The dozens of public works officials, municipal engineers, conservation agents and others who crowded into a meeting room here one recent morning needed help. Property in their towns was flooding, they said. Culverts were clogged. Septic tanks were being overwhelmed.
“We have a huge problem,” said David Pavlik, an engineer for the town of Lexington, where dams built by beavers have sent water flooding into the town’s sanitary sewers. “We trapped them,” he said. “We breached their dam. Nothing works. We are looking for long-term solutions.”
Mary Hansen, a conservation agent from Maynard, said it starkly: “There are beavers everywhere.”
‘Problem’ is in scare quotes because I don’t actually think that there is one, here. What I think that we have here is a new-found opportunity to use the principles found in the following books:
- The Everything Wild Game Cookbook
- The Complete Book of Tanning Skins and Furs
- The Art Of Boot And Shoemaking, A Practical Handbook: Including Measurement, Last-Fitting, Cutting-Out, Closing, And Making (1885)
…in such a way as to ensure that pretty soon the problem gets brought down to more manageable levels. Because you know what teaches a wild animal to respect human territory?
Eating it, and then using its skin for a hat.
PS: Oh, I’m not saying that we have to hunt them almost to extinction again; merely that… many critters are tasty, and their fur is warm.
Crossposted to Moe Lane.