Mostly Trapping

Park board hears more on beavers in park
Jan 8, 2020 07:40 ET
Park board hears more on beavers in Beaver Creek Park
Hill County Park Board met Monday and discussed beaver management options and beaver trapping reports, as well as park usage.

Fran Buell of Gildford provided a beaver damage control report for the board. The document said, “At the December 2019 Montana Trappers Association Board of Directors meeting, the funding of beaver damage control on Beaver Creek Park was discussed. It was agreed that the Montana Trappers Association would continue funding to a Montana Trappers Association member to assist in beaver damage control until it will be discussed again at their May 2020 board meeting. Again, beaver damage control will be under the supervision of the Beaver Creek Park superintendent.”

Buell said the trapper has not been actively trapping since the first part of December due to the warm weather because he would like to have sufficient ice on the ponds to safely and efficiently set traps.

She said she had discussed the possibility of relocation of beaver within Beaver Creek Park or into other nearby areas with Fish, Wildlife and Parks State Furbearer and Carnivore Biologist Bob Inman.

“He stated the relocation would be under the same Environmental Assessment whether inside the park or out,” she said about the document. “The reason being the area for location would have to be determined to be habitat that the beaver could thrive in, i.e. food, water, trees, et cetera.”

He told her that the most efficient way to manage the problem beaver is trapping done by a trapper who is familiar with proper beaver trapping techniques, Buell said.

The board also discussed possible alternative beaver management options with park board member Renelle Braaten.

Braaten said she was hoping to receive more information by the board’s meeting this month, but she hadn’t.

“It could be pretty big, is all I’m going to say, if it all comes through, we could have some really good news, in my opinion,” she said.

The board tabled the item until next month’s meeting.

Beaver Creek Park Superintendent Chad Edgar said no report was available on the Folf Course proposed for creation on Beaver Creek Park.

He said the park has had quite a bit of usage for the month of December and January because of the weather.

“We’ve had people out hiking quite a bit, using the Rotary Canyon Trail and just for drives — a lot of people out,” he said. “Second lake, we’ve had quite a few people out there on a regular basis even.”

“Second lake looks like you could just go out there and ice skate. It looks so awesome from the road,” board member Ursula Brese said.

Edgar added that cattle are officially off the park to his knowledge.

The cattle grazing season on Beaver Creek Park normally runs from the day after Labor Day to the first of the following year.

Edgar said this season had a total of eight car-cow crashes, with five of the crashes happening in five days.

Aubrey Williams, Edgar’s assistant, said all cabin inspections on the park have been done.

The next park board meeting is Monday, Feb. 3, at the Timmons Room in the Hill County Courthouse. The deadline to submit items for the agenda for the next meeting is noon Jan. 24.