Every now and then we pass through a news cycle that is so full of beaver benefits and so absent of stupidity I begin to feel like we’ve finally turned an important corner – that all across the country people are understanding more about the good beavers do and why they should solve problems without trapping.
Then there’s a day like today when I remember that people from one side of this country to the other (and everywhere in between) are still deeply committed to their stupidity about beavers. And it shows zero sign of evaporating.
We can start with the tail bounty they’re increasing in Winnebago County in Iowa. From now on, every person who brings in a cut tail will get 50.00$ instead of 25.00. Don’t worry, they have to prove it was from that county. I don’t know how. Maybe the beavers in Iowa have license plates?
Then we can march 1000 miles across the state to Salem, Maryland where they’re tossing around ecological phrases to justify killing beavers by aiming the USDA at them. These are my favorite quotes.
“They’re damaging the ecological forests, as well as the timber value, because no one is going to be able to go in there and harvest that timber now,” said Libby Nagel of Salem.
“It’s killing the trees and the branches that absorb the nutrients. It’s killing a lot of habitat, mainly causing flooding in fields,” said Eberspacher.
Ecological forests? Absorbing nutrients? Did someone drop out of college after ecology 101? We should all be reminded of Alexander Pope’s Essay on criticism.
“A little learning is a dangerous thing.
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian Spring;
There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
and drinking largely sobers us again.”
Apparently someone stopped reading before they sobered up.
Click on the photo if you want to see the newscast. The only good news from Dorchester is that when I first saw the story last night they were running it with my very favorite KIT PHOTO by CHERYL! I summoned all my doctoral indignation and wrote the station manager that if they were going to rifle through our website and STEAL anything they wanted they might at least have read the information while they were there.
This morning it’s magically swapped for an NPS photo. I thought it might be, so I took this screen shot last night.
According to MEA spokeswoman Julie Estey, the main outage — first reported on the MEA Facebook page just after 11 a.m. — cut power to roughly 3,700 customers. Estey estimates the second incident temporarily left fewer than a dozen people in the dark.
“It was actually caused by two ravens,” Estey said. “They were actually in a substation, and they took out one of the breakers.”
The Douglas substation where the breaker was located covers much of Willow all the way north to Talkeetna. Estey says the outage was first detected at 10:56 a.m., with power restored by 12:18 p.m.
A second, smaller outage reported between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. affected fewer than a dozen people on Willow Fishhook Road. While crews were quickly able to repair the line, the area was within the substation’s coverage area — which meant customers there lost power twice.
“A beaver cut down a tree and it actually fell onto the line,” Estey said. “So they got their power restored, and then they got hit by the ravens.”