By Robert Lucke
by Robert Lucke
The Havre Daily News
Thursday, May 6
Campers in the Rotary Park area of Beaver Creek Park have noticed that beaver have been at work building dams and removing trees from areas just north of the main camping area.
Even though this has caused some consternation from some picnickers and campers who fear that soon the area will be treeless, beaver are not always the enemy when viewed by park officials.
In that area of Rotary Park those beaver did that damage last fall, said Donna Golie, park secretary. Those beavers were trapped last fall. In fact beaver are trapped from the park every year. There are usually around a hundred taken.
There has been more beaver activity this year throughout the park.
If the beaver think it is going to be a dry year, they go like the devil. We had very little moisture early in the snow and before these last rains, it was pretty dry so the beaver were busy. They are working overtime in fact, said Golie.
Not only that but the flood of last year wiped out scores of beaver dams. This spring has been a rebuilding time for beaver trying to rehabilitate those dams.
All this beaver activity is not bad in Beaver Creek Park.
You know in the drought of 1988, those beaver saved our bacon, added Golie. Not only that but they saved the trout population too. Beaver ponds provided the only water in many parts of the creek that year.
When trapping over a hundred beaver a year out of the park, why are there still so many working so hard right now?
Several years ago, Northern Montana College did a Beaver Creek Park beaver study and concluded that the average number of beaver kits born in a litter statewide was at times almost doubled in Beaver Creek Park, conditions for beaver were so ideal. In the years since that study, beaver environmental quality only improved even more. Hence, lots of beavers are born in Beaver Creek Park.
How so many beaver stay in the park is a matter of some debate. Area ranchers contend that beaver that flood their hay say that ranchers blow up beaver dams, the beaver migrate to the park for more peaceful surroundings.
What ever the reasons for all the beaver in Beaver Creek Park, through the years they have been selective in the amount of trees they cut as well as where they cut them.
Maybe those engineering beavers are more aware than people figure. Could they be aware of when to stop chopping in order to insure there would be plenty of wood in Beaver Creek Park for future dams on the creek?
Thinking that along with trapping beaver when possible is about the only way to handle the energetic Beaver Creek Park beaver.