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Beavers causing problems

POSTED: July 2, 2014 4:00 a.m.

Beavers are prone to finding running water and building their dams, but in Dawson County all they seem to be building are problems.

"They dam up the downstream pipe that transfers water from one side of the road to the other, creating a backup flow of water," said David Headley, director of public works and community development.

If not removed, Headley said the dams can damage anywhere from five to 10 acres, turning fields into a swampy mess and attracting other unwanted creatures, like snakes.

Even though the roads are inspected regularly, county officials are normally not aware a dam has been built until the river or creek is staging and not flowing.

The county normally will clear out beaver dams one to two times a year, but the nuisance rodents off of Afton Road have kept the county on their toes, according to Headley.

For the past two to three years, "we were out there every three to four weeks," Headley said.

The county has to pay between $500 and $1,000 a day, depending on how much heavy equipment is required, to have the dams removed, he said.

Other areas, such as Etowah River Road, Beartooth Parkway and Grizzle Road are a few spots beavers have decided to build homes.

Because beavers are a nuisance animal, county officials can trap the beavers legally, but do not have the license to transport them.

As for the beavers on Afton Road, traps have been set, but "they have not been caught, and no one has seen them [recently]," Headley said.

 

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