Sudbury

Conservation Sudbury trying to keep eager beaver at bay along Lake Laurentian trail

Conservation Sudbury seems to be in a bit of a dispute with one of its more wild neighbours. The battle is over a wooden structure in the Lake Laurentian Conservation area. A beaver is wreaking havoc on a floating boardwalk which crosses -oddly enough- Beaver Pond.
This is the work of an eager beaver who is trying to expand its lodge on top of the floating boardwalk in the Lake Laurentian Conservation area in Sudbury. (From @Lake_Laurentian on Twitter)

Conservation Sudbury seems to be in a bit of a dispute with one of its more wild neighbours. The battle is over a wooden structure in the Lake Laurentian Conservation area.

A beaver is wreaking havoc on a floating boardwalk which crosses -oddly enough- Beaver Pond, says General Manager of Conservation Sudbury, Carl Jorgensen.

Carl Jorgensen with Conservation Sudbury says the trails maintenance worker at Lake Laurentian Conservation has been busy cleaning up after a beaver. The animal has been leaving mud, sticks and other debris on the floating boardwalk along the trail (Samantha Lui/CBC)

He says he thinks the animal is trying to expand its lodge out from under the walkway.

"The pile and accumulation of sticks is getting so big that the beaver has decided to take them out of the water and include the top surface of the boardwalk where people walk," says Jorgensen.

The beaver is not causing any structural problems to the trail. However, Jorgensen says it is the Lake Laurentian trails' maintenance supervisor who must clean up the mess.

"We have 60 kilometres of trails. Conrad [the trails maintenance supervisor] has a lot of work to do on a daily basis and so when this occupies anywhere from ten minutes to an hour of his time that means he's not spending some attention to another part of the trail that might need it," says Jorgensen. He adds it's a bit of a nuisance.

Keeping score on Twitter

The trails' maintenance supervisor for Lake Laurentian Conservation area is keeping score on the Twitter account @Lake_Laurentian.

Jorgensen says normally the worker tweets pictures from the trail or work that's being done there. But the battle with the beaver has seem to caught attention on social media.

Put up a fence: beaver whisperer

This past spring Jorgensen says they invited an expert, dubbed the Beaver Whisperer (Michel Leclair) to Sudbury. The Beaver Whisperer held a workshop with local stakeholders about providing better beaver management.

At the time, Jorgensen and others at Conservation Sudbury showed the expert the floating boardwalk at Lake Laurentian. When asked what they should do about the eager beaver, the expert suggested installing simple fencing.

A beaver like this one is wreaking havoc on the trail in the Lake Laurentian Conservation Area in Sudbury. The animal keeps leaving mud, sticks and other debris on top of a floating boardwalk. (sherseydc/Flickr)

So, as with many neighbourly disputes, Jorgensen says Conservation Sudbury will put up a fence.

"We don't want to have a big plastic snow fence or anything like that on this floating boardwalk. We don't want to mess up the aesthetics. We want it to still be a very nice looking place," says Jorgensen.

The fence will go along the sides of the floating boardwalk to hopefully deter the beaver from trying to expand his lodge.

Jorgensen says if that doesn't work at least the animal will soon be heading into hibernation for the winter, providing Conservation Sudbury with a bit of a reprieve from the problem.

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