no-kill no-transport policy for beavers
no-kill no-transport policy for beavers
Gaithersburg has an ongoing beaver problem (or is it a human problem?). In 2012 we paid $1,000 to exterminate 5 beavers. Gaithersburg promised to not do that again so in 2019, when new beavers moved in, they "relocated" them. That is, they took a beaver colony with a mama that was likely pregnant and dumped them in a state park. Maybe her family will quickly build a new lodge for her to give birth. Maybe there aren't any other beavers in the new location. Maybe she'll make it, at least she has a chance this time... but then, when will the next beavers move into Gaithersburg? How can we end this cycle?
The issue is the type of drainage locations Gaithersburg approved for housing developments happen to be theme parks for beavers. They hear the gurgling water and they find it perfect for their needs. They are going to keep coming back. They are going to keep destroying large beautiful trees. They are going to keep blocking up the sewage systems causing flooding and damage.
The solution: coexist
The only sensible solution is to coexist. Let's band together to demand Gaithersburg develop a no-kill no-transport policy for beaver management.
In essence the following needs to happen:
1) Attitude change - enough people need to demand coexistence because most people would rather evict.
2) A beaver deceiver must be installed - it takes a day - it prevents the beavers from clogging up the drainage paths which means they could never cause flooding - it does this by tricking them. You can read about it here: http://www.beaverdeceivers.com
3) Important trees must be wrapped - protected - otherwise beavers would hurt / destroy them. You must leave some trees for them to destroy. Let them have saplings (young trees) and invasive species. Let landscapers dump their branches for them. If the wood supply is close, they won't go far.
4) Profit. You are done. Give them space, protect our drainage, shelter important trees, and then enjoy a lasting permanent solution. Young and old alike will enjoy seeing this curious creature, it will become an attraction.
All experts agree that this is the way to go. Anything else is an exercise in futility.
I started this petition because...
The Humane Society graciously offered to help Gaithersburg coexist with beavers in 2019 but the city ignored their plea. Now is the time to speak up and ask for change!
Humane Society of the US Weighs in On Kentlands Beavers
From Bernard Unti, Senior Policy Adviser and Special Assistant to the President and CEO of the HSUS, to the Mayor and City Council of Gaithersburg,
Thanks again for your willingness to receive my views as both a resident of the Kentlands/Lakelands communities and a professional employee of the Humane Society of the United States.
I recognize that I should perhaps take the matter up with the HOA management, but I wanted to share this perspective with you, since I came first to you via Neil Harris, and because this is the kind of issue that comes up in other Maryland communities from time to time.
I was truly pleased to learn of your prior efforts to address lethal control; that’s both wise and humane. There may be more to say about this depending on who is involved, but as a general matter, the use of traps is complex and raises its own risks, including the accidental entrapment of dogs and other creatures. There is, moreover, in our experience, the additional concern that operators will sometimes mislead their clients about the ultimate fate of the animals involved.
The fundamental issue, however, is whether relocation is ever the right approach, and I would want to encourage reconsideration on this point. This has special significance for a community envisioned from the start as one that seeks to preserve suitable and viable wildlife habitat for ecological, aesthetic, and emotional reasons.
It is perhaps more important here that stakeholders recognize that relocation never settles the matter. In most every instance, communities that decide to trap and remove beavers from a pond or impoundment are involved in the beginning or the perpetuation of an endless cycle. Beaver choose to dwell in these sites because of the suitable habitat and resources they provide; attempting to trap and kill, or trap and relocate them, has inherent limits. Above all, such responses fail to address the particular dilemmas associated with their presence for the long-term, and that’s the flaw, because other beavers will inevitably migrate to the site, and place that community back at stage one of the self-same cycle.
In cases where the presence of beaver causes a concern due to tree damage, best management practices call for protecting the trees with simple wraps that prevent them from being utilized by the beavers at all. This is a proven strategy that is both cost-effective and aesthetically agreeable.
When there are potential flood concerns due to damming of culverts, best management practices call for site-specific flow devices that keep the dam in place and the basin draining at the appropriate rate by hiding the outflow and preventing the beaver from obstructing it. This not only ensures that the area does not flood; these devices can also reduce the amount of water in an area to an acceptable level.
This approach has worked in hundreds of communities across the U.S. and continues to gain traction and attention from communities that want a long-lasting solution, broadly acceptable to all stakeholders and evidently successful in addressing the problem.
It would be our hope to encourage and support an ecologically sound and humane approach to the conflicts with beaver in the Kentlands/Lakelands, one that is consistent with the founding vision of the community and one that is consistent with contemporary best practice in regard to the mitigation of human/wildlife tension or conflict.
The HSUS is ready and willing to assist the community in developing an approach that will mitigate immediate conflicts as well as to identify a strategy for long-term coexistence. I have discussed this with representatives of a division within our wildlife department that works directly on these issues, and can extend an offer of their consultative and practical support. We would be glad to respond to questions or to follow up in any with responsible parties in the situation.
Thank you for your time and consideration.