Archive for the ‘stupid solutions’ Category

Fail faster! Fail harder!

Posted by heidi08 On September - 3 - 2017Comments Off on Fail faster! Fail harder!

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.

Another Inexplicable Beaver Headline

Posted by heidi08 On August - 30 - 2017Comments Off on Another Inexplicable Beaver Headline

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.

Beaver ignorance never really goes out of style!

Posted by heidi08 On July - 17 - 20172 COMMENTS

Oh good! Smart people are still being head-smackingly stupid about beavers! Thank goodness! I thought I was out of a job for a while there. It’s good to know our services are still needed.

Let’s start where we always start, shall we? In Saskatchewan.

Meewasin starts work on trail through the Northeast Swale

Work began Thursday on building a 2.2-kilometre trail network through the swale that is intended to both accommodate those who want to enjoy the area just north of the Silverspring and Evergreen neighbourhoods and discourage those who misuse the area.

The trail system will include six nodes that will feature benches, garbage cans and interpretive panels. The trail is being built along a three-metre-wide swath that has already been disturbed by human activity. “What we’re trying to create here is an access to the swale, which has significant ecological value,” Otterbein said in an interview at the swale Friday.

A beaver has built a home in the wet pond and some endangered northern leopard frogs have also been spotted in the pond, Otterbein said. Meewasin also plans to install wildlife-friendly fencing along the swale’s edge next to the developing Aspen Ridge neighbourhood.

I’m told a ‘swale’ is a marshy or hollow place between ridges. I couldn’t tell when I read this article whether they were thinking about protecting the sensitive frogs from the beavers or protecting the neibourhood from the beavers, but I’m sure curious what “wildlife-friendly fencing” looks like in Saskatchewan, where they actually had a beaver kill contest just last year.

I’m guessing that they were heavily informed by the thoughtful outdoor chronicle “Mountain men” which profiles a forlorn trapper who can’t kill many beavers because there’s not enough WATER. No kidding.

Lack of water gives Tom beaver problems on Mountain Men

This week on Mountain Men, Tom is having trouble with his beaver traps due to a lack of water.

Beavers are creatures of habit and the key to success when trapping them is usually the location. Traps can be set along the beaver dam, where they tend to run across the path over the dam often. You can also place one between two ponds the beavers are using or any path they use frequently.

The lack water means that not only can Tom not get his boat into the traps, but the traps are also exposed and any twigs covering them are now gone. This makes it highly unlikely he’s going to have any luck whilst the water levels are so low.The lack water means that not only can Tom not get his boat into the traps, but the traps are also exposed and any twigs covering them are now gone. This makes it highly unlikely he’s going to have any luck whilst the water levels are so low.

Ohh no! Poor Tom! Not only is the water level too low to trap beavers but the unfortunate man is too frickin stupid to live! Saying the water level is too low to catch beavers is like saying there’s no time to gain weight because you’re too busy eating, or your prisons are too empty because the city has too many police, or the federal government is working so hard we can’t afford health care.

Here, Tom, I have an idea. Stop killing beavers for a nanosecond. Let them make their dams and raise the water level and recharge the aquifer, and then you’ll be able to trap lots of things that live IN the water, like otter and mink and things that drink the water like moose and fox, and the beaver will save your sons!  Buy them each a copy of this novel, will you? And then we’ll talk.

facepalm

More grrs for Vermont where they have been struggling mightily to justify extending the otter trapping season for another month, and foolishly agreed to listen to the public on the issue. They have been getting millions of emails from folks who say angrily that “otters are innocent” and they shouldn’t be killed for their fur.

Obviously beavers are NOT innocent, that goes without saying, and their trapping season lasts a month longer so it’s woefully inconvenient for trappers to have to modify their beaver killing machines so that otters pass through safely and for wardens to actually check and see the difference. The easier adjustment would be to make the seasons the same – plus you can depredate beaver any ole time of year if they’re causing a problem.

Note no one is suggesting LOWERING the beaver trapping season to make them the same and save on paperwork. I  wonder why?

A Vermont legislative committee has postponed a decision on a proposal to lengthen the otter trapping season. This postponement, voted on last week, adds another chapter to a long and vigorous public debate.

“It’s a highly contentious issue,” said Brenna Galdenzi, president and founder of animal advocacy group Protect Our Wildlife. In a phone interview following the hearing, she said, “Whenever there’s an issue of trapping, it really gets people active and speaking out. It really gets people going.”

“We’ve received hundreds and hundreds of emails,” Catherine Gjessing, general counsel for the state Fish and Wildlife Department, said in a phone interview. The department provides staffing and scientific recommendations to the Fish and Wildlife Board when it considers changing hunting, fishing or trapping regulations.

 Kimberly Royar, a state furbearer biologist, said that public sentiment toward trapping sometimes focuses on sympathy with individual animals at the expense of considering how best to manage an entire species.

Beaver and otter are caught using the same traps, but otter season ends at the end of February and beaver season ends March 31. This means trappers going after beaver in March are required to modify the trigger mechanisms in their traps to allow otter to pass through unscathed.

Gjessing and Royar identified two primary reasons the department supports P-1704, both related to different end dates of the otter and beaver seasons. First, they said the department has heard reports from trappers that the modified traps used in March sometimes simply pin beaver until they drown instead of breaking their necks, leading to inhumane kills. Extending otter season would remove the requirement that trappers use the modified trigger mechanism.

“It’s not a matter of increasing the otter take,” Royar said. “It’s allowing trappers to utilize the otter that are taken during that expanded beaver season. That’s really the goal of this.”

Oh, those tender-hearted trappers! Did you catch they are ONLY asking for that extra month for the poor beavers who drown to death in the modified traps. Goodness those trappers are sensitive souls, (and if you wonder how sensitive go read the comment section of the article).

As I said, no one minds about killing beavers, but if we could just change the rules about how often we can kill otters we can reduce the suffering of those poor pests. Because otters are INNOCENT!

Grrr.