Archive for Wednesday, January 8, 1992

CITY CREWS HAUL AWAY DEBRIS IN HOPES OF UPROOTING BEAVER

January 8, 1992

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City crews are trying to discourage a beaver from estabishing residence on the city's west side.

Tom Orzulak, maintenance manager of the street division for the city's public works department, said city crews have been removing fallen trees and other debris from a creek just east of the Clinton Parkway Assembly of God, 3200 Clinton Pkwy.

At least one beaver appears to be living along the creek, where several small trees have been felled.

The fallen trees were strewn together in what may have been the start of a beaver dam under a bridge that crosses the stream. The bridge is part of a frontage road that runs parallel to Clinton Parkway.

Orzulak said city crews inspected the site Monday after city officials were contacted about the debris by a Journal-World reporter last week.

HE SAID that although debris hadn't created backflow problems in the stream, debris could have caused flooding problems if it continued to pile up.

"It's obvious there's a beaver working there," he said.

Orzulak said he ordered city crews to clear the debris to discourage the animal from completing its dam. In addition, he said city crews were removing several stumps in the area. He said the 1-foot stumps were "sharp as pencils" and were dangerous for anyone walking in the location.

Orzulak said it appears as if only one beaver is working at the location.

"We don't want him to get to the point where he's got a lodge and a family," he said. "The potential for flooding there is great."

CITY CREWS have contacted the Kansas Wildlife and Parks Department about safely relocating the beaver, Orzulak said.

City workers removing debris have not seen the beaver, he said. Beavers are mainly nocturnal creatures.

Clyde Umscheid, conservation officer with the Kansas Wildlife and Parks Department for Douglas County, said he told city officials to contact a wildlife and parks biologist or a person in a similar field who could trap the beaver and relocate it.

"The first thing we'll try to do is live-trap it and get it somewhere else," Umscheid said.

The beaver location was discovered at least two weeks ago by residents in the area.

Orzulak said that last year, city crews helped clear debris from what looked like a beaver dam just southwest of the city at the south end of Crossgate Drive.

In that case, the beaver seemed to have left the area on its own and did not have to be relocated, he said.

Orzulak said he hoped the same would happen at the Clinton Parkway location.

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