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Park board ignores presentations on beaver control at park


Last updated 9/21/2021 at 10:53am

As expected, the Hill County Park Board has basically voted to continue with its current way of managing beaver in Beaver Creek Park. Trapping is the only means of control they have ever used and will continue to use. No mention of measures or monitoring or keeping records. There was a small mention of using other devices in certain instances but would have to be voted on by the board and to see if they have the money for it.

The adopted original draft by the committee effectively indicates “the superintendent has the authority to determine which methods to use.” The superintendent’s only comments at the meeting after voting in and accepting the policy was: “We need money to pay trappers so we will have to find funding for that as they will not trap for free” and “there are lots of beaver right now.” Not one mention of any other means of conflict resolution which there are multiple and very successful ones. Not to mention there are more humane and more ”long-term” fixes. Putting the superintendent in charge of making most of the decisions concerns me because his only statement to me after bringing an expert in to show and educate the park board on the many other methods was, “What are we here for?” And at a recent meeting indicated he had “nothing to say” on what the standards will be when the population is under control.

Most of these other very successful methods were presented by experts in one of their “Rules and Regulations Committee” meetings, where they gave their very thorough presentations. There are many methods to choose from that are reasonably priced and they also have an extremely good chance of receiving grants to accomplish. There is already funding available to the park for non-lethal methods, but not for trapping.

There is no question that beaver are important to our ecosystem and our need to preserve water among many other things. They are deemed necessary to help with climate change. There has been a ton of research on this subject.

Not sure why they spent all that time researching all the different ways of management, except maybe to be able to say they did. Now they can say they “researched” for months, learned, and know now what the best methods are for Beaver Creek Park. Just as suspected, it was “the plan all along.” Business as usual! Get rid of the beavers. It might be a good time to consider changing the name of “Beaver Creek Park.”


Renelle Braaten is a former member of Hill County Park Board.


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