This week at Council we had a few motions for approval, including investigating town-wide WiFi and reviewing the proclamation policy, which all passed unanimously.
I would, however, like to focus on the motion regarding discontinuing beaver trapping.
This motion was important, as we know almost all municipalities currently employ beaver trapping as a last resort to remove a beaver from a stormwater management pond when all else has failed. The issue with the ponds is beavers as we all know are hard workers, they get things done! They begin by building a lodge and then begin to work on building a dam. This truly is beautiful and we all love to watch wildlife in their environment, but building a dam in a Stormwater Management Pond leads to flooding and may cause extensive damage to the infrastructure. This is something that as a municipality we could not allow to happen as it could put residents’ homes in the area at risk of flooding.
So, we need a solution that balances the protection of town infrastructure and protects against flooding, while ensuring no harm comes to our wildlife. And while the motion immediately discontinues any trapping and implements a dam removal strategy, this is a short term solution. As fast as the Town removes the dam, the beaver works just as fast to build it back. So staff will be working with LSRCA, as well as consulting with experts in this field, to seek alternative measures such as flow devices that would manage beaver activity and would operate in accordance with the respective Environmental Compliance Approval (ECA).
As I mentioned at the table, this is not an issue that is unique to Aurora. Every municipality in the region struggles with how to humanely address mitigation of potential infrastructure damage due to beaver damming. This work that we as a Town have started will be the beginning of an overall change in how Lake Simcoe watershed municipalities address beaver management. Now that our Town has brought this issue to the forefront, LSRCA will be moving forward with the development of a technical guidance document that will address this issue for all municipalities in the Region..
I am proud that our Council passed this motion unanimously. Once again Aurora is leading the way in change that is positive. A long term humane solution to beaver damming that will ensure people, property and infrastructure are not at risk of flooding.
Thanks to Council in passing this motion to stop beaver trapping in Aurora. Not sure what the solution will be and the experts say, but if help is required may be a citizen volunteer group could be formed to implement or help with the remedies. I certainly would be willing to help.