To: MN Legislators
Re: 2015 bill SF 2238 / HF 2605: Please Add Reimbursement for the Costs of Non-Lethal Beaver-Damage Avoidance.
Beaver-damage control is important, and beavers are important. New non-lethal options can allow both.
In cases where landowners and land managers want to pursue non-lethal options, they should receive the same support, or I would argue, greater support in order to encourage them to design and implement programs with better ecological benefits.
As I understand it, a growing number of landscaping companies are now equipped with plans and experience to design, construct, and maintain "flow devices" with brand names like "Beaver Deceiver," "Pond Leveler," "Castor Master," etc. High-value trees can be protected by fencing, or by beaver-repellent surface applications. The idea is to leave the beavers where they are (in places where they can be valuable additions to the wetlands), but keep them from causing damage to roads and other property.
Compared to the annual costs of beaver trapping and dam removal, there can be financial advantages to flow devices.
In areas where ecotourism is a known or potential benefit, flow devices (and live beavers) can provide additional social, financial, and ecological benefits. In communities with booster clubs for local natural areas, volunteer assistance can be available to help with design, construction, and annual maintenance.
I hope you'll consider adding the option to SF 2238 / HF 2605 to reimburse the cost of flow devices.