Pam Boyd

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January 9, 2013
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Eagle has a big dam problem

Beavers have been proverbially busy in Eagle, and it's causing a big dam problem.

Eagle Open Space Coordinator John Staight told members of the Eagle Town Board Tuesday night that the town will be forced to trap and then humanely dispose of some beavers who have constructed dams that are causing flooding problems on town and private property.

"As you all know, we live in a wildlife/housing interface," said Staight. "Basically we have reached a breaking point here."

The warm and long fall of 2012, combined with last year's mild winter, resulting in a dramatic surge in beaver population along Brush Creek, said Staight. But when the issue became apparent, it was too late in the year to trap and relocate animals because they would not have time to rebuild lodges or dams before winter. As a result, the animals would starve to death if relocated. Staight said the more humane solution for this year is to trap and euthanize some of the beavers to reduce the large population and avert flooding and property damage.

"Once spring comes around, that is the time to trap and relocate," said Staight. "That will be a regular part of my program from now on."

"I am opposed to killing beavers. I am bummed we have to do this," said Mayor Yuri Kostick. Kostick said while the situation may be unavoidable in the future, he wants to make sure that the town has a plan to avoid repeating it in the future.

Staight also noted that the decision to trap beavers will require a public education campaign because homeowners in Eagle Ranch, as well as people who use the recreation paths for walking dogs, must be informed about the presence of live traps in the area to avoid having domestic animals caught. While the traps themselves would not kill an animal, the town wants to avoid having unintended trapping occur.

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The VailDaily Updated Jan 9, 2013 01:03PM Published Jan 9, 2013 01:00PM Copyright 2013 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.