I’m still scratching my head about this article on Port Orchard in Kitsap county. The area actually borders Kings and Snohomish counties which boast the most enduring record of progressive beaver management in the world. They are literally in throwing distance of better solutions everydirection they face. I recognize the reporters name because I’ve written about her glowing intelligent reporting on beavers before. And now this.
PORT ORCHARD — It’s one dam problem that keeps coming back.
Kitsap County crews have been battling beavers for more than a month below the Long Lake Bridge near Port Orchard.
The persistent beavers keep rebuilding a dam, which the county removed last week for the third time since Aug. 8, according to Tony Carroll, with the county roads division.
Beavers can cause roads to flood, endangering drivers.
Trapping and removing the animals has been the county’s answer, until its certified, locally contracted trapper was hired by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, leaving the county without a trapper.
Now, the county is asking the department to help handle the beavers with a $15,000 contract through the end of the year.
So the previous county trapper loved his work so much that he got hired by USDA and now they are subcontracting the work out with a 15,000 a year contract. Hey, I bet you didn’t know that the old name for Kitsap county used to be SLAUGHTER county. Coincidence?
Typically, the county has about two or three beaver incidents a year when it can trap and remove beavers, according to Andrew Nelson, Kitsap County public works director.
So 5000 dollars a family? That’s your budget? Maybe I’m in the wrong line of work. I couldn’t believe the article didn’t at least mention flow devices, and then I got to this.
Beaver deceivers, specialized fencing to deter beavers and allow fish to migrate, have been placed in some areas to prevent the animals from building dams.
The county and Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe teamed up in 2010 to place a beaver deceiver by a culvert along 288th Street in North Kitsap.
While the fencing is a deterrent, it’s not guaranteed to keep out beavers.
“Believe it or not, they still manage to build inside that culvert,” Carroll said.
Of course they do, those scheming beavers. with their cunning ways and wire-clippers. It couldn’t be that you put them in WRONG or anything, could it? You know, far be it from me be like the loyal republican who says, “Conservatism never fails, it can only BE failed” – but in this case the tools are automatically suspect. I want to see that beaver deceiver that failed. And Beaver Deceivers helping fish migration? I blame Mike Callahan for that. I knew his specially adapted flow devices would give people the wrong idea. And here’s proof.
For the record, they’re helping fish maneuver the flow device, not the dam.
On that note, we will say goodbye to the “you’ve got to be kidding me” in Kitsap story, and talked about our favorite topic. Citizens protecting beavers. This time in Milford, MA.
MILFORD – A few residents joined environmental activist Suzanne Fournier Monday night as she continued to criticize town officials for breaching the dam at Heron Pond.
Fournier, who wrote in a letter to the editor of The Cabinet last week that removing part of the dam will harm many animal species, told selectmen someone should have consulted the town Conservation Commission and teachers at the nearby Heron Pond elementary school before the work was done.
“Many teachers are very upset about the loss of this beautiful pond,” she said, and the reasons given for the breach “are not credible.”
There were complaints about turtles and frogs and a ruined Great Blue Heron Rookery. The Conservation Commission who gave the orders has little to say for itself, but gosh, they’re thinking about using a flow device next time.
Selectmen did not respond to the comments, but Fred Elkind, the town’s environmental programs coordinator, said last week that no real harm was done to the dam or the pond by the breaching, which was done in August.
The Conservation Commission is looking into the possibility of installing a pipe and fence system, he said, that could help control beaver activity, as Fournier has suggested.
Now you’re thinking about following her advice? Now that you’ve tried every conceivable way to ruin things on your own? I think your body is laboring under a misnomer.
You should be called the “Destruction Commission”.
And Suzanne, Worth A Dam is VERY proud of you and your neighbors. Your next step is to get the kids in those classrooms and bring them on a fieldtrip to the ruined dam. It’s a science project on habitat and ecosystems. Have them all draw something that was harmed by the damaged wetlands. You know, the frogs and the fish and the blue herons. Invite the art teacher to cut them out and put them on a mural. And oh, call the media and invite them to photograph kids at the ruined dam.
That flow device will start looking better and better to those commissioners. I guarantee it.