Four beavers lethally trapped in Mombasha Park This is part of the Town of Monroe's plan to remediate beaver overpopulation, tree damage
Photo by Erika Norton
The Town of Monroe enlisted a state licensed trapper to manage beaver overpopulation and tree damage at Mombasha Park.
BY ERIKA NORTON MONROE — After the Monroe Town Board voted to call upon a licensed outdoorsman to manage damage done by beavers at Mombasha Park, four beavers were lethally trapped this week. According to Town of Monroe Supervisor Tony Cardone, beavers had cut down more than 100 trees, creating a potential erosion issue, which would compromise the stability of the baseball outfield at the park. When the beavers cut down the trees, they also create punji sticks, which are stumps formed in the shape of a sharpened pencil top. Cardone said the sharpened stumps create a potential safety hazard for people who wander off the walking trail through the park. To remediate the issue, state licensed outdoorsman David Corrado offered to manage the beaver population by lethally trapping a number of beavers at no charge. Corrado pulled his traps out as of Monday, after four beavers were lethally trapped under New York State guidelines. According to online New York State guidelines for beaver management, there are a number of traps approved for lethal trapping, most of which are placed under the water. Cardone said that due to the overpopulation of beavers throughout the state, the beavers cannot be relocated, so the beavers are killed in the trap. “Right now, he (Corrado) feels that (four) is a good number to manage them,” Cardone said. “He thought there was anywhere between eight and 12 beavers in the lodge. So he pulled all his traps out and he’s just going to visually observe the area on an ongoing basis. He is allowed to trap through April 7 if the need arises.” Response to planIn their February monthly report, the Town of Monroe Conservation Commission said they are also aware of a beaver problem at Mombasha Park, having encountered them during recent tree planting. The Commission supported the Town of Monroe’s plan. “The Commission supports the Town Board's effort to reduce but not fully eliminate the beaver population as there are several positive benefits to them including wetland formation and private well recharge,” the report stated. But the plan has received backlash from a number of Monroe residents. Longtime Monroe resident Sharon Scheer started an online petition called “BEAVERS LIVES MATTER!,” which as of Thursday, had more than 470 signatures The petition suggests that the damage from the beavers is not severe enough to warrant killing four beavers. “Can we not try to live alongside of wildlife?” the petition reads. “Must we eradicate 1 entire family a den! (4) in such cruel methods? Can’t we work with them and start a new trend to soften our approach on wildlife?” In an email sent to The Photo News, Scheer said that “the chewing of trees will still continue and the killing of beavers will continue in a vicious cycle.” A far more practical and humane response is to deter the beavers from chewing the trees, she said. In her petition, Scheer suggests three non-lethal ways to deal with the situation, including an acrylic paint mix with commercial grade sand painted on base of trees as a deterrent, metal meshing surrounding trees at their base and planting beaver-friendly trees and bushes. “My point is tread lightly; they are genius engineers and vital part of ecosystem,” Scheer said in the petition. In response to a question about concerned residents, Cardone said, “It’s a similar program to what hunters have with the deer. You’re not trying to eliminate them, you’re trying to manage them.”