Tag Archives: beaver trap

Beaver Removal

beaver removal

My friends and I are pretty adventurous, but this last weekend, we got to witness beaver removal firsthand on our weekend adventure.  It’s weird, but true.

When we go on one of our little weekend adventures, we pack up one of our cars with food, sleeping bags and a tent or two, and then we just drive.  We drive as far as we can on one tank of gas, and when we stop to fill up, we ask the gas station employee for cool places to camp around the area.  We get directions, buy some cold drinks, get back in our gassed-up vehicle, and drive towards the general area pointed out to us.  But, we don’t go to the camp grounds.  Instead, we look for little side roads that aren’t very heavily traveled, and head down one until we find something interesting or until it gets dark enough to set up camp.

Beaver eating a twig in water
A beaver causing havoc for a little logging town.
(Artwork by Sharon Davis. Contact us for her contact info.)

This last weekend, our little dirt road led us right up and over the crest of a mountain, something that rarely happens.  We were driving my friend’s little four-door sedan, so it was kind of iffy whether or not we’d actually make it over the crest.  There were times we nervously joked about what we’d do if the car just got stuck up there in the middle of nowhere.  Would we walk back down the mountain or just camp wherever we got stuck?  Miraculously, though, that little car kept on going up, up, up and over the mountain to the beaver removal site.

We found out that this little dirt road was actually a logging road.  Of course, by then we knew it was intended for much more rugged vehicles than we were driving, but we didn’t care.  We were on an adventure.  We discovered this tiny little logging town in the middle of the forest.  A small store sat in the middle of log cabins, and a make-shift golf course.  The “golf course” was just a series of tree trunks with numbers painted on them, indicating the “holes.”  It was off-season, so the town was only occupied by a handful of people, most of whom were now involved in the beaver removal project.

Apparently, a couple of beavers had dammed up a creek and created a small lake, or giant pond, whichever you want to call it.  Unfortunately, the dirt logging road was now located under the water.  For the loggers, it meant they had to remove the beavers and their beaver dam in order to let the road dry out in time for logging season.  For us, it meant the only way back down off the mountain was back the way we came.

We watched as the backhoe broke through the felled trees blocking the waterway.  The beavers were nowhere to be seen, but we imagined they were in a safe place witnessing the destruction of their destruction.  Slowly, the machinery broke through the beaver dam.  The water rushed out at first, forming temporary creeks that led down the mountain.  Then, as the water slowed and the day got darker, my friends and I set up camp nearby.  Some of the loggers joined us by the fire, and we listened to logging stories until late that night.  It was an odd adventure, but entertaining.  After all, we got to play logger golf and witness beaver removal.  Who knows what’ll happen next weekend?

Get Rid of Beavers – a true “tail”

get rid of beaver
Authorities in Martinez, California were surprised at their community’s reaction to their decision to get rid of the beavers that were destroying the local waterway, a portion of Alhambra Creek that ran through the center of the city.

Two beavers had built a dam large enough to divert the waterway in several places, and had chewed through willows and landscaping the city had planted in previous years to prevent flooding.  The flood control landscaping had cost the city $9.7 million, and it would be expensive to repair the damage the beavers had caused.  City leaders decided the beavers had become a costly flood danger to their community.

Authorities felt they had to take action quickly to avoid extensive damage and danger, and plans were drawn up to get rid of the beaver population.  California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) does not allow for relocation of beavers, so they had decided to trap and kill the beavers and destroy the dam.

Beaver eating a stick
A beaver causing problems and damage in a city.
(Artwork by Sharon Davis. Contact us for her contact info.)

The announcement was made, and city leaders expected their citizens would be grateful and supportive of their plans.  If beaver dams cause flooding, it can result in contaminated drinking water and costly property damage.  Although they also anticipated a few dissenters, however, reaction was exactly the opposite.  While some people supported their efforts, they faced public outcry in favor of the beavers.

Local school teachers contended that the beavers provided a wonderful learning opportunity for the children and the community as a whole.  Local business owners felt they would bring more tourists to their city.  Environmentalists wanted to let nature take its course.

Due to the general public’s sentiments, DFG issued an exemption for the two living in the creek to enable them to be relocated.  Public support was so strong for them, however, the city has decided to let them stay, provided certain criteria were met.  Business owners downtown, especially, demanded the city provide adequate flood control measures.  A steel cable was placed under the dam attached to anchors on each bank.  If the waters rise to dangerously high levels, the cable could be pulled, pulling the dam apart.  A flow device was also placed through the dam:  a pipe allowing water to flow through the dam in an effort to keep the waters down to normal levels.

Of course, individual property owners may still be concerned about a growing beaver population.  As the number of beavers increase, they will destroy trees, alter property lines through erosion caused by diverted waterways, or cause flooding, damaging homes and businesses.  Individuals may still want to get rid of the beavers, but they will need to seek special permission from the local and state authorities before proceeding with any measures to do so.

Beaver Removal

beaver removal

            A group of families in Oshawa, Ontario Canada had finally had enough of improper beaver removal.  They had learned that many beavers were being trapped inhumanely in grotesque metal traps that snapped on their legs.  The beavers were left to suffer until they were either freed or died. 

            The group met on a public sidewalk, holding up signs denouncing the use of inhumane methods to control the growing beaver population.  They laid one of the traps on the sidewalk, pressed one of the wires with a shovel, and watched as the crowd jumped back in surprise and shock.  The trap shut fast and quick, and it wasn’t hard to imagine the awful pain and terror a beaver would experience if its leg were caught.

            More humane methods of beaver removal have been developed and are used throughout the world.  But, as one protestor said, “They are using our tax dollars to buy and set these traps.”  Another one added, “Yeah, $3,000 to buy a $20 trap.”

            Admittedly, this type of trap has been illegal for the past four or five years, but that doesn’t mean it’s not still being used.  Even if the government wasn’t using it in their current efforts to control the beaver population, individual property owners were setting this type of trap up, and would often not check them regularly, leaving the beaver to suffer.

            Beavers aren’t normally thought of as a pest, but they can be.  A family of beaver can take down about 400 trees a year.  They can alter waterways with their dams, which can result in flooded homes or roads.  Local water supplies can be contaminated when natural waterways are altered by beaver dams. 

            And beaver populations are on the rise.  In some areas, beaver removal has become more and more necessary.

            These Canadian protestors aren’t debating whether or not beaver removal is necessary. They are simply calling for more humane ways of combating the increasing problem.

            First, identify that you have a problem.  Look for felled trees or trees stripped of their bark around the base.  You can look for a burrowed den in the water bank.  Of course, beaver dams are a pretty obvious symptom.

Then, the best course of action is to contact a true professional, who can set traps to capture the large rodent and release them in an area where they can’t cause as much damage.  Beaver repellants are also a good idea, to discourage other beavers from setting up shop on your property.  Proper beaver removal can save your trees, ornamental gardens, and property lines.