Archive for the ‘City Reports’ Category

Excellent Forum for ‘em!

Posted by heidi08 On August - 25 - 2015Comments Off

bb15th Annual Fish and Wildlife Committee Fall Forum

The CCCFWC is who gave the grant this year for our wildlife button activity (The K.E.Y.S.T.O.N.E. Project -Kids Explore! Youth Science Training on Natural Ecosystems). Because I’m never happier than when I think up a good acronym. We haven’t actually received the check yet, I had to send in receipts and a summary after the festival, but I’m sure it’s coming because they just invited me to do a poster session for their Fall Festival, to show off to fish and game  and other folks how cool the event was.

It’s on a night I have to be at the office so I can’t attend, Cheryl says she’ll see if she can go. In the meantime I’ve been working on the poster and thought I’d share it with you. I’m attaching the summary too. I can’t decide between this and an actual 3D collage with our beaver tail and buttons, but I’m thinking an actual graphic that shows them all would be easier for them to manage.

poster

A little bit about the day….

120 Children completed the tail activity, and 60 finished all buttons and the post test. 98% of completed tests show they learned how beavers help other species and parents verbally reported they had a wonderful time doing it. All exhibitors completed the post test too and reports were very positive, with 98% reporting they also learned something by doing it .

I’m attaching some photos of the children with their finished tails and taking the post test with their parents so you can see it was enjoyed!

Thank you again for your support of this wonderful day of learning!

Heidi Perryman, Ph.D.
President & Founder
Worth A Dam
www.martinezbeavers.org

The children’s post tests were my very favorite part of the day. I loved them standing thoughtfully and circling the right answers at my booth. Most of the exhibitors were also very positive about the activity, but one charmer actually wrote in a comment that we should provide the exhibitors water because it was hot that day.  The feedback was anonymous which worked in their favor because otherwise it would have been too much to resist grabbing them by their lapels and saying, “Let me make sure I understand. So in addition to our organizing the event, paying for the insurance, the park, the restrooms, the music, the solar panel, the brochures, the advertising, and renting a U-haul to set everything up for you at 6 am this morning, you’d like us to bring you waters for you because you can’t  plan possibly ahead?”.

Don’t worry. I left that part off the poster.

Across state lines…

Posted by heidi08 On August - 21 - 2015Comments Off

Slightly better article from Fargo, I’m still wary of these beaver saving efforts.

Activists to again voice opposition to killing beavers in Fargo parks

FARGO — Residents concerned with a plan to kill beavers along the Red River will gather at a Fargo Park Board meeting next week to show support for using non-lethal methods to curb the rodents, which park officials say have been chewing through valuable trees.

Kathleen Keene, a member of a local group of animal advocates, said killing beavers is not a sustainable solution because the dead beavers will be replaced by new ones coming in.

 The Park Board in April approved an agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to cull beavers, citing thousands of dollars worth of damage to trees, particularly in Lemke and Trefoil parks.

 The USDA’s John Paulson said culling methods include a lethal body-gripping trap and another trap that grabs the beaver and pulls it underwater so it drowns.

Such methods are cruel, Keene said.

 ”Just think about if your dog was in a trap like that,” she said. “A beaver’s not much different than any other animal.”

Well, yes. They are cruel. But it’s worse than your dog, Kathleen. Because your dog would drown pretty quickly and it will take a beaver upwards of 15 minutes of suffering to die. Kathleen started the online petition that garnered 58,000 signatures. Remarkable enough that Fargo slowed its grinding wheels of beaver killing.

I’m still a little uneasy with this HS advocate.

Dave Pauli, a senior director for wildlife response at the Humane Society of the U.S., is expected to give a presentation to the Park Board at 11 a.m. on Wednesday at 701 Main Ave. on ways to control beaver populations. Keene said she and like-minded people plan to attend the meeting.

 In an interview, Pauli said non-lethal methods are more sustainable than lethal ones.

 ”The Red River is a challenge because no matter what happens to the beavers, there’s gonna be more beavers,” he said. “It’s a flashing vacancy sign if they just remove beavers constantly.”

 Non-lethal methods include protecting trees with fences and special paint, or by regulating noise and water factors. There is also beaver birth control.

