Beaver rebound... and then some

There are a bunch of interesting bits in this WSJ essay by Jim Sterba. He's author of Nature Wars -- it's about how many wild animal species have flourished in populated areas over the last few decades, and the resulting tension from animals and people being neighbors. But the bit that jumped out at us: "By 1894, the largest forest left in the eastern U.S., the Adirondacks, was down to a single family of five beavers." Now? There are so many they're considered nuisances in many places. [via @AndyArthur] Earlier: Foxes and fishers and bears, oh my!

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In fact, it was the State of New York that brought about the resurgence of the beaver in the Adirondacks, releasing a few pairs into northern Hamilton and Herkimer counties in 1905. by 1919 the state was reporting 587 beaver dams in the Adirondack counties, flooding 8,681 acres and harming more than $51,000 worth of harvestable timber on those acres. The Conservation Commission's report for 1919 said, "for every beaver dam built, some one has to pay $90." Opining that perhaps there should be an open hunting season, the report said, "Something must be done to prevent such large and wide spread damage."

I love the wild beaver and we need to be tolerant of their activity...within reason of course. Our local "Albany County shed" for the road maintenance department are continually destroying a beaver dam that is backing water onto land that foreman has a personal interest in. The wildlife interest should come first and using state funds for personal gains at the expense of our wildlife seems a bit off color. Keep up the good work

They are large, destructive stupid rodents. I'm for keeping the numbers down. They are in no danger whatsoever of dying out.

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