There are precious few articles about beaver that shock me any more. Remember, I’ve been doing this a long time and written nearly 4000 columns about the way a city responds to beavers. Sure, every once in a while a city makes the right decision for the right reasons and that shocks me a little, and sometimes entire regions make bad decisions that are so destructive it catches my breath, but often I’ve seen it all before. This, as they say in the cattle trade, ain’t my first rodeo.
But just when you think you’ve seen it all, something can come up that you never in a million years would have expected. Something that is so antithetical to all logic, research and instinct that it makes me groan so loud I frighten the neighbors.
North Georgia’s searing drought has forced Haralson County, 35 miles west of downtown Atlanta, to impose the state’s harshest watering restrictions. No outdoor watering (except for irrigation of family food plots). No car washes. Football fields must remain dry. And, please, don’t run the water while brushing your teeth.
The Tallapoosa River is so low that the county water authority dismantled beaver dams Sunday. Preachers used the pulpit to spread the water-conservation word. And nearby Anniston, Ala. is sending water Haralson’s way.
Haralson is the first Georgia county to trigger a Level III — the most severe — drought. Yet 50 counties across North Georgia are experiencing, at least, an “extreme” drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. A handful of counties in far Northwest Georgia are experiencing an “exceptional” — the worst — drought.
It’s up to everybody to do their part,” Walker said. “If you don’t need to use water, don’t use it. We’re asking everybody to conserve.”
He’s also aiming for those pesky, river-clogging beavers. About 30 volunteers targeted four beaver dams along the Tallapoosa River Sunday morning. They’ll try to tear down the dams by hand or, possibly, with back hoes. Wood and other debris dislodged from a dam the other night filled three dump trucks.
That’s right. You read that correctly. Haralson county is experiencing the worst drought they ever faced. Their lawns are dying and cars are dirty, even by California standards. And the most important water official in this entire dusty land is addressing the crisis by using work parties to rip out BEAVER DAMS because they HOG all the water.
I bet you didn’t know that all those years you turned off the tap to save water you were actually HOGGING IT!
Well, I wrote everyone a letter last night, including the reporter and all the mayors in Haralson county, and you can imagine how full my mailbox is this morning with heartfelt thanks appreciating the many articles I sent them. Because the entire state is so interested in research and learning. It’s hard to believe out here on the backwards west coast.
(Did you get that? Or is my sarcasm too subtle?)
I told them that ripping out dams to save water is like removing traffic lights to reduce accidents. I think of that beaver with a leaky pipe on the dry Guadalupe River just sitting there building his little dam and waiting for his pond to accumulate.
Beavers are so selfish. If he hadn’t hogged all those drips to himself they would have rolled into the cracked ground and disappeared entirely and the drought could have belonged to everyone.