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Beaver problem


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I put this in the hunting forum as well but it doesn't look like that forum get's much action so I am putting this in the Aitkin regional discussion forum as well.

Okay, I have a problem and I would like some advice. I have some hunting land in Aitkin County and I have beavers. I love the beavers, they create awesome wetlands that wood ducks, mallards and geese use all spring and fall which is great for me since I duck hunt. These are birds that I never saw on the property 10 years ago before the beavers arrived.

As many of you know, beavers tend to flood low level areas. One of these area's is a gravel road owned by the township that borders my property. The township came in 2 years ago and replaced the culvert that the beavers had clogged and water was over the road. It wasn't enough water to wash out the road, it was only an inch or two every spring but enough to create some pot holes.

This year the culvert is once again clogged with sticks and a lot of mud because of the beavers, not a big surprise. Now the township wants to blow up the beaver dam on my property because it's flooding the township road that only myself and one other land owner use and the water doesn't bother him. Obviously I don't want them to blow up the dam and drain this wetland and have it turn into the tag alder swamp it once was. I say leave it alone or raise the road or leave it alone if you are concerned about the beavers but I don't want them draining this awesome wetland that a lot of species now call home (i.e. reptiles, amphibians, waterfowl, etc.).

So I told the township that I won't pay a penny to fix the road, it's their road and I pay more then enough in property taxes to cover the gravel/culvert that it would take to repair the road. They said I have to pay or they are going to blow the dam? Side note, they trapped the beavers two years ago, there was a new colony in their the next year or they missed a few. Either way, it didn't solve the problem. Is blowing up a beaver dam and draining a wetland legal? Has anyone else experienced a similar problem with a town, dnr or neighbor. I would be interested in hearing your advice, experience or your opinion.

Thanks, Matt
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-I say blow it up. Half of Aitkin county is swampland. There is no need for more wetland. I have been bettling bark munchers for over a decade to perserve the hunting land for grouse, deer, rabbits, etc. There are very few species that survive winter in beaver ponds. The dams also will let go on there own occasionally causing massive flood problems to crops and other habitat. Don't take this the wrong way but I have no room for bark munching, tree killing overgrown rodents in my neck of the woods.

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Thanks for your opinion Boater. There is a lot of swamp in the Aitkin area but blowing up the dam and displacing the water over a broader area will only create more swamp, not less. If you manage for deer and grouse then you surely don't want old growth forest, you want edge effect. Beaver's promote edge by cutting down mature tree's and allowing new growth to spring up. This new growth might provide browse for deer in the winter when the snow is deep and there is not a lot to eat. Grouse use all four stages of aspen stands for breeding, nesting, drumming, etc. So I don't think blowing up the **** is the solution.

I have seen books with diagram's describing some unique culverts that can be built to manage the water and the beavers can't dam it up. You stick a smaller culvert inside the larger culver, stick it out so it's hanging out of the end of the larger culvert by 15 feet and then screen off the end and drill a lot of holes in it. That way if the beavers plug the larger culvert they won't be able to close the small one unless they plug each and every hole you drilled along with the screened off end. The smaller culvert is submerged under the water when the water level gets too high and it's above the water when the water level is controlled. I think I will promote this idea to the township and see what they say. Anyway, thanks for your opinion.

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Hey man,

I live in the middle of Aitkin Cty.

Beavers...well...I don't really have a liking for them, but if you don't mind them...and your neighbor doesn't either, then I say let em' be. However, the county or township looks at it like this:

They have to put the money and effort into fixing the road, whether you and your neighbor don't mind the water or not. They would rather end the problem now then spend every spring fixing the road.

I have no sides in this case, just hope I am helping you understand why they are so adiment about taking away the source of the problem. I realize you probably understand this already, and are fairly frusterated...But truth be told, it really doesn't matter what we think as this is a money and time motivated world.

just my 2 cents

PCG

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