More Good Than Bad In Destructive Beavers

Beavers aren’t as bad as many folks think.

One would never agree with that when seeing how they can destroy beautiful timbers, block up valuable water flows and drain ponds by digging through the dam. First hand is our experience with beavers. Tree loss has been voluminous, but not really too great value wise. Damage to pond dams was a serious problem, but it has rectified

When destruction continued to expand a few years ago, we called upon a lifetime beaver trapping specialist, appropriately nicknamed Beaver. We had known the man nearly all of our life, but for some reason we didn’t know his diverse talents. Shortly, we were informed he’d trapped eight beavers, and there shouldn’t be any trouble, for awhile.

There wasn’t, but beavers did return and started doing damage again. This time, our son and grandson undertook the task of trapping the creatures, with success as well. We didn’t realize how big beavers can get. One of those trapped was 4-feet long, including his foot-long, paddle-shaped tail, and the varmint weighed over 70 pounds.

Come to find out, American beavers are the largest rodents in Kansas. They use trees to build dams and  dome-shaped lodges, their homes. We have observed beavers swimming in the  twilight, their heads causing a triangle-shaped wake on the surface. Females  bear a litter of three or four young (kits) in May or June and live up to 15   years.

An old Indian legend claims that after the Creator separated the land from the water he employed gigantic beavers to smooth the earth down and prepare it for the abode of man. Beaver dams have had much to do with the shaping and creating of a great deal of the richest agricultural land in America.

The craze for beaver fur hats in the 1700’s was the driving force behind the early exploration of Canada. Trapping caused a dramatic decline in beaver populations. However, changing land practices provided new habitat, and numbers rebounded.

Beavers play an important role in our ecosystem, but can become a nuisance.

A live beaver is far more valuable than a dead one, some have contended. Understanding the beaver provides strategy for living with them. The Salina Airport had to trap nine beavers to stop problems. Remember that Saturday night TV commercial during “Gunsmoke,” with beavers thumping their tails to music about sky blue water?

Certainly, beavers were put here for a purpose. Their origin is revealed in Genesis 2:19: “And out of the ground the Lord God formed every being of the field: and whatsoever Adam called this living creature, that was the name thereof.”

They remained His as noted in Psalm 50:10-12: “For every animal of the forest and field is mine; for the world is mine, and the fullness thereof.” We can always learn from wildlife as emphasized in Job 35:11: “Who teacheth us more than the creatures of the earth, and maketh us wiser?”