For well over a decade now I’ve enjoyed regular strolls along the West River Trail just past the Marina. The trail is written up in the Audubon Society due to the wide variety of wild birds. In the spring, and early Summer the path is often crossed by turtles off to lay their eggs, until recently a very common sight. Unfortunately I only saw two turtles this year, and both had been run over by the utility trucks working on the I-91 bridge. Over the last few years (probably for a number of reasons) there seems to be a lot less animal , and insect life. Hurricane Irene ,while not entirely, certainly had a hand in the lower numbers of wild life.
One common sight was the river beavers who make their homes along the river , and the little Islands, and marshes. A very common experience, while walking along the trail, is the sound of the beavers smacking their tails on the water, as if to let you and others know their not too far away. Toward fall one could witness their well worn paths from the river, across the trail, to the abutting corn field. Small little circles of missing corn stalks, as well as a few tell tale stalks laying waste indicated their mission. The beavers use the stalks to winterize the huts.
After Hurricane Irene, like a lot of the wild life, including the beaver population along the river had dwindled greatly. It’s been fun and amazing over the last couple years to watch how these industrious creatures, like so many Vermonters, have bit by bit rebuilt their small community , and resumed their previous lifestyle.
Last week along the edge of the river my small dog came very close to stepping into what turned out to be a beaver trap. I soon learned that the owner of the corn field was able to get the state of Vermont to finance a trapper, and eradicate all these beautiful animals that had co-existed with this situation for years. According to a person involved with this process, it was decided the beaver were acquiring way too many cornstalks for the comfort of the landowners. If you have ever walked the circumference of the field, or walked it diagonally you would know what a massive field this is. I believe I can safely estimate on a very good year these animals kept their harvest under 2%. Since this corn field encroached on what had been a natural habitat for these animals, doesn’t it seem it only far that they be allowed this small portion of corn stalks? Aren’t there more pressing things our state agriculture could be investing our money in. Since this is a trail used by families with small children, and pet owners shouldn’t there of been a public warning about all these vile traps laid along these animals’ trails from the river to the fields?
I’m greatly saddened by this terrible event, and the use of our Tax dollars , and hope this land owner and the state will reconsider before doing this sort of thing again. Thank goodness that know pets, or children were harmed. I hope these amazing animals return, and are protected.
Brattleboro 254 5421