Last month, Trevor organized a hike for his Scout troop, led by a local beaver advocate and the founder of Laurel Creek Beavers. Our troop started at the Paradise Dam and walked the length of the creek to the Heretic Lodge before retracing our path. Along the way, the Scouts picked up trash (I'm happy to report there was very little) and saw 14 beaver dams. The highlight was seeing the beavers swimming near their lodge. We also saw river otters and muskrats swimming. It was awesome.
Laurel Creek Beavers (affiliate link)
We learned that the current beaver management protocol includes trapping or even killing the beavers and/or removing their dams. Our guide had a lot of before and after pictures that clearly show that that this is unnecessary, as the creek was in no danger of overflowing even with so many dams. In places where there is a flood risk (which is unlikely in our drought-stricken area), there are better solutions that simply destroying the beavers and their habitat.
The local newspaper featured our Scout outing on the front page of the Sunday paper, which I'm hoping led to increased awareness among fellow residents and greater pressure on the authorities to leave the beavers in place. If nothing else, our Scout families are now fully informed and eager to see the beavers remain a part of our community.