Killing isn't answer to beaver problem

Posted: Sunday, November 11, 2007

Leave the beavers at Dredge Lake alone or relocate them. Trapping is a horrible thing to do to any animal.

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Like many other people, I have always enjoyed the beaver activity in the Dredge Lake area. I have seen the beaver activity increase and decrease over the years. The beavers have made the Dredge Lake area the unique and beautiful place it is today.

If the U.S. Forest Service is having trouble keeping up with clearing some of the dams then please, rather than killing the beavers, request more help from volunteers. Dredge Lake area is what it is and has been the home for beavers as far back as I remember. I don't want to see the Forest Service try and change the area so that folks can walk back there in tennis shoes. Whose vision is this anyway? There are lots of other trails in Juneau that do not have beaver activity.

The Dredge Lake area provides an incredible educational opportunity for kids, tourist and locals to witness the beaver behaviors firsthand. Killing beavers and destroying dams will not solve the beaver problem; migrating beavers will just move in and build new dams. It makes more sense to build on what Dredge Lake is rather than trying to make it something it isn't.

The only other option I would support is relocating some of the beavers. Down south there are businesses that do nothing but find homes for unwanted beavers; they are in high demand from people who want to restore wetlands areas that have been destroyed. Developers have beavers relocated to their new property developments so residents will have places to fish. Beavers are ecosystem engineers because they create so much diversity. Beavers are also very sweet animals. The Forest Service should consider hiring someone to come in and relocate some of the beavers rather than hiring someone to come in and kill them. If people can relocate beavers down south, then we can do it here. There are many places in Alaska that would benefit from having beavers in the area. I really hope the Forest Service rethinks this one.

I think that setting traps in December is premature. We have time this winter to have some discussion on this and come up with some other approaches. Where is the volunteer list because I would like to put my name on it?

Lorraine Murray

Auke Bay

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