Beaver Management Guidelines
Greystone Association recognizes that beavers mean
different things to different homeowners. Some homeowners see the beaver
as a nuisance, cutting trees, flooding roads and clogging drainage
culverts. However, other Greystone homeowners understand the habits and
benefits of beavers and view them as an indispensable and integral part of
living in a natural environment, and a majority of homeowners polled are
against the trapping and killing of beavers.
in mind, and in accordance with Greystone Bylaws and Guidelines ensuring
the common use, enjoyment and safety of the common areas, the Greystone
Association Beaver Management Guidelines seek to educate homeowners about
the habits and benefits of beavers and establishes strategies for
diminishing, or even eliminating, beaver problems without killing.
These guidelines will be used by homeowners to protect private
property and by Greystone Association to protect trees, culverts and
drains on or affecting Greystone common areas.
& Benefits of Beavers
Beaver are great pruners. Tree
cutting stimulates more growth in many trees, such as willows and crape
myrtles. For example, for each willow stem that is cut, three or four will
appear in the spring.
Beaver clear channels and keep
waterways open by creating and deepening their
ponds improve the water quality
of our steams and lakes by slowing the drainage of the land and allowing
sediment to settle out of turbid waters. Even when beavers finally move on
or are removed, their drained ponds continue to provide important
benefits. The exposed mud flats provide fertile soils for lush vegetation
to promote diverse wildlife habitats.
dams filter out toxins and solid materials.
prevent flooding. The
beaver has been called the original flood control engineer. By building
series of dams across small water courses he has helped to control water
levels and reduce floods on those streams.
dams slow erosion. By
building dams, beaver aid materially in reducing soil erosion in certain
areas. The running water that enters a beaver pond slows down and
automatically drop its load of silt. Otherwise, fine silt suspended in
running water would be carried far into the lake.
in streams improved habitats for plants and animals.
The water in beaver ponds
encourages plants, insects (particularly mosquito eating dragonflies),
birds and provides fish of many kinds with spawning places and/or over-wintering sites.
beavers is a great family activity and a good way to interest children in
Managing Beaver Habits
who live on lakes and creeks are strongly encouraged to protect their
trees with inexpensive wire cylinder tree wraps or cages. These cylinder
cages should be made of 1/2-inch-mesh hardware cloth or heavy wire 2"
x 4" fencing. The cylinders should be 3 feet in height and well
anchored to the ground to prevent beavers from crawling under. The space
between the tree and the wire should be no less than 6 inches and
preferably 12 inches. Also, by cutting the horizontal wires at one end
next to a vertical wire, and then bending the horizontal wire into a hook,
these cages can easily be removed for use on another tree. Trees
especially vulnerable to beaver damage are:
Association will wrap trees, 6” diameter and greater, along creeks in
common area, as described above.
wrapping of individual trees is impractical, homeowners are encouraged to
fence yards or vegetation areas. Fences
should meet architectural guidelines, and be at least 3 feet high with
openings no larger than 4 inches. Fences
that do not meet this criteria, such as a split rail fence, can be
effectively lined with 1/2-inch-mesh hardware cloth or heavy wire 2"
x 4" fencing. Many
homeowners have had success with low visibility netting and/or 2’ green,
scalloped garden fences, but these fences work better as deterrents than
cases, beaver lodges and dams should NOT BE DISTURBED, as this only
encourages increased beaver activity.
Lodges and dams should be disturbed only if a) they are causing a
safety hazard, b) are causing water backup, flooding or otherwise threaten
private or common property (including bridges).
dams will not be removed, but “deceiver” or bypass devices will be
installed where (a) water backup, flooding or other threats to private or
common property can be mitigated by such a device, and
(b) where the water depth and shoreline height are sufficient to
accommodate the device.
dams will be removed only if (a) dams are causing water backup, flooding
or otherwise threaten private or common property and
(b) such threats cannot be mitigated by a beaver deceiver,
or (c) it is too shallow or water flow is too great for the use of
will not be trapped and killed because it is inhumane, unsafe, expensive,
and doesn’t permanently solve the problem.
Beaver are territorial and when a niche is opened, other beaver
will fill the niche within a year, often causing more damage by rebuilding
lodges and dams.
& Grounds Committee is responsible for initiating actions in
accordance with these guidelines. Beaver
Management Task Force members should be consulted if a situation is
identified that is not clearly handled by the above guidelines.
To Do If You Notice Beaver Damage
Charleston Management Corp.
847-3003 tel, 848-1548 fax
More Resources on Understanding and Managing Beaver Habits: