Because the beaver isn't just an animal; it's an ecosystem!

The Martinez Beavers

Category: stupid solutions


Sometimes, for their own nefarious reasons, the powers that be decide to do a heinous, horrible thing just because it’s in their interest – even after they fucking promised not to. And because it’s horrible and they are breaking their worthless promise,  they send their most ghoulish henchmen out to perform the treachery on the sly. Now because the only goons they could possibly get to help them in this dastardly act are the knuckle-dragging imbecile types, the whole thing goes TERRIBLY wrong and winds up causing more attention in the end than if they had just did it on stage in a frickin’ tutu in the first place.

Which is where we are  in Beauly.

Trapping of ‘illegal’ beavers halted after two deaths

Two beavers have died after being captured by trappers working for the government wildlife agency Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) because they were living outside permitted areas.

The social animals, believed to be a male and female, are thought to have been living as a family on a river in the Beauly area of Inverness-shire. A baby beaver, known as a kit, was captured but survived.

The orphaned kit is now being cared for by animal welfare staff at the Scottish SPCA, and a campaign to trap more Beauly beavers, which SNH says were introduced to the area illegally, has been immediately suspended.

In a statement, SNH said the deaths occurred after screening by vets. The agency said: “Vets have established that the first animal was suffering from an eye deformity and a suspected infection. Work is under way to establish the cause of death of both animals.”

The young beaver will be re-released later at the site of Scotland’s official reintroduction project in the Knapdale Forest, Argyll.

Well yeah, we killed two beavers but one of them had a mangled eye already so it’s to be expected right? The other one probably had something wrong too, and that orphan kit is probably better off without his deformed parents. Amirite? We actually helped him!

Last night SNH said that the trapping and screening techniques it employed had “been used safely in many previous cases, and were undertaken by highly qualified professionals”.

Once upon a time they decided to trap all the free beavers on the river Tay and put them in zoos. They brought in these fancy box traps from Europe and they caught one beaver with their efforts. Poor little Eric, was sent to the Edinburgh zoo and renamed Erica when it was determined that he was a “she”. Is this ringing a bell for anyone? Guess what happened to poor Erica? She died. And the idiots who had ordered the policy started to realize it wasn’t going to work because there were 150 free beavers and not 150 zoos.

You would think that people would learn from their mistakes, or at least learn to dread the shame of more mistakes. Do you think they ever read the novel Oliver Twist? Making NEW ORPHANS is generally bad policy. The story is in the Sunday Times and the BBC and it’s only tuesday so everyone will know soon.

The Scottish government ordered the trapping and removal of the beavers from the river near Beauly because they had been released illegally.

Cabinet Secretary Roseanna Cunningham was clear in July that “swift action” was required in Beauly but little explanation has been given on why attempts by SNH to capture and relocate these beavers have now been curtailed

I know why. Because they got caught. That’s why. In a horrible nasty parent-killing way. If they were using those big cumbersome box traps the only possible way those beavers died was because no one could be bothered to check the traps and they starved or suffocated in there. I guess that orphaned kit was probably in the box beside their dead parent for hours. which is a horrible thought. But they’re just animals right? It’s not like that will be upsetting.

I HATE THESE PEOPLE. And their weaselly  lying murderous efforts to keep the farmers and anglers happy. I hope those dead beavers become the albatross around the neck of every slimy politician who wanted them gone in the first place.

 


I’ve been covering beaver stories a long time, haven’t I? And you would think, that in a decade of reporting beaver news I had read every outrageous thing that could possibly be done to these unappreciated animals. I would have thought so any way.

Until this morning.

Beaver trap methods cause resident concerns

The Town of High River will create formal procedures involving the removal of problem beavers, those that affect town infrastructure, after a report on social media led to outcry and questions to officials.

A posting on High River Respectful Rant and Rave in late September outlined an incident in which a resident saw a person shooting a beaver with a bow, or crossbow, along Lineham Acres canal.

“Come on Town of High River,” Sheryl Gorzitza Skory wrote. “Isn’t there a better way of dealing with these ‘destructive beasts’ who are only doing as nature intended for them to do?”

High River is just outside Calgary in Alberta Canada. Innocent child that I am I thought that shooting a beaver with a crossbow had to be a mistake, a benign action misunderstood or something done by some crazy bored teenager. All silly, silly me.

Kevin Tetzlaff, town communications advisor, said the beaver control program has been ongoing for a number of years. Calls from residents meant not all people knew of the program, he said.

“Yes, they are (killed),” Tetzlaff said. “There’s a variety of different methods the trappers use… Generally you can use traps that humanely kill the beavers.”

The bow and arrow or crossbow is another form when traps are not advisable, Tetzlaff said. The release read that if a firearm or weapon is used for hunting, police are notified and precautions are taken.

“We understand there’s going to be a range of views from residents, and that’s why, we really are limiting it to beavers in areas that have to be removed due to causing a risk to infrastructure,” he said.

If you’re trying to imagine what kind of town uses a cross-bow to shoot beavers, High River is a town of 13,000 and the set where they filmed Smallville and Superman III. Which means it looks just like you would expect have expected it to look 50 years ago.  I’m guessing since the canal in question is lined with homes they didn’t want to fire a gunshot and terrify the neighborhood. Let’s theoretically imagine  the sides of the canal were too steep to set traps.

But a cross-bow? Honestly?

The trapper has been instructed to stop using the crossbow in residential neighbourhoods, Tetzlaff said. In addition, the town will look at current policies and form official procedures, he added.

“Part of our process is we’re going to look at what other municipalities are doing to manage this kind of situation” Tetzlaff said, noting the town will develop a standard protocol moving forward.

Here’s an idea. STOP KILLING BEAVERS! Wikipedia tells me that the town of High River was subject to severe flooding in 1894, 1899, 1902, 1908, 1912, 1923, 1929, 1932, 1942, 1995, 2005 and 2013. They have continued to add canals and kill beavers all during that time and must be puzzled why this isn’t solving their problem.

Here’s a thought.

Capture


Here at beaver central we don’t ask for much. A little appreciation for the ecosystem engineers and a little creativity by officials who encounter problems. Medicine Hat comes almost close to meeting our very reasonable demands. Solve problems FIRST before you kill beavers, is that so difficult?

Parks and rec tackles beaver issue

content_Medicine_Hat_NHLSBeavers are felling large trees in several areas of the city this year, and Medicine Hat Parks and Recreation staff are now actively engaged in a trapping program to prevent more damage, says David Genio, superintendent of parks maintenance at Medicine Hat parks and recreation.

“In some places we have had to use these control measures but we only use them as a last-resort option,” states Genio. “What parks and recreation normally does is try to protect the trees before it gets to a control-type of situation.

“We try to make them less appealing to the beavers. We are going out and actually putting metal wire around the trees to deter the beavers. And then anytime we plant new trees in the river valley, we attempt to plant less desirable trees for beavers, such as evergreens, oak, elm and ash, to reduce the beaver activity in that area.

“When there is significant damage like we are seeing now, once all other options to prevent this damage have been exhausted, then we will proceed with permissible control methods for beavers as outlined in the Wildlife Act.”

I’m really torn about this strategy. I certainly like when parks departments say trapping beavers is a “last resort”. And I like when they say they protect trees with wire instead of trapping. But I’m not really happy about planting new kinds of trees beavers won’t like. Oak and Elm won’t be very hardy when waters rise which obviously will happen. And why, oh why, are you “trying” to protect trees with wire? Why isn’t it succeeding?

Either the beavers of Alberta have learned how to use wire cutters or you’re doing it WRONG.

According to Genio, most of the beaver damage to date has occurred in the Harlow area, the Northwest Riverside trail area and around Strathcona Island and Lions Park. Genio says he hasn’t heard any reports of significant structural damage or personal injury as a result of the heightened beaver activity. He also says some beaver activity is normal and expected in the river valley area, but this year the beaver population has boomed, leading to the destruction seen in some areas of the city.

“Medicine Hat is an inviting destination for beavers with the South Saskatchewan River and its tributaries,” confirms Genio. “We have seen some more beaver activity this year than in recent years. It’s a very delicate balance between saving our urban forest and considering the well-being of the beavers.”

Okay that officially bugs me. No one is asking for you to “consider the well being of the beavers”, you condescending little pratt. What we’re asking you to do is weigh the considerable value that beavers add to your watershed and biodiversity and make reasonable responsible adjustments when you can.  Not pretend you tried and it didn’t work just to pacify the protestors.  Back in 2014 some very smart beaver advocates scared the spit out of Mr. Genio and he has learned to sound like he’s doing the right things. I would call this a necessary, but not sufficient step.

Apparently MH learned to wrap trees just enough to protect themselves from protestors. They still have zero idea how to keep beavers out.

Anyway, you’re going to plant trees that beavers don’t like so they stay away? You do realize that medicine Hat is surrounded by a long beaver highway, right? You are ALWAYS going to have them passing through.

