M.D. of Lesser Slave River passed a new beaver management policy, which codifies what has been happening.

The new beaver policy replaces one from 2005. The wording has changed to bring the policy in line with current practices.

The written report says, “the current policy is outdated and requires the M.D. to have a special constable to oversee the program. However, this would be very costly for the M.D., around $75,000 annually or about $750 per beaver. Currently, the M.D. uses two independent beaver removal contractors to provide these services, and the M.D. only pays approximately $215 per beaver.”

In 2022, these specialists removed 59 problem beavers from the M.D., adds the report.

The M.D. is responsible for removing beavers which endanger M.D.-owned infrastructure, such as roads and culverts. Not on private land.

M.D. CAO Barry Kolenosky said that last year there was one issue where a removed dam flooded a farmer’s hay field. The new policy has instructions in place to work with landowners who might be impacted by dam removal.

Dean Beaver, M.D. acting director of transportation, reported on the new beaver management policy at the April 26 M.D. of Lesser Slave River meeting.

M.D. councillor Brad Pearson asked how the M.D. learns about beaver problems.

“A lot of our guys are traveling,” said Beaver. When they spot a beaver problem, they report it. Also, community members can report it.

At the meeting, one of the councillors reported a beaver dam problem on Range Road 11C by the Hondo mail boxes. By that afternoon, M.D. staff were working on it.

The beaver policy includes when the M.D. will trap beavers.

It is timed so it won’t interfere with traplines, says Beaver. This means the M.D. doesn’t do it in the winter.

If M.D. residents want a beaver removed on their land, the M.D. can pass on the contact information for the beaver removal contractors.

by Pearl Lorentzen

May 10, 2023

This item copyrighted by   AlbertaChat.com / Lakeside Leaader   Slave Lake, Alberta

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