August 24, 2019

Letters to the Editor

Don’t be deceived by beaver solution

Readers of Brenna Galdenzi’s thoughtful letter regarding human/wildlife conflicts in the Aug. 16 issue of the Observer (“Coexistence over killing”) might come away with the erroneous impression that beaver deceivers are the silver bullet answer to all human/beaver conflicts.

While they are a proven, effective control measure in certain situations, they address a relatively small percentage of beaver nuisance complaints. They work well in instances where a culvert under a road, railroad bed, driveway, etc. is repeatedly plugged by beavers, resulting in flooding, erosion and the destruction of public/private property.

Unfortunately, such situations are the “low hanging fruit” and not representative of most human/beaver conflicts. More typical is where a dispersing pair, often 2-year-olds, decide to set up house in an unwelcome spot. Such locations include drainage ditches, tributaries and streams where resultant flooding often impacts adjacent crop fields and woodlands. Public water supplies (reservoirs) are also often negatively effected. The beavers effectively create a new pond and wetland, sometimes where it’s neither safe nor wanted. Beaver deceivers are not a viable option in these instances. They work by maintaining a safe water level where the water is welcome.

This summer I have helped two local dairy farmers who were at risk of significant crop loss due to beaver damming/flooding of drainage ditches. Both situations arose quickly and needed to be dealt with promptly. Beaver deceivers were not applicable. Trapping was the best control measure available.

Fortunately, beavers are doing very well all across the state. Inevitably, there will continue to be human/beaver conflicts. Beaver deceivers (where possible) and trapping are necessary, effective control measures appropriate to the protection of public health, safety and private property.

Rick Reed

On to November

Thanks to all Chittenden County voters in last Tuesday’s primary. I was very glad to see the pundits proven wrong in that the turnout was far greater than predicted.

Obviously, I am also thankful for the support I received from so many of you in my bid to be re-elected to the Vermont State Senate. I am eager, should I be re–elected in November, to hit the ground running to continue with my work in promoting and protecting the interests of Vermont consumers and working families.

Thank you again.

Michael Sirotkin
South Burlington

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