Ben Armstead of the Supply Ditch Company, and his brother Norm, who is with the Rough & Ready Ditch Company, were both having trouble getting their allotted water flows because of the beaver dam. In the world of ditch companies, if it impedes the flow, it has to go. The brothers used a backhoe to tear out the obstructing dam, and noticed an increase in water flow to their ditches almost immediately. Norm said that the beavers were not removed, and admitted that, “the beavers will probably rebuild the dam in a couple of days.” He added that they could be very persistent creatures, recalling a time several years ago when for over a month, he had to clear out the box at his flow gate on a daily basis when a beaver kept filling it with debris.
Town Administrator Victoria Simonsen, and Parks & Rec. Director Dave Cosgrove had been given permission by the BOT two weeks ago to “deal with the situation” if an emergency situation arose because of high spring runoff. Both said they were not consulted about the dam’s removal, but added they had heard a rumor that the local ditch companies were not happy with the beaver dam. Cosgrove had been looking into the option of having the animals removed. He said he had just contacted a woman out of Denver, who charged $25 per hour (including travel time), and $325 per animal to “live trap” the beavers, and relocate them. Since there were at least three critters in question, this would have amounted to well over $1000 if the Board had decided to go that route.
It remains to be seen what affect the removal of the dam will have on the beavers; will they relocate on their own, or will they rebuild? Stay tuned. For now it’s Ditch Company 1, Beavers 0.