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Letter: Counter argument about beavers in Nose Creek

Dear editor, I read with interest and some empathy Mr. Schulz’s position on why the City of Airdrie should not remove problem beavers from Nose Creek near Waterstone. I would like to express a counter point on this matter.
Airdrie letters_text

Dear editor,

I read with interest and some empathy Mr. Schulz’s position on why the City of Airdrie should not remove problem beavers from Nose Creek near Waterstone. I would like to express a counter point on this matter.

I also live just off the creek in Waterstone and have done so since the building of this subdivision in 1991. At that time, I assure you there was nothing here but a grungy creek bed surrounded on each side by long grass and definitely no trees or beavers. The Weirs were there to attract potential buyers and begin the process of beautifying our city. I bought my lot with the vision that this would happen. In my opinion, it has thanks to the foresight of the developers, city parks planners, and early residents. When the pathways were to be built the residents requested, rather than pavement, for more trees to be planted and as a result, we have what is there today.

I have watched these trees grow for over 30 years and seen some taken down in less than 30 minutes ..thanks to our furry friends.

Now, I have nothing against beavers in the wild, but this is a city. They are a rodent, and like any other rodent, can cause severe damage to property and be an expensive nuisance if not properly controlled. The costs of trees and maintaining the park creek banks has not been considered in the argument presented by Mr. Schulz. His idea that we just protect and plant trees to control their population, I feel, is not logical and flies in the face of fundamental conservation laws regarding wildlife.

Firstly, who would decide when there were enough beavers and how could they be culled? We end up in the same situation we have today, with beavers either starving because of a lack of food, or we would have to implement more drastic measures in order to control them.

Secondly, it is against the law to feed wildlife. If people feed a bear, they face potential fines. If we plant trees with the mindset of, "we can control their population," are we not feeding wildlife in an unsustainable manner?

Currently, along the pathway I see apples, pumpkins, vegetables, and other food types thrown by the creek by well-intentioned folks, but this is not right as the beaver comes to rely on this fodder, no differently then a bear does for garbage.

In my respectful view, we need to give the beavers a reason to leave, not to stay. If the area cannot support their existence, they will leave. The current practice of protecting trees is one method of doing this and another is destroying their dens. One such den is directly behind my house. It has been there for over 20 years. Up until about 10 years ago, it was fairly small and unnoticeable. Recently it has grown under the bank, destroying the willow bushes that were there and potentially undermining the banks stability.

I appreciate the thrill of seeing these great engineers at work, and pointing them out to children on walks along the beautiful pathways, but in my humble opinion, we have this beauty more because of the trees and not the beavers. We are not doing ourselves or the beavers any favours by continuing to feed and house them in an unsustainable situation.

R. Simpson

Waterstone


Airdrie Today Staff

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