Your police log on July 8 noted that police “responded to reports of a distressed beaver on Main Street. … Police guided the animal back into the Otter Creek.” Some years ago — perhaps 2007 — the Independent had a similar report, although in that case, the police reportedly “escorted” the beaver back to Otter Creek. Could it possibly have been the same beaver? Seems unlikely. Are beavers naturally curious, or do they simply have wanderlust? Three cheers for the state of nature in Middlebury. Paul Wonnacott Potomac, Md./Middlebury  

A FAMILY OF beavers lives behind this Addison County resident’s home. They moved in to their water home in 2016 and he’s been observing them ever since. Over time, the man learned that these beavers are especially fond of apples, so he brings them an apple-snack most days. Photo by Matteo Moretti
Backyard chickens are a thing, but how about backyard beavers? Sure they don’t lay eggs, but they’ll redesign your landscape for ya. Joking aside, having a family of beavers move in is pretty special; and having them stay for five years is incredible.  That’s just what’s happened to a fellow Addison County resident (who will remain unnamed for the protection of the beavers).  “The beavers moved in in June of 2016,” he explained, as he meandered up to their main pond. “The pond is getting bigger and bigger… They dig canals to get to their food easier, but they’ve eaten most of it now.” Behind...

BY FELLING TREES and building dams, beavers have created a beautiful, marshy landscape in parts of The Watershed Center in Bristol. Volunteers have tried to devise ways of keeping open trails that otherwise would be flooded. Some trails have just been rerouted.
BRISTOL — If you’ve walked the trails on the lands of The Watershed Center in Bristol during the past several months, you know that the beavers who call that land home are doing what they do best — felling trees, building dams, creating ponds. During the summer, their efforts flooded the main trail into the land. Again. For many years, Watershed Center board members have waged a benevolent match of wills with the beavers to keep water moving through a culvert under the trail where it passes through the wetlands. A beaver baffle kept the culvert clear for long stretches of time, but eventually...

Monkton Pond Independent photos/Alexa Lapiner
MONKTON — On a warm sunny Friday afternoon last month, Theresa Payea, dressed in waders, stood atop a well-established beaver dam in Monkton Pond (also known as Cedar Lake). Payea was there, along with a few other members of the newly re-established Cedar Lake Association, to help bring a decades-long battle with beavers to a peaceful, humane conclusion. “I’ve lived here 28 years, but I’ve never seen the dam so close up,” she said. “You don’t realize how much trouble beavers are capable of.” Payea and her neighbors got an up-close and personal view of that trouble last fall, after the beavers...

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Addison County Independent