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Beaver dam removalWord reached Morrison Creek headquarters on Friday that the evil warlord Castor (nicknamed Bucky the Beaver) had taken hostile action in Nelly Creek. This encroachement took the form of totally damming a main culvert, choking it off completely and thereby blocking the legitimate aspirations of the Pink Salmon people for a spawning ground of their own. Something needed to be done immediately. Beaver dam removal was needed.

An initial scouting mission on Friday afternoon confirmed that things were every bit as bad as had been reported. Headquarters decided to send three members of the elite Salmon Team Six to deal with the situation.

A beaver dam removal team is dispatched

The commandos gathered at the Broken Spoke Cafe on Saturday morning. The team consisted of Jim Palmer, Bob Foster and Steve Harvey. After consumption of the requisite cafeinated beverages, and a quick stop at Current Environmental for extra armamaments, the team headed for Nelly Creek.

When the team arrived at the objective, it was obvious that a head-on assault wasn’t in the cards. The water behind the dam was much too deep to work in. Divers and explosives were briefly considered, but the absence of diving gear made that impossible. The only alternative was a sneak attack up the Culvert from downstream.

The plan was a simple one, as all good plans are. A steel cable would be attached to a six-foot crowbar. One of the team would sneak up to the dam through the culvert and ram the crowbar and cable through the dam. Other team members would attach a smaller crowbar to the cable. Then a pair of come-alongs would be hooked to the cable downstream of the dam. The idea was to pull the whole dam down the culvert and let it disintegrate downstream.

Specialist Palmer volunteered to go up the culvert with the cable, since he was the smallest man on the team.

The plan proceeded without a hitch, that is until the cable became detached from the small crowbar. A foothold had been gained, but it wasn’t nearly enough. A second attack was obviously going to be necessary.

A piece of good fortune appeared while the team was rerigging the cable. Specialist Palmer discovered an old anchor in the water. This was attached to the end of the cable and afforded a much better bite. Things were looking good.

And they were good. Partway through the second pull the cable suddenly went slack and a huge torrent of water began to drain from the pond above. All that was needed now was to let the water do its work, although some assistance was needed to remove all vestiges of the dam.

So Salmon Team Six was victorious. The way was opened for the salmon waiting downstream and the team left happy, having executed another successful beaver dam removal.

Of course, Buck Beaver won’t take this lying down. One beaver dam removal won’t be enough to stop him. He’ll be back soon with counter-measures of his own, but by then the fish will have spawned. This was just one small battle in the struggle to afford all species access to the resources they need to thrive. In fact, as the team departed, they seemed to hear Arnie Beaver promising I’ll be back!

Note: this account of beaver dam removal is obviously tongue-in-cheek. The language is outrageous, but the description of events is accurate.

The beavers will certainly be back. There’s time while the culvert is open to try some anti-beaver protection techniques. There’s a wealth of information about what works and what doesn’t in this PDF about beaver dam removal called Working With Beavers.

One Comment

  • Ogunfuwa says:

    I forgot to make a big deal about this 115th anrnevrsaiy (or birthday) of the patent for the button/badge/pin. It was born in the same state I was: New Jersey, home to so many inventions from the record player to the motion picture (two of Tom Edison’s 80,000 patents). So even thoiugh I was up in Maine for the week, and completely forgot that July 21st was the day the button was patented, I was wearing one anyway, a nice little one inch one I found in an arcane shop on Valencia Street in San Francisco two years ago, hand assembled, no doubt, on a Tecre button machine. Origin unknown (no fine print on the edge). Maybe you made it?

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