November 30, 2010

Property owner blocks beaver trapping plan

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tim Kane @ 7:37 pm

By Mike Donovan

RUSSELL– Blandford Road property owner Les Cooke has refused to give the town permission to trap a family of beaver that have taken up residence on Potash Brook near the intersection of Dickinson Hill Road, according to trapper Bill Hardie.
“He loves watching them—the adults and the young,” he told the selectboard last week. “He doesn’t want anyone killing animals on his property, including beavers,” he said.
The beavers came to the town’s attention about a month ago when they dropped a tree on a powerline, which snapped and fell in a marshy area. Apparently it sent an electrical charge through the wet ground because a resident reported receiving a shock from a water faucet in his kitchen. After the line was repaired, a Western Mass Electric Company representative followed up to see if other trees would threaten electrical lines, Selectman Keith Cortis said.
According to Hardie, however, the present problem is that the beavers pose a potential threat to public health by flooding septic systems. A section of property belonging to another resident of the area, David Howe, is already significantly flooded, Cortis said.
Hardie indicated that the problem could worsen if the beaver population in the area increases. “Beavers have two to five young every year,” he said, “and they’ll migrate upstream or downstream and build dams of their own.”
Cortis said the selectboard has arranged with Hardie to trap the beaver without going on Cooke’s property. Hardie will probably wait for snow cover, which will allow him to observe the habits of the animals. Beaver trapping season runs from Nov. 1 through April 15, he said.


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