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September 10, 2020, 2:05 pm

Port Alberni to Co-Exist with Beavers

City of Port Alberni
PORT ALBERNI – In alignment with one of Council’s 2019-2023 Corporate Strategic Plan goals, environmental leadership and responsibility, the City of Port Alberni has partnered with The Fur-Bearers and Van Isle Wetlands to address beaver conflict sites. In support of wildlife coexistence, the City is proud to be the first Vancouver Island community to have beaver conflict sites fitted with ‘flow devices’ that will reduce lethal trapping while protecting infrastructure, wildlife, and the greater community.

Beavers, a keystone species essential to ecosystems, can create hazards through their damming activities. Culverts and roads can become blocked or damaged through these efforts, which can cause flooding and wash out roads. However, simply removing dams and the beavers is a costly and short-term solution; new beavers will return to sites where beavers were removed. Relocation of beavers can orphan kits, create new conflict elsewhere, and spread disease or cause territorial issues.

A sustainable, coexistence-focused solution is being implemented at two Port Alberni sites: flow devices. These fence and pipe systems allow water to continue moving as designed regardless of damming activity and allows beavers to remain in place, offering a multitude of ecological benefits.

“We are pleased to be exploring these flow devices as part of our commitment to creating a sustainable community that promotes environmental, social and economic prosperity,” says Utilities Superintendent, Clinton Wright. “Community-focused solutions such as this will enhance our natural environment by protecting keystone species and all those who benefit from their presence while ensuring the ongoing safety of our infrastructure.”

Flow devices are being installed near Beaver Creek Road and the Kitsuksis Dyke trail. The implementation of the flow devices was first recommended by non-profit The Fur-Bearers and compliments Port Alberni’s Bear Smart program. Locally-owned Van Isle Wetlands (holtslagconsulting.ca) is installing the devices.

“The City of Port Alberni welcomed innovative solutions to coexistence,” says Lesley Fox, Executive Director of The Fur-Bearers. “We are thrilled to be supporting this project and evaluating its success moving forward.”

For more information:

Clinton Wright, Utilities Superintendent
City of Port Alberni
250-720-2845
clinton_wright@portalberni.ca

https://thefurbearers.com
https://www.portalberni.ca

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