HANOVER - Hanover Highway Superintendent Steve D'Angelo is familiar with dealing with nuisance beavers, but has run into a problem with a new dam in Irving.
D'Angelo reported to the town board recently that a beaver dam was recently discovered on the CSX railroad property near Mott Road in Irving.
He explained the little creek runs under Routes 5/20 between Kwik Fill and Dunkin' Donuts and goes back along the railroad, to empty in dead creek near the town boat launch. The problem with a dam on the creek is the danger to the roadway.
Photo courtesy of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
Hanover Highway Superintendent Steve D’Angelo said a beaver dam on CSX railroad property could be a problem for the town.
He said the town had a problem with beavers in the area on private property about 5 years ago. He said the town got a release from the property owner, a nuisance permit from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and then trapped the beavers and broke the dam.
However, this time D'Angelo is running into more problems.
"That worked well," he said. "Until recently when I saw the creek by Dunkin' Donuts was nearly full."
That was when D'Angelo discovered the dam was located on railroad property.
He said he tried calling CSX and the Railroad Transportation Board, but has yet to make contact with anyone who can help.
"I can't go on that property. I made calls but had not luck reaching someone. I don't know what we can do. I don't want to be arrested for trespassing," he said. "It is not a good situation."
D'Angelo said his crew was able to take out some of the water from the creek, but something will have to be done about the beavers.
"It is a much more complicated situation than last time," Councilman Kevin O'Connell said.
D'Angelo agreed, "It is 100 percent more complicated."
The highway department has had issues with nuisance beavers in other parts of the town in the past. D'Angelo said they have had a repeated problem with beavers trying to build a dam in a road culvert on Hopper Road.
He said they have come up with an effective way to evacuate the culvert of the sticks and mud by using a telephone pole held by equipment to push out the debris.
D'Angelo said they have attempted to break the dam without trapping the beavers in the past, but the beavers can rebuild a dam nearly overnight.
D'Angelo said he would keep trying to work toward a solution.
The DEC regulates nuisance beavers, where a dam can only be removed with a permit. Beavers were nearly eradicated from New York state in the 1800s, but regulations on trapping led to a boom in population in the early 1900s. Since then the DEC has tried to balance trapping with the benefits beaver dams provide. Although beaver dams can be beneficial to wetland wildlife, it can also damage property, trees and roadways.
For more information on nuisance beavers go to www.dec.ny.gov/ani-mals/6992.html.