Time to look at changing beaver management in Beaver Creek Park


Last updated 2/21/2020 at 9:23am

As you may have read in the paper, as a park board member, I have brought up to the Hill County Park Board that maybe we can look at other options besides trapping for beaver control in the park.

What brought this on is that we had lost our trapper — we have been using trappers for approximately 70 years — so we needed to do something. Of course, the first thought of the board was to “find another trapper.” I suggested that maybe this would be a good time to look at other alternatives, which it appears there are quite a few. There are things like flow devices, beaver deceivers, tree wraps, just to name a few, that could help solve some of our “problems.” These devices/options have been used all around the country with great success. They are not only more humane, but many times they solve the problems better and for longer. And even more good news is that the individual I have been working with on this has some very viable options/possibilities for grant money to accomplish this. If you want to see what a beaver deceiver is for example, this is just one pretty informative YouTube video you can watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXp4PvRhXA4 .

Just killing beaver will often make them breed more, and you just end up with more beavers. It can be a vicious cycle. I strongly feel this is the time to explore our options. I feel working “with” the beavers would be a better way to go than working against them. I do not agree with making trapping our first and only choice. Please feel free to share your thoughts with the park board members if you are so inclined or come join our meeting, the first Monday of each month at the Hill County Courthouse in the Timmons Room at 5:30 p.m.

What I have also learned is that other resource management effects, such as watershed protection, water quality, weed control, ecosystem balance, etc., should be looked at as well. They are all connected. There are lots of ways to make our park as healthy as possible and preserve it for many years to come.

I also think it is important to open our minds to change and try something new. I know that is hard sometimes, but I feel very necessary if we want to grow. I think working with nature is much better than working against her. As Harrison Ford said, “Mother Nature doesn’t need humans, humans need Mother Nature.”


Renelle Braaten of Havre is a member of the Hill County Park Board


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