Even if you surround your parks with only cactus.

medicine

 


This is a great photo from Kentucky. You know why it’s great? Not because of that cool dam or the fact that you can see it’s leaky because water flows through it. No. Because that culvert is SO damaged anyway, with road collapse and erosion. Look at those dents!  It looks about ready to flatten, but the county isn’t worried about that. They are worried about ONE thing. And we all know what that is.

Beavers costing county, landowners Animals threaten roads, crops, timber

They’ve cost the county nearly $100,000 since 2015. They damage cropland and timber. They cause flooding and threaten roads. They are beavers, and they are a growing problem in Hopkins County. Now, a working group under the commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources that includes state and federal agencies as well as state and local elected officials is studying the problem.

“They stop culverts up. They stop drainage areas up with sticks and mud,” said Jeff Browning, Hopkins County public works director. “The water backs up and causes damage to roads, crops and woods.” “We start trapping every day, for eight hours a day, in December,” he said. This season, which ended in early spring, county trappers caught 168 beavers, significantly more than the 125-130 they usually get.

“We’re not gaining on it,” Browning said. “And I think it’s getting worse.”

He said his staff is researching multiple approaches, including looking at what other counties and states do, the possibility of setting up conservation-type districts to fund beaver eradication and working with the Corps of Engineers and Division of Water on the legalities involved.

“What I pledged to the group is that I can facilitate finding a solution and working with the counties and Legislature,” Johnson said, adding he expects to have initial information in about 60 days.

Prunty, R-Belton, said she reached out to Johnson after getting multiple letters from constituents in her home county of Muhlenberg. Damage to roads and cropland are not the biggest issue there. Instead, she said, it’s more of a case where former landowners liked the beavers because they created wetlands that attracted waterfowl, which was good for hunters. Now, some landowners want to harvest timber, but can’t because of the flooded land.

“It’s an economic issue for my constituents,” she said. It used to be profitable to trap beavers for their pelts.”There’s no end to it,” Wedding said.”We’ll never eradicate them,” said Browning, the public work director. “I just want some funding help.”

That’s not likely, said Prunty and Embry, R-Morgantown, given the state of the commonwealth’s budget.”I personally don’t see us allocating funds for that,” Prunty said.Embry agreed. Getting new funding “is always difficult,” he said.

Fish & Wildlife Commissioner Johnson said finding funding help is part of his group’s mandate.”We’ll look for other sources of funding that may or may not exist,” he said, indicating some federal help may be available through the USDA. But money won’t solve the problem, which is “how do you keep them under control for the long-term,” Johnson said. “It’s hard to fight those little suckers.

And as we all know, if something isn’t working or showing signs of success, what you need to do is do it more frequently and faster. Hire more people to kill more beavers because eventually you know it will work right? I mean it’s not like there are these PROVEN tools that will let them protect the roads and culverts and allow the beavers to remain so that they can keep away other beavers right? It’s certainly not like we did it our selves in Martinez for a decade. Better to keep setting the mousetraps over and over and bill the citizens for it. Forget all those disappointed duck hunters.

More complaints from the city of Bristol in Wisconsin where those crazy beavers are just tiring them out.

Beavers causing DAMage in Bristol

Dam(n) it: The phrase describes the beavers’ instincts to build, and with the added ‘n,’ area residents’ reaction to the problems that the large rodents’ work causes in the Dutch Gap Canal.

The dams, removed for decades by residents, were identified at the Bristol Village Board meeting this week as a factor contributing to flooding in the Lake George area.

“We’ve got to get someone out here to trap them,” resident Scott Shannon, said. “It’s a friggin’ nightmare. I’ve taken probably 100 dams out with my (backhoe).”

 It is not only a problem in Bristol. Residents in Paddock Lake and Wheatland have also experienced the damage beavers can cause. Longtime residents in all three communities said the beaver population is on the rise.

“Tenfold,” Shannon said. “This is just wearing me out.”

Gosh darn those wicked beavers and their sneaky ways. Why doesn’t killing them work anymore? Don’t tell me there’s another way to solve this problem, because my back hoe is so much fun!

Marty Johnson, wildlife biologist with the State Department of Natural Resources, confirmed that the beaver population is increasing.

“There are more beavers out there,” Johnson said. “The trapping presence over time has lessened, so the population is on the uptick. We have been getting more complaints.”

Johnson said the DNR recently hired the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to blow up dams in the public hunting grounds in Wheatland. He said beaver activity at Richard Bong State Recreation Area has increased as well.

Paddock Lake administrator Tim Popanda said beaver were causing problems in the canal that leads to the lake a couple of years ago. There, the village obtained permission from the DNR to trap beaver on DNR property out of season.

