Beavers should be protected

Posted: Monday, December 10, 2007

In 1930, the beaver population of the Mendenhall valley was plentiful from the current airport area to Back Loop Road.

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Duck Creek and Jordan Creek had many beaver dams. Montana Creek had some dams in the tributaries.

As the Mendenhall valley developed, beaver were pushed back to the glacier area on their last stand and can now be called an endangered species. These animals should be protected instead of trapping and killing them.

The hiking trails that are flooded from beaver action can be moved to higher ground in some areas where possible. This could be done by volunteers with supervision by the U.S. Forest Service.

Beaver cut mostly small trees, although larger trees do get cut down. They prefer alder and cotton wood trees for bark and leaves to eat, and limbs to build the dams and houses.

The spruce and hemlock trees will eventually take over the forest, but there will be plenty of green leaf trees available.

Keep the beaver in its natural habitat for all to see and enjoy.

As the trails improve over the years, this area will become a great park for locals and tourists to watch beavers at work.

Salmon and trout will benefit from deep water behind beaver dams. There is no other place so precious as this location in the local Juneau area.

Ralph Mielke


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