Letter: Wrong Way to Deal With Beavers

To the Editor:

Seven Days reported that UVM will use conibear traps to kill local beavers is upsetting for many reasons: It is cruel, likely to prove ineffective and undervalues the benefits beavers provide to the local landscape.

The conibear trap often kills beavers slowly and painfully. It also kills without discretion. There are countless stories of family dogs who suffered gruesome deaths in the metal jaws of these traps. While dogs may not be a primary concern in Centennial Woods, UVM’s traps are sure to kill additional wildlife in the same horrific manner.

Moreover, the traps are likely to fail. Even if the beavers currently there are killed, more will move into the same area.

The indiscriminate killing also undermines the benefit of beaver activities and beaver ponds, which create and sustain wetlands, protect ecosystems and support biodiversity.

If we cannot coexist with the beavers, we must at least explore more humane methods for dealing with this issue. There are multiple ways in which we can prevent possible harm without applying lethal techniques, including bafflers or levelers, which control the water level without disturbing the beavers.

The solution UVM has produced is no solution at all — it is merely further destruction of the delicate ecosystem the university purports to care about. It is my hope that those responsible for this decision will use empathy, facts and humane alternatives to reconsider their “solution” to this issue.

Meg York