Beaver Depredation

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A controversial issue has been brought to light in the Tyrolian Village located in Incline Village, Nevada. On October 31, 2012, the Nevada Department of Wildlife distributed a one-year depredation permit to an employee of the Tyrolian Village Association (TVA). According to Chris Healy, NDOW public information officer, the specific permit allows for the trapping or shooting of beavers on Incline Creek. However, the city or county government must issue shooting authorization for the permit to be legitimate. In this instance, TVA is the homeowners’ association for the Tyrolian Village subdivision, leaving only the Washoe County Health Department able to give permission. On top of that, Incline Creek is technically not on Tyrolian Village property and is clearly marked with National Forest signs.

The reason for why residents are obtaining such permits is due to the fact that beaver dams are causing potential flooding problems to infrastructure and housing developments, as well as damage to trees on the property. According to TVA, beaver ponds have been rapidly eroding the stream bank that supports the TVA sewer line, which is responsible for transporting raw sewage from more than 200 homes. After many attempts at damaging the dams, none of the agencies disagreed with the need to remove the beavers nor did they suggest alternative solutions. Residents were forced to decide between sewer lines potentially failing and polluting the lake or removing the beavers.

When members of the Sierra Wildlife Coalition caught wind of beavers potentially being killed on public land, they were even more shocked and outraged. While there is certainly an issue at hand, members feels as though there must be an alternative solution. Sherry Guzzi, a member of the coalition, stated “you don’t have to kill the animals that we live with. Alternatives such as installing drains that allow water flow through a beaver dam are among those that are better. A paint/sand mixture can be applied to the base of trees next to beaver habitat to prevent beavers from damaging the trees.”

In an effort to deal with the problem at hand, Basile Management Practice worked alongside TVA, Forest Service and TRPA to design and implement a solution. A permit was issued that authorized the Tyrolian Village HOA rock slope bank protection and stabilization in an approximately 100 lineal foot stretch of Incline Creek to protect an existing local public health and safety facility. With this permit, construction within Incline Creek and nearby stream environment zone is allowed and ultimately protects the 12-inch sewer pipeline that runs along the creek. Due to significant erosion of the stream bank next to the sewer line has forced Tyrolian Village HOA to take steps towards preventing any further erosion and/or destruction of the sewer pipe. This proposal includes revegetation of any disturbed areas, excavating existing stream materials and replacing them, and bringing in new and larger rock materials to build rock rip rap structures. There are currently no plans to alter the existing sewer pipe or implement new land coverage. These efforts taken by Basile Management Practice, TVA, Forest Service and TRPA have offered alternative solutions to a controversial issue that solve damages done by the beavers yet save the species from depredation.

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