Last year we ran a book excerpt from a work that celebrated beavers as an important member of the animal kingdom. That chapter that ran from author Ben Golfarb’s book about these rodents chronicled their popularity in the Contra Costa County community of Martinez in the Bay Area.
So it was a bit newsworthy in Martinez, the county seat, when two beavers thought to be causing damage in a nearby creek in the county were killed by county officials after getting permission by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Here’s more from Bay Area News Group:
Because the beavers were building dams in Oakley’s Marsh Creek and possibly eroding the waterway’s banks and gnawing on Creekside Park’s trees, officials from the Contra Costa County Flood Control Division asked the the California Department of Fish and Wildlife several weeks ago for permission to get rid of them.
The state agency issued the county permits to kill up to five beavers in the coming year, according to Allison Knapp, assistant director of county public works, which oversees flood control.
The county contracted a trapper who shot the two beavers on site, she said. Their mud-and-stick handiwork also was destroyed because they could cause the creek to flood in the rainy season, she added.
The decision didn’t sit well with Martinez-based community organization Worth A Dam, which was featured in Goldfarb’s book and helps coordinate an annual beaver celebration festival in Martinez. Heidi Perryman, who founded the nonprofit, published a lengthy post on the Worth A Dam website after she called the incident a “tragedy” when quoted in the newspaper report:
“Normal people, of course, would just be saddened at the outcome. And I am too. But I am far past normal. And I see all the shades of gray that make this tragedy a step forward,” Perryman wrote, citing a paragraph in the story that suggested alternative solutions would be explored in the future when similar issues face the county.