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Northfield Copes With Beaver Boom

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(credit: CBS) Rachel Slavik
Rachel Slavik joined the WCCO team in October of 2010 and is thrill...
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NORTHFIELD, Minn. (WCCO) – From spiders to mice, there has been a population boom among all types of pests this year. Now it seems we can now add beavers to that list.

The large rodent is causing problems in one area of Northfield, damaging property and causing a flooding hazard.

“There’s significantly more wildlife than we ever expected,” said Bob Haider, who had a tree damaged by beavers. “I think there are multiple. We see them periodically out there.”

Living in one of the most scenic parts of Northfield has its perks, but Bob Haider found out that wildlife can also cause a problem.

“Some people have lost significant trees and some big trees that are expensive,” he said.

Haider’s fruit trees became a tasty target to a growing beaver population, but what’s worse, the rodents have ventured far beyond his backyard.

Every other week, Northfield Street and Park Supervisor TJ Heinricy and his crew are in one of the city’s retention ponds, trying to undo a flooding hazard. Beavers tend to build up dams near the inlets and culverts.

“If I were to clean this out, there’s probably foot of mud and grass and sticks to form a dam out of,” said Heinricy as he looked at a plugged culvert.

By removing trees, brush and other building sources, Heinricy hopes it will encourage the beavers to find a new area.

In the meantime, neighbors are now finding a way to coexist with nature. Homeowners living near the retention ponds have now wrapped the trees with metal wiring to keep the beavers away.

“We’re in their habitat here,” said Haider.

Heinricy thinks the beaver problem can be blamed on a wet spring and there aren’t many natural predators for the animal in that area.

The DNR says the only way to really deal with these animals is to trap and kill. It’s illegal to trap and relocate. The city says it’s working with a trapper, but is waiting to see if the problem gets any worse.

For more information on removal methods, log onto the DNR website.

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