To be honest, way back in 2007, we spent a great deal of time on the subcommittee worrying about the issue of birth control. The Humane Society recommended immuno-contraception and that charming harrigan that advised city staff recommended killing the father so that the mother would be forced to wait until her sons grew up to breed. The looming population explosion was much on my mind during those days.

But the truth we found was, population growth was NEVER an issue.

Since beavers leave to seek their own territory at 2 we’ve only had the one family. And in 8 years with 24 beavers born in our creek, our resident population has never exceeded 9. Not to mention that out of 24 live births, we’ve had 12 deaths over the years. That’s 50% mortality not counting mom. Someone tell that to Mr. Pauli before he starts handing out beaver condoms, okay?

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Another escaped beaver, this time in Kentucky. Makes me wonder if he saw the story of little Choppa making a break for it. You know, a copy-cat beaver crime?

Henderson wildlife rehabilitators looking for missing beaver

HENDERSON, KY (WFIE) -Wildlife rehabilitators in Henderson are now offering a reward for information about a missing animal.

 Tyler the beaver from Misfit Island Wildlife Rescue Center disappeared.

The couple who runs the rescue say with help from donations, they’re now offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to her return.

 Another $250 will be given for her safe return.

Hmm, who do we know in Kentucky? Ian was on summer vacation, but I’m sure he wouldn’t take a beaver with him back to Cal Arts, right?

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Beaver fever: Unique collection may set world record

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Bill and Shirley Niese are pictured with a portion of Bill’s beaver-related item collection. More than 700 pieces of the collection will be counted at 11 a.m. Saturday in the Farm and Home Building at the Decatur County Fairgrounds during Greensburg’s annual Power of the Past antique farm machinery show. The Nieses believe the collection is the largest of its kind in the world.

Bill started collecting beavers after his Silver Beaver Award from the boy scouts. They just kept coming.  Now they’re couple is off to the Indianna county fairgrounds for an official counting to see it their collection of beaver items can qualify in the Guinness book of World Records.

To which I say good luck and, um, just 700?

With friends like these…

Posted by heidi08 On August - 20 - 2015Comments Off

 Humane Society to offer advice on Fargo beaver problem

FARGO (KFGO-AM) — The Fargo Park District will get some advice from the Humane Society of the United States on handling beavers chewing away at trees at city parks along the Red River.

 The park district caused an uproar last spring among animal lovers when it announced plans to hire the USDA to trap and kill the beavers, which have caused thousands of dollars in damage to trees.

 The society’s Dave Pauli says he has been working on similar problems for 30 years and may have some options when he comes to Fargo next week.

He says a solution is “always complicated”

Always complicated? The HUMANE society says that wrapping trees is always complicated? How complicated can it be? You cut the wire and wrap it loosely around the tree and close it up with a bread tie or something. Then you walk to the next tree and repeat the whole process.

Or go to home depot, buy a gallon of paint and a few lbs of mason sand. And throw a pizza party for all the boyscouts in Fargo if they spend half the morning painting trees. It’s not rocket science.

Honestly, maybe this is what progress in North Dakota looks like, but shouldn’t the representative from the HUMANE SOCIETY sound a little more hopeful? “You could try neutering your dog, but that’s pretty hard, and then he won’t have balls.

I think I need to know what Mr. Pauli gets paid, because even in North Dakota they might do better.

I suppose it’s always possible that he was misquoted by some doubting reporter. Maybe he said “It’s never complicated” and they didn’t believe him? Of course the AP picked this story in all the world of beaver news to pick up so I’m seeing it run everywhere including the SF Gate. I guess it’s national news that it’s complicated protecting trees with wire. I’m sure it wasn’t national news when it worked all those times.

Hrmph.

Here’s a story to calm us down after all that excitement. It’s a sweet reflection on a half chewed beaver tree. Enjoy.

Radio Diaries: Beaver Tree

Capture

 

 

Nuts for Scottish Beavers

Posted by heidi08 On August - 17 - 2015Comments Off
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Rhona Forrester

CaptureSo ITV is the Un-BBC in the UK with slightly more hip programming. “Nature nuts” stars a famous gay (they say ‘camp’) comedian traipsing about the country looking for and learning about wildlife. In the most recent episode he went to Scotland and visited Bob Smith of the Free Tay Beaver group.  Bob brought him by canoe out to the beavers he’s been following, and the host brought along a camera man from David Attenborough to catch the first signs of the kits.  Here they are discussing strategy. The host is on the stump throne, and Bob is seated with the canoe paddle.Of course I wanted to watch it right away, but the cruelty of nationality forbade me. It’s online there but it tells you you need to be in the UK to partake. Sigh. I knocked desperately on a few doors and begged as heartily as I could and was kindly sent a copy by a fairy godmother who warned me against sharing. I thanked my lucky stars and settled down for the treat. And what a treat! Beautiful photography, fun interactions and a beaver setting to envy. Of course the camerman captured the new kit and of COURSE I wept to see him swimming peacefully along in such pristine habitat. I assume this will be available outside the UK eventually and I will make sure to post it here, because you need to see it!

