If you live in Warren County and have a beaver dam on your property, you’re probably going to hear from the county attorney’s office in coming weeks. The county Board of Supervisors asked county Attorney Martin Auffredou to send letters to those who own property on which beavers have built dams, after county highway crews conducted a survey.
The goal is to inform property owners they may be liable if a dam bursts and damages public or private property, and supervisors hope property owners will decide to remove the beavers and/or their dams safely, said Chester Supervisor Fred Monroe, chairman of the county Board of Supervisors Legislative & Rules Committee.
Lord knows, we don’t like for the government to tell us how many guns to have, or whether we can spank our children or what kind of pesticides to use near our creeks, but apparently it’s perfectly fine to send spies onto private property to count how many have beaver dams, and tell them to get rid of them. Honestly, sometimes I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. It’s bad enough that cities quickly dispatch them on public land. But now you’ve got to scare property owners who appreciate them? Let’s hope your message is neither convincing nor contagious.
The decline of the trapping industry has led to a growing beaver population, Monroe said. “Property owners need to understand there could be some liability if a beaver dam goes,” he said. “If it’s on public property, the municipalities can take care of them, but it’s a difficult problem if it’s on private property.”
The state Department of Environmental Conservation can issue permits to landowners and municipalities to have nuisance beavers trapped and their dams removed. Stony Creek Supervisor Frank Thomas said the DEC should handle removal of nuisance beavers, with Monroe pointing out the animals technically belong to the state.
Trapping is an industry now? An industry in decline! Stand back – here’s yet another politician at his desk fondly missing the days when it was easier and more profitable to kill beavers. Get me a tissue. Do you really think they’ve thought this through? What if a landowner rips out the beaver dam, and the draining of water and reduction in hyporheic exchange causes a subsequent drop in the water table, and their neighbor’s well dries up? Is he liable for that too?
We need something nice after that article. Isn’t he looking fine! I think we are about a week before his first birthday.