecessarily.”
Of course you know that beavers would just rebuild right? And that all those materials from the blown up dam might still snag and cause flooding.
Prior to blasting, the county sends trappers out to the location to trap the beavers. Once the beavers are removed, then the removal of the dam can begin. “Our trapper is a licensed trapper so he can harvest the beaver for its pelt,” Fortin said. “Other trappers use the animal for bait, the pelts aren’t worth much in the summer.”Woodlands County has a permit from AESRD to be able to perform the service during the off-season for trappers. Starting on May 1, and until Oct. 31, the county can perform the service for residents.
Well at least you’re thorough.
A story this funny needs a punchline. And I have one. The article is from Alberta, Canada. Which puts them around two hours from the top beaver researcher in the world. In fact, Dr. Glynnis Hood is currently doing research to establish the effectiveness of flow devices to regulate flooding. She might even be willing to send some students down to install a flow device for free. But go ahead, spend the 70 bucks.
And speaking of willfully misguided beaver decisions that don’t work anyway, guess who I heard from last night? Our old friends at the 4 seasons senior complex outside El Dorado Hills. Where neighbors got together to protect some beavers in 2012. They were eventually thwarted by the Orwellian HOA who hired USDA to kill the beavers and swing the dead bodies dramatically past the protesters. Blood under the bridge. Guess what’s back not two years later?
We have a new beaver population that has just moved into four seasons.Their fate is up in the air even though we have a new HOA board.They have tentatively agreed to work with us on the issue but I am not convinced of this. Would you be willing to send and email to HOA board telling them of your success and expertise in this area? Let me know.
What do you think? Would I be willing?