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Rhona Forrester

Some of the folks from the free Tay beaver group turned out for the shoot, you can see Paul Ramsay in the middle there. Everyone was excited by the final episode, which you can see by looking at the Save the Free Beavers of the River Tay facebook page.

The habitat is so different from ours I was gripped with envy I can’t fully describe. A huge traditional lodge of sticks and a hanging forest to forage. No trash or homeless. And a beautiful pond to canoe across and see the beavers from their element.

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Rhona Forrester

I’m so proud of what Scotland has accomplished this last decade. They overturned centuries of beaver ignorance and pushed their ecosystem value onto center stage. Both with the formal trial and the informal wild beavers. They generated interest and appreciation for a species that hadn’t been seen since the 1600′s. It has helped beavers not just in the UK but in every country by changing, informing and enriching the ecological conversation.

I’m especially honored to have met Paul and Louise and played a very small part in helping them coordinate support and generate media attention. I just read this morning that Paul is currently working on a book, which I, for one, cannot WAIT to read!  Their beaver work is truly and EPIC TAIL.

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Mum & Kit on the Ericht: Bob Beaver-Boy Smith

Oppositeville

Posted by heidi08 On August - 12 - 2015Comments Off
opposite

The folk who live in Backward Town

Are inside out and upside down.
Mary Hoberman

I was a little disoriented by this article from Brooks, Alberta – but then I tried to remember that the sun still rises in the east and gravity still works downwards. See if it has the same effect on you.

City in midst of beaver hunt

Officials are on the hunt for beaver in the Centennial City.

The pesky dam-building animals have been spotted throughout Brooks, including in Evergreen Park, Pleasant Park, 12th Street West and Prairie Meadows Close.

Beavers can be a nuisance to humans when developing and maintaining their habitat, may damage trees and excessive flooding.

City officials are quick to note however that beavers are not responsible for the stomach ailment “beaver fever” as this is actually giardiasis caused by the parasite Giardia lamblia. Giardiasis can be transmitted by drinking water that’s been contaminated by an infected person or animal.

If and when beavers are found on property, individual trees and shrubs vulnerable to beaver damage can be protected by wrapping the base with hardware cloth or galvanized metal fencing to a height of at least one metre.

Gardens, flower beds and groups of trees can also be fenced off with hardware cloth or galvanized metal fencing. Ensure the fence stands at least one metre above ground and half a metre below ground.

Wow, do you mean to tell me that just 2200 miles away there is an actual city that provides actual accurate information about beavers and tells residents they don’t cause beaver fever while advising them to wrap trees? I’m trying to wrap my head around this, but it keeps slipping out. Especially when I  read that the loud beaver-killing voice comes from a social media wielding woman who apparently lives in town.

Now do you understand my confusion?

Recently resident Kathy Denis Rowland took to Facebook to voice her concern about beavers near Pleasant Park.

“There are two beavers in the creek on Pleasant Park Road. They are making a den somewhere in the creeks and have chewed on trees,” she said adding they are seen every night in Evergreen. Evergreen Park is also being destroyed by them.”

City officials note that Alberta Fish and Wildlife officials have been contacted and that city staff are in the midst of wiring area trees to prevent beavers from chewing on them.

“It is an ongoing issue we are trying to remedy,” said Surgenor.

Just when you think you’ve seen it all! Something like this comes along and thoroughly shakes your snow globe, as it were. I of course reached out to Kathy on FB, let’s see if we become besties real soon…

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In the meantime we have a VERY SPECIAL BIRTHDAY to celebrate, for the hardworking man who makes so many beaver things possible. Jon bravely puts up with my schemes, checks on the beavers every day and nobly has managed to maintain his english accent after 30 years in this country. HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the champion that makes this possible!

jon

Beaver Sneeches

Posted by heidi08 On August - 6 - 2015Comments Off

Beavers busy damming Cumberland Land Trust property

TRUST beaver signCUMBERLAND RI – It was just about a year ago when members of the Cumberland Land Trust figured out that flooding on their Atlantic White Cedar Swamp trail wasn’t caused by heavy rains.

