Town planners are looking at ways to deal with beavers chopping down trees along the Battle River. Recently the beavers have taken to chewing up portions of the Thinking Tree on the north trail.

Beavers in town a cause for concern

Calls of an active beaver population have town planners looking at ways to mitigate the issue.

Calls of an active beaver population have town planners looking at ways to mitigate the issue.

Town planners have received several calls from residents concerned about beavers on the Battle River cutting down trees along the river valley trails.

Some of these trees have been around for some years and residents report that the animals have started taking to chopping portions of the Thinking Tree on the north trail. To deal with the concerns, the town has obtained a licence from the province allowing it to trap the animals, explained Sandra Smith, communications manager.

“There is an abundant beaver population in Ponoka in the Battle River,” she explained.

In an effort to find the best option, the town researched how to handle this issue. Smith says a specialist with Alberta Environment and Parks recommended humane trapping and euthanasia as the best option.

Town staff have had to chop down several trees along the river that were already being cut up by the beavers and Smith says another recommendation was to dismantle the dams along the river. Dismantling the dams also minimizes the risk of flooding, explained Smith.

“If the river did flood they would certainly compound the problem,” she said.

“There is an engineering solution to cover the flooding but it can be quite costly.”

Relocating the beavers is not an ideal option either, said Smith. In speaking with Alberta Environment and Parks representatives, Smith said beavers can be territorial, and a relocation wouldn’t solve the issue, just move it to another spot for another municipality to deal with.

For Ponoka County the challenges are similar. Justin Babcock, county agricultural services manager, says beaver dams cause flooding concerns in two areas.

“Our mandate is to protect agricultural land from flooding and to protect road infrastructure,” said Babcock.

On county land, he will conduct trapping with a certified trapper and for private land owners, the county offers blasting services at no cost. “So that they (land owners) don’t have to bring in equipment.”

Among the concerns with the beaver dams is potential backflows of water, says Babcock. This could create flooding in fields leaving no access for equipment and livestock may get trapped in one spot.

He added that if a resident has no issue with beavers and there is no risk of damage, the county will leave the beavers alone.

“We typically go in when we’re asked to by residents or when it’s affecting our roadway,” explained Babcock.

In Alberta beavers are classified as secure meaning they are considered not at risk in the province’s 2010 General Status of Wild Species. Beavers are also Canada’s largest rodent.

 

Just Posted

OPINION: Jason Kenney won by portraying himself as the Guardian of Alberta

How did Kenney do it? He never considered himself an opposition leader and didn’t pretend to be one.

Kenney talks pipelines with Trudeau after election win, calls it cordial

Almost a year ago Kenney dismissed Trudeau as a dilettante and a lightweight

Homeless activists outside Notre Dame demand ‘a roof too’

Wealthy people have donated millions to effort to rebuild cathedral after devastating fire

Sri Lanka invokes war-time military powers after nearly 300 killed in Easter bombings

Sri Lanka’s minister of tourism says 39 foreign tourists were killed in the Easter Sunday attacks

Trudeau to be portrayed on ‘Simpsons’ episode

Toronto journalist who’s posted videos of himself doing impressions of the PM voiced him for the show

Motorcyclist seriously injured after hit on one-way road in Nisku

Leduc RCMP respond to vehicle versus motorcycle with serious injuries

Bodies of 3 mountain climbers recovered after last week’s Banff avalanche

The men disappeared while attempting to climb the east face of Howse Peak in the Icefields Parkway

Person airlifted to hospital after avalanche in Yoho National Park has died

The man was among a party of three involved in an avalanche Saturday afternoon

QUIZ: How much do you know about Easter?

Take this short quiz and put your knowledge to the test

Global Affairs warns Canadians in Sri Lanka there could be more attacks

A series of bomb blasts killed at least 207 people and injured hundreds more

Most Read