Local News

'Criminal Beavers' Cause Problems In Warren County

Posted March 1, 2004

— Beavers cause big problems in North Carolina.

Consider this:

  • There are nearly a half-million beavers in our state.
  • They are blamed for everything from damaged roadways to flooded water-treatment facilities.
  • According to the

    United States Department of Agriculture,

    there were more than 9,400 requests for assistance with beaver-damage problems in North Carolina over the past 10 years.

  • A North Carolina county is trying to beat the animals to the punch.

    Beavers at an early age follow their natural instinct of chewing on wood. An adult beaver can weigh up to 100 pounds, with teeth sharp enough to cut down trees.

    "They do millions of dollars in damage across the state to timber," said wildlife specialist Frank Newell.

    Newell said beavers build dams because they cannot stand the sound of running water, and they build the dams to quiet the noise.

    The work of beavers sent Newell to a place in Warren county that bears the name Beaver Dam Road.

    "This roadway has had to be repaired on two or three occasions," Newell said. "The beaver keeps coming back. We catch them, (and) a few months later, a few more come in."

    Beavers cut down nearby timber and use rocks and mud to build dams that flood out roads or destroy agriculture and timber. Their work has landowners up in arms.

    Some landowners resort to hiring professionals to trap beavers. Sampson County pays licensed trappers $10 for every pelt.

    Warren County, which is overrun with beavers, just signed on to a federal beaver management program to thin the population.

    "We remove the problem beavers," Newell said. "All beavers are not a problem. Some of them do good things. Some of them don't, and it's the criminal beaver that we go after."

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