This trail off Nate Whipple Highway utilizes a colonial-era cart path along the side of the swamp that crosses a stone culvert thought to have been installed 200-plus years ago.

At first trust members poking around the flood waters last summer simply cleaned out the culvert crammed with mud and twigs.

“Then we came back the same afternoon and it was all plugged up again,” says member Frank Matta. “We thought at first it had been vandalized.”

It was about then that someone suggested beavers. “It hadn’t dawned on us until that moment,” Matta said this week.

Oh those beaver rascals! Plugging the hole you dug in their habitat so that all their precious water didn’t  escape.  You do know that their are answers to this kind of problem, right?

The group has also called in Michael Callahan of Beaver Solutions in South Hampton, Mass. He’s proposing a piping system that will allow drainage through a hole in the dam. The company claims to have resolved more than 1,000 beaver problems in the United States since 1998 by installing flow devices that keep water draining without alerting the beavers. The Cumberland Land Trust is looking at spending about $1,700 for the installation plus a yearly maintenance fee.

Whooohooo! Rhode Island hires Massachusetts! I don’t think we’ve ever had a positive beaver story from there. But here’s a grand example! Remember that RI is an island so the article says that after beavers were trapped out these ones swam through the Atlantic after being reintroduced in Connecticut. Cool.

And I haven’t even shown you my favorite part of the story. Ready?

East Sneech Pond Brook connects the town’s Sneech Pond Reservoir to the swamp then flows east to Pawtucket’s southern reservoir in Arnold Mills.

Sneech pond? Really? Dr. Seuss would be so proud.

And an awesome letter from Ontario in Parry Sound.com, I’ll reprint here in full.

Not necessary to destroy beavers, reader

I read with interest the article that appeared in the July 20 issue of the Parry Sound North Star regarding the washout on Clear Lake Road. According to the article, the washout was caused after the nearby resident beavers were killed, as evidenced by the photos of a dead adult in the ditch and a drowned young.

As an individual who has had some experience with beavers, who are often labelled “nuisance animals” I feel compelled to write.

Beavers are nature’s engineers. They live peacefully in family groups of an adult pair, their last year’s offspring as well as up to three to four infants born early in the spring. The young learn how to create and maintain a dam by mimicking their parents.

It is an acquired skill and one that is learned by trial and error over time. When one or more adults are trapped, as it appears to have happened in this particular case, the young are not yet at a stage where they can maintain a dam properly.

As a result, the dam becomes unstable and breaks, resulting in a tremendous amount of water being rapidly let loose, causing flooding.

Beavers and the role they play in our ecosystems are widely misunderstood.

They create wetlands (which are rapidly disappearing throughout Ontario); beaver activity creates critical habitat for so many other species including fish, otters, muskrat, herons, osprey, moose, bears, ducks, etc. etc. Beavers contribute to biological diversity and regional plant succession regimes; they control the kinetic energy of streams, raise the water table, create canals and generally increase water storage capacity of watersheds.

Mr. Rob Marshall, Seguin Township public works foreman, claims that they hire a trapper to prevent washouts from “nuisance beavers”; however, it would appear that just the opposite happened on Clear Lake Road. Because the adults were trapped and killed, the dam could not be sustained and consequently broke, causing the washout.

In addition, I was informed that a large culvert intended to assist in road maintenance had lain in the ditch for over a year; had it been installed, when the dam broke, there could possibly have been little or no damage done. Instead, I can only guess at the expense involved in the repair of the road and excavating of the culverts; this is taxpayers’ money spent needlessly.

I visited the property of Diane Dow on whose land the beavers had been living peacefully to see for myself the devastation caused by the breaking of the dam.

The site is where three separate watersheds combine into what had been a very large pond – home to many species of fish and animals.

What I saw was muck; I saw a muskrat desperately swimming in a very tiny pool; I saw a mother duck and her ducklings forced to sit in the open and prey to any predators; I saw dead fish; I saw dead water lilies & other vegetation; I heard herons crying desperately searching for fish in the once-abundant pond. The peeper frogs are gone; the turtles are gone. And of course the entire beaver family is gone, either drowned in the washout or trapped. It was heartbreaking.

