Sometimes I think about our tiny creek and dainty little dam and how disproportionately worried Martinez got when the beavers came. Even before the flow device the dam was never that big. I remember kicking the street-side mudded edge out with our feet in the morning because we didn’t want the city to be upset that it was growing. What would it have ultimately looked like if Skip had never come? Would Castro Street be under water? Would the creek Monkey? Would the county recorders office? You really get an idea of how much they can change things when you see things like this.
“It’s an ongoing battle with the residents of Ridgefield versus the beavers,” said Beth Peyser, Ridgefield’s inland wetlands agent and conservation inspector.
“We have a lot of beaver activity and questions in Ridgefield,” she said. “Any homeowner that has a watercourse or water body could have a resident beaver. They kind of come and go.”
Beavers’ work can create flooding problems.
“The flooding happens directly above the beaver dam — when the beaver backs up the water, there’s a pond,” Peyser said.
“Flooding is always a concern when water is backed up by beavers. The term ‘busy as a beaver’ — they say that for a reason. Once you knock it down, a beaver’s going to rebuild it twice as fast and twice as sturdy.”
The town has sometimes gotten creative in responding to the beavers’ ceaseless dam-building, according to Marconi.
“I know in other parts of town we break them down quite a bit, and we put in what’s called a ‘beaver deceiver’ with a pipe — PVC pipe — and as the water backs up it flows into the pipe,” Maconi said. The pipe drains water away and limits the amount of flooding.
Jeff Yates, a Wiltonian who is director of volunteer operations for Trout Unlimited in the area, appreciates the beavers’ work.
“Ecologically, beaver dams are great for rivers and any kind of natural river system, because they help distribute the nutrients from soil and sediments across the floodplains, and cause new growth,” Yates said.
“All the sediments get slowed down when they hit beaver ponds because the water slows. … It’ll rebuild and regenerate the soil in the floodplain.”
Not bad for Connecticut in terms of accepting the things they can’t change. Beavers build things that save water, and if we rip them out they build again. And apparently some of them even know why it matters. Its all good for the fish, says Trout Unlimited. That’s about as good as we can hope for in that neck of the woods. I’m saving this article in my ‘good news’ hope chest.
Rusty of Napatopia has been enjoying better and better luck at the pond. Yesterday he saw three beavers at once, and one brave soul stayed to eat the new grass and allowed excellent photos. Thanks for sharing!
One last sweet before I leave you. And its from Barbara of Marin via her friend JFG. It makes me very happy, and I’m pleased to think that it definitely proves that Nature is more powerful than Science. At least some of the time.
The world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator has been brought to its knees by a beech marten, a member of the weasel family, that chewed through wiring connected to a 66,000-volt transformer.
The Large Hadron Collider on the outskirts of Geneva was designed to recreate in miniature fireballs similar to the conditions that prevailed at the birth of the universe, but operations of the machine, which occupies a 17-mile tunnel beneath Switzerland, have been placed on hold pending repairs to the unit.
The collider, which discovered the Higgs boson in July 2012, is expected to be out of action for a week while the connections to the transformer are replaced. Any remains of the intruder are likely to be removed at the same time.
In an in-house report on the incident, managers at Cern, the European nuclear physics laboratory that runs the LHC, described the incident at the transformer unit as being caused by a “fouine” – a beech marten native to the region. The report concluded it was “not the best week for the LHC”.