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Of beavers, wolves, and forested wetlands.

yknpir,
This is a familiar story. Beavers have made a huge comeback all over the country. The public seems to be very queasy about trapping. There has been a lot of rehab on the Truckee River near Reno, Nevada. The last part to the puzzle may be building chutes and paths around water diversion dams. There is a professional trapper that controls beaver on the River near town. It is a well kept secret because of the amount of public outcry. Without trapping the critters decimate the cottonwood gallery forest in the riparian zone along the River that the public is so interested in restoring.
 
There was talk some time ago about Planned Parenthood for deer. The idea was to put birth control in salt blocks and let the deer still act like tramps but with fewer dependents. Not sure what ever happened with this - never heard much more about it but I am guessing it didn't work.
My yard habitat seems to be able to support exactly 7 deer. Has for years. Pretty sure they just come for the 4,000 Hosta's Chick planted and they just like the sounds of her freaking out.
 
We have wild horses in the mountains behind the house. There a group of local people that dart mares every year so they can't reproduce. It is a never ending process. People name the horses and follow them around. They are very emotionally attached to them. The BLM really has their hands full trying to manage them.
 
My yard habitat seems to be able to support exactly 7 deer. Has for years. Pretty sure they just come for the 4,000 Hosta's Chick planted and they just like the sounds of her freaking out.

At my cabin (65km from downtown Toronto) the deer population ebbs and flows, even when they are on the down cycle any unprotected hosta plants are decimated in the first few weeks after the fresh and tender leaves start to appear. My mother never "freaked out" she just produced a ton of expletives and went out to buy yet another 100 foot roll of chicken wire.

One thing the deer never eat is native day lilies, I wish they would because what was a reasonably small patch 50 years ago now covers a large area. Add to that, as the trees have grown blocking the sun the day lilies while profuse do not flower much anymore (maybe I need to import some beavers?).
 
Beavers have also created a secondary dam below the earth berm separating the feeder pond from the main lake as well as blocking the culvert flow into the main lake. Remove the blockage of sticks and mud and overnight it is rebuilt every time. The new secondary beaver dam, some 30 feet below the culvert, is causing flooding of a hiking trail and access across the berm.

So, I called the NYSDEC wildlife management office to ask about beaver control. The answer is trapping during the open fall/winter trapping season, or to apply for a nuisance beaver elimination permit out of season.
These are common issues these days. There are several non-lethal methods for living alongside beavers. Googling will bring up a ton of resources, but a 'beaver-deceiver' pond leveler could be a good solution. More info here:


as well as plenty of other places online.

I'm surprised DEC didn't bring up some non-lethal options. I'm not totally opposed to killing a beaver but as you discovered it can make an ethical/public relations mess, and a new beaver will likely move in soon again since their populations are growing in most places. (Plus many lethal beaver traps rely on death by drowning, which I do find pretty unappealing from a humane standpoint).
 

Tsuga8:

We definitely have a beaver deceiver cage consisting of a welded re-bar contraption in the extended culvert inlet more than 25 feet into the shallow feeder pond where the beavers live. They still try to dam that as well as the area of the berm and bridge where the culvert passes through. Plus, they have created a secondary dam across the opening of the main lake 30 feet below and parallel to the existing natural berm at the feeder pond which is causing flooding and high water earth washouts on each side of their newly constructed dam. Dismantling accumulated sticks, rocks and mud on any day will last only as long as the sun us above the horizon until the debris gets replaced overnight.

The DEC wildlife officer did mention fencing to me to protect trees and I did my extensive online research on possible solutions (many more than the Alberta referenced solutions) to pass on to land owners as their responsibility to put into effect. Such is the price of selecting the land they own to enjoy. Meanwhile, the Association Officers main aim is to protect our lake environment and riparian area as well as interaction with our wildlife. As to repeating the nuisance permit two years in a row, the DEC reply was that it is "never a one and done" solution. I have written an article in our association newsletter explaining what i have found and what can and cannot be done.
 
At my cabin (65km from downtown Toronto) the deer population ebbs and flows, even when they are on the down cycle any unprotected hosta plants are decimated in the first few weeks after the fresh and tender leaves start to appear. My mother never "freaked out" she just produced a ton of expletives and went out to buy yet another 100 foot roll of chicken wire.

One thing the deer never eat is native day lilies, I wish they would because what was a reasonably small patch 50 years ago now covers a large area. Add to that, as the trees have grown blocking the sun the day lilies while profuse do not flower much anymore (maybe I need to import some beavers?).
Native day lilies? Do tell. I get major brownie points from the wife when I find flowering plants the deer don't eat. My research says there are no native days though.
 
My brother worked for State Farm Insurance for many years as an auto damage appraiser. He told me they could predict the approximate size of the deer herd in Wisconsin by tracking their insured’s claims for deer-vehicle collisions. In some of Wisconsin’s more rural counties 1 in 3 vehicle accidents involved deer.
 
I see deer and/or turkeys nearly every day I am out driving near my home (dairy farm land & western Adirondack area) I have hit my share of the critters over the years, doing thousands of dollars in damage each time. I keep waiting for the Darwin effect to kick into their brains and DNA. They never seem to learn as a species that you do not try to beat a motor vehicle when bolting into crossing the road. When you see one rushing across the road, do not follow it with your eyes, always be sure to look for number 2 or #3 to follow, I have learned that the hard way.

On the other hand, I even more often see flocks of turkeys paying attention seemingly with intelligence. If one starts to cross the road even when I am a good distance away, it will quickly turn back. Maybe its kin have warned it and called it back to safety. Never have hit or even come close to striking a turkey. Although just last week a dumb grouse tried to fly into my grill but got struck down and smashed by my bumper instead.
 
Here are some more articles about reintroducing wolves. I note some themes.

First, the folks who seem most interested in pushing or voting for this are city dwellers, who will have little chance of actually encountering or being endangered by wolves, and wildlife biologists, who via professional curiosity simply want to experiment with nature. Another theme I notice in these articles are bald proclamations that the reintroduction of wolves will benefit some food or reproductive chain in nature—not including HUMAN BEINGS, of course—claims that are seemingly unsupported by any empirical evidence or by provable logic. To me, these are mostly hand-waving, just-so stories, regardless of whether they are sincerely or insincerely believed by wildlife-at-any-cost preservationists.

It's reassuring and heartening that the governments are printing protective BROCHURES and LEAFLETS on how people can save themselves from "human-wolf interactions" in the reintroduction areas, such as by making yourself "big" and "loud" and "banging stuff" and backing slowly away, and looking them in the eye, and not running, when the wolves surround you or your pets or your small children.

Here's my BROCHURE: Me, my kids, my pets and my farm animals will be safest if wolves aren't around in the first place.



 
I used to work out of Laramie, WY. One day a guy arrives late to work by a couple of hours. "Hit a deer" he said. Then we found out it was the ninth one he has hit in his life. Driving at night in Wyo requires going under the speed limit because there are so many critters.

The license plate on my new truck is the same as before "PPINE." Pinus ponderosa.
 
If regular folks in the arctic don't mind wolves in the arctic, that's okay by non-arctic me. They can have polar bears too.

 

Common sense from the people directly affected. The same common sense that motivated virtually every civilization on earth since the Neolithic Era 10,000 years ago to aggressively hunt wolves, often to deliberate extermination.
 
and looking them in the eye
I had always heard that looking a preditor in the eye was not a wise action, as it is a signal you are making a direct alpha challenge and are willing to fight them. Seems to be true with aggresive dogs anyway. But I can see where looking away may be interpreted as a sign of weakness as well.
 
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