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

Wolf Creek Schools raises Treaty 6 flag for first time

Chiefs, school officials took part in a ceremony that is aimed at acknowledging Treaty 6 land

Pair arrested in Ponoka with several weapons, face 98 charges

Two men nabbed after early morning suspicious vehicle reported, stolen weapons found

UPDATE: 18-year-old Rimbey teen dies in collision

A portion of Highway 53 west of Rimbey is down to one lane while crews investigate

Ponoka County approves $70,000 to dredge Parkland Beach

Parkland Beach to see some dredging support from Ponoka County

Ponoka sets bylaw on cannabis retail, pushes for quick public consumption regulation

Town passes first reading on retail outlet bylaw, questions staff on need to separate public usage

Video: Flyers new mascot ‘Gritty’ a bearded, googly-eyed terror

The Philadelphia Flyers unveiled their new mascot Monday, and as one would expect of the team that gave us the “Broad Street Bullies,” he’s far from cuddly.

Edmonton cannabis company revenues more than triples to $19.1 million

Aurora Cannabis revenues more than triple in fourth quarter

Seattle one step closer to NHL after arena plan approved

Seattle City Council unanimously approved plans for a privately funded $700 million renovation of KeyArena

Hockey league gets $1.4M for assistance program after Humboldt Broncos crash

Program will help players, families, coaches and volunteers after the shock of the deadly crash

Canada has removed six out of 900 asylum seekers already facing U.S. deportation

Ottawa had said the ‘overwhelming majority’ had been removed

Appeal pipeline decision but consult Indigenous communities, Scheer says

The federal appeals court halted the Trans Mountain expansion last month

‘I’ll never forgive you:’ Victim impact statements at hearing for Calgary killer

Curtis Healy was found guilty of first-degree murder Friday in the death of Dawns Baptiste.

Man accused of mailing bomb to his brother in B.C. has died

Leon Nepper was found in ‘medical distress’ at the Whitehorse Correctional Centre on Sunday

Most Read