In Fargo, a brewing battle over beavers

“We’re a civilized community living in 2015,” Megan Bartholomay, a 38-year-old Fargo resident, says. But she says a plan to prevent beavers from cutting down trees in the city is “barbaric.”

Beavers and trees have never been good friends, and the Fargo Park Board is coming down on the side of the trees, proposing to trap and then kill the critters, the Fargo Forum reports.

The beavers are destroying mature trees in Lemke and Trefoil parks.

So Bartholomay is trying to whip up support on Twitter, creating the #beaverbacker hashtag.

It’s not going that well.

The park board president says he’s open to hearing alternatives, the Forum says.

John Paulson, a U.S. Department of Agriculture official who’ll lead the cull, has said trappers may use body-gripping traps, which catch and kill a beaver as it passes through, or traps that grab a beaver and hold it underwater so it drowns.

“There’s always other options,” said Adam Hasbargen, who opposes the trapping plan. “I would hope that our leaders would find the other options and utilize them.”

Hasbargen, a 40-year-old Moorhead resident, is part of an informal group of activists called Fargo-Moorhead Animal Rights.

Another member of the group, 44-year-old Tim Ness of Moorhead, said the park district, instead of killing beavers, should try to relocate the animals, guard trees with wire fencing or coat tree trunks with a beaver repellant.

Paulson has said fencing and repellants may be considered for protecting particularly valuable trees.

Bartholomay said she’s not sure of the best way to solve the beaver problem. “But I think it’s worth investigating a little bit more,” she said.

How do you trap a beaver?

Like this.