Quite apart from the environmental destruction, there is another factor involved in this situation (and probably similar ones within the township and elsewhere). The traps were laid in the ditch along a well-used public road and very near a public beach, often travelled by neighbour children and dogs. What would have happened if one of these had encountered the trap instead of the hapless beaver? And the dead beaver was left to rot for three days over the long weekend in July.

To quote from the website of the Fur Bearer Defenders, “Often these issues result in municipalities hiring trappers to kill families of beavers. And while lethal trapping may seem effective, it is only a short-term solution. More beavers will soon come into the area to fill the open niche. This is an especially tragic decision because there are many cost-effective, non-lethal options to prevent flooding from beaver dams”.

As it happens, representatives from Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary and Muskoka Watershed Council are in the process of organizing a workshop for municipalities regarding successful alternatives to control undesirable flooding that may occur due to beaver activity.

The two groups have invited an expert in this regard to head the workshop. The beaver deceiver, beaver baffler and other easily installed devices have proven successful in many regions of Canada and the United States. Last year, one of the programs appearing on The Nature of Things entitled “The Beaver Whisperer” highlighted the vital role that beavers played in our ecosystem and also demonstrated the devices mentioned.

I would respectfully urge the Seguin Mayor and councillors to seriously consider sending representatives to this workshop so that you, as well as other adjacent municipalities can work on implementing long-term solutions that truly work.

It is not necessary to destroy beavers – Canada’s national symbol – and I sincerely hope that this letter will provide more of an understanding of the vital role that this animal plays locally as well as nationally.

Marilyn Cole, Seguin Township

 

With beaver friends like this….who needs beaver enemies?

Posted by heidi08 On August - 5 - 2015Comments Off

At least Vermont has the good sense to question bad advice once in a while!

Commission wavers on fate of beavers

Though the Select Board didn’t pull the trigger on the trapper proposal at its meeting Monday night, members were told a nonlethal alternative, suggested by a licensed wildlife rehabilitator late last year, wouldn’t work in the estimation of an expert from the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Chris Bernier, the department’s furbearer project leader, visited the site in June and quickly concluded that erecting an “exclusion fence” or “beaver baffle” at the culvert would be futile.

According to an email from Bernier, that’s largely because the culvert in question serves as the outlet for nearby Berlin Pond and any permanent structure designed to deceive dam-building beaver would be easily overwhelmed by water flows, require frequent maintenance, or both.

“It is safe to say any structure (baffle, fence or combination thereof) would be readily overwhelmed during even moderate rainfall events,” Bernier wrote, noting his “desktop review” of the upstream drainage area revealed marginal storage capacity and “bank full flows” averaging 229 cubic feet per second.

Now we’ve met Chris before over the years, and his advice has been a mixed bag at best. But I wonder if you can guess  what percentage of CDFG wardens contacted about the Martinez Beaver situation warned that a flow device would NEVER WORK. I’ll wait  while you think. 50%? 75%

How about  100%.

Okay Mr. Solutions-only-work-on-easy-problems…we understand your hesitation. But Skip Lisle INVENTED the technique you’re dissing, and he happens to live 100 miles from you. (2900 less than he traveled to Martinez to fix OUR problem nearly a decade ago.) Maybe you could, I don’t know, ask his OPINION on the matter before you decide, in your infinite wisdom, with your beaver 101 education  that this problem can’t be solved?

At the time, John Aberth — a Roxbury resident, college professor and licensed wildlife rehabilitator — gave the board a crash course in “beaver baffles” and “beaver deceivers,” arguing they would be relatively inexpensive to install, easy to maintain and significantly more effective than trapping.

 Swayed by Aberth’s presentation, the board referred the issue back to the commission, which has since obtained a conflicting opinion from Bernier and reluctantly expressed renewed interest in trapping. The request was briefly discussed by board members who did not take any action.

Hmmm, like valiant little salmon trying to swim upstream against a current of bad information. Vermont MAY get this one right with a little more effort. I wrote everyone I could think of and Dr. Alberth for good measure. In the meantime let’s hope that the vibrations of nearby Skip Lisle will shake them into paying attention.

Now for some eye candy.

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