The DNR website also offers suggestions, such as putting culvert pipes through the dams, to help mitigate the problems.  One such system, called the Clemson Beaver Pond Leveler, was developed at Clemson University in South Carolina. Made mostly from PVC pipe, it allows water to flow through a beaver dam or plugged culvert.

“We are trying to figure out if there is something we can do to minimize it,” Kerkman said.

To that end, the Village Board approved spending $17,600 for an engineering study by Strand Associates to determine how water flows in the neighborhood and identify possible solutions. The study will assume beavers will continue to occupy the Dutch Gap Canal.

I have an idea. Give ME the 17,000 dollars and I’ll tell you how to solve this problem. And it isn’t with a 30 year old invention that will get clogged in a minute. Hire Mike Callahan or Skip Lisle or Amy Chadwick to install a flow device and have them teach you how to do it so you can handle the next 30 yourself. Them sit back and watch your water levels safely maintained and your roads clear and your fish and wildlife population thrive as your beaver population stabilizes.

I’m glad we’ve had this little chat.


From WBRZ in Louisiana comes the weather report we’ll be wondering about for years to come. There is something in the writing that seems very what we called in my trade ‘word-salad‘ – maybe it was computer generated? It’s hard to believe anyone ever transitioned from talking about Harvey to talking about beavers, but who knows? They’ve been blamed for many ridiculous things before.

Pat Shingleton: “The Storm and Beavers…”

CaptureOur weekend intentions are extended to the folks in Texas.

In closing, the second largest rodent in the world is the beaver.  The engineering of their dams, canal and personal lodges not only protect them from predators but provide still pools for floating food and building materials.  When startled, beavers are also able to initiate an alarm on those quiet pools by energetically smacking the water with their broad tail; forwarding a message to others.  Stockpiled sticks provide a food source and an insulation of snow prevents water from freezing around their homes.  Examples of beaver complications include the Lawrence, Massachusetts, Conservation Commission’s report that additional flooding was caused when residents removed a local beaver dam. The water release overwhelmed a smaller beaver dam, exiting onto local roads.

The Eagle-Tribune reports that the undisturbed dam would have minimized two road washouts.

That’s why we don’t let google translate bots write copy for the news. Some jobs should just be performed by humans, you know? But okay.  This is a fine opportunity to mention that if more beaver were allowed to build dams in more streams backing up more water across the state there would be more wetlands to soak up storm events and everyone would benefit.

Just sayin’. Although this is we more  typically get with some human-generated word-salad.

Beavers create flooding problem at Colona

COLONA — Beavers have contributed to the plugging of a 15-inch culvert at the southwest corner of the city. As a result of beaver activity, trees and logs have jammed up the tube, and flooding has affected residents on 10th Avenue.

The property isn’t in city limits, and aldermen voted Monday to contact Colona Township to ask if they will assist the city in fixing the problem. “The problem is the city equipment is not able to do what needs to be done. We need larger equipment,” said Mayor Rick Lack.

“We need an excavator, not our backhoe,” agreed public works director Rick Crew. Ald. Tom Jones, 3rd Ward, said the city should ask the township or the county to maintain the culvert. “It would be better for our residents to have a solution than a bureaucratic circle,” said Ald. Tristan Tapscott.

Okay, that part makes sense.  Beavers block culverts, we all accept this. And if there’s one thing we ALL KNOW it’s that boys like to say they could solve any problem if they just had bigger equipment. And if you chose not to install a beaver deceiver to protect a culvert, you need to spend time cleaning them out.

(See how I’m delicately avoiding mentioning their bureaucratic circle [jerk] because that’s just the kind of sensitive woman I am? )

But this is what confused me.

Alderman Mike King said duck hunters occasionally fire close to homes there, and the floodwaters displace coyotes, exacerbating that problem.

?????????

Mr. King said if it were zoned as a conservation area, the city could have control over letting people hunt, suggesting coyotes could be hunted there.

???????????????????????????

Now you might think I’m editing out the context of this paragraph to make it sound more confusing. But go look at the article yourself if you want. The paragraph is context-free. I’m still trying to find it. So if the gunfire and flooding hadn’t pushed them out the coyotes would eat the beavers and fix our problem? Or if the coyotes were around to eat the ducks there wouldn’t be so much hunting there? Or maybe  the duck hunters could shoot beavers? Or just shoot out the culverts?

Or maybe I just wanna shoot coyotes so I’m changing the subject?

You aren’t making any sense, Mike. But, fortunately for you it doesn’t seem to matter much in Colona, IL whether you make sense or not. Your colleagues or constituents don’t seem to mind, and the reporter writes it down and reports it as if you actually contributed. Good job.

You might be mayor soon.