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Bridgewater promises posted warnings when beaver trapping

by Keith Corcoran

 BRIDGEWATER - Warnings will be posted if and when this town tries to nab a certain type of industrious rodent.

 Town council passed a motion last week that if traps are used to capture or kill beavers signage be posted to make the public aware. The move comes following Bridgewater's hiring of a licenced wildlife officer to trap pesky beavers creating havoc not far from Victoria Road.

 Nova Scotia's Natural Resources Department issued a nuisance permit in order for trapping to take place. The town also wants permission from other agencies to remove the dam.

 There's been an issue with a dam under a Centennial Trail bridge in the area called Whitman's Pond. The resulting backup of water is creating a flooding problem, officials say.

 One local family understands the beaver's creating problems but they were upset with the trapping method being used and the lack of public warnings about it. David and Cheryl Rodenhiser claim a lack of posted warnings about kill-trapping in the area poses a risk especially to pets and small children.

 Ms Rodenhiser, speaking on behalf of her husband and concerned trail users, addressed town council last week about the issue.

 "There was a deadly beaver trap set there and there was no signage stating that it was a danger," she told the politicians, noting a lack of warning makes the situation "an accident waiting to happen."

 Town engineer Harland Wyand felt posting notices creates a different issue.

 "The problem with putting up signage or notification you draw people to the attention of that," he told the council meeting, noting that more foot traffic has been noticed in the area since the issue first became public.

 "We're trying to get rid of the beavers as quickly as possible," Mr. Wyand said.

 Beavers are known to quickly rebuild dams that are destroyed. "There's no point in removing the dam if you don't remove the beavers first," Mr. Wyand added.

 Town officials say they are following the recommendation and best practices of the trapper on how things should proceed.

 But without posted signage those people obeying rules and regulations are penalized by not knowing about the existence of the trap, suggested Deputy Mayor David Walker, who was among the majority of council who supported the idea of a public notice.

 Mayor Carroll Publicover backed the motion as well.

 "Our view is that innocent people going by there who may want to wander down that bank - with no sign - could be seriously hurt and that would be a regrettable occurrence."

 During a break in the regular televised meeting, a councillor was overheard joking that the broad-tailed tree-gnawers could have a heads-up that trappers are closing in.

 "Any chance this beaver gets cable?"

posted on 11/23/11
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