Leave it to the beavers to stop work on efforts to drain a nuisance wetland on London’s east side near the intersection of Payne-Thompson Road and Center Street.
Now that the furry critters have been trapped and their dams removed Madison County Engineer Bryan Dhume can move ahead with the proposed Martin-Moon Ditch project.
The wetland affects drainage between Payne-Thompson Road and Maple Street, Dhume said.
He told the county commissioners on Monday that beaver built dams in the wetland, causing waters to rise and aggravating an already soggy situation.
Dhume said he got involved after an East Center Street resident petitioned in September 2015 to repair a collapsed tile that drains the area — once the site of a tile mill.
“It was keeping surface water from draining her property,” Dhume said.
But the presence of beavers stalled the project.
“They put a hearing for the petition on hold,” Dhume said.
Removing the dams alone would not solve the situation since beaver are quick and efficient “contractors.”
“They would have rebuilt (the dams) as fast as they were removed,” Dhume said.
He called on a local nuisance trapper for help.
Now that the beaver have been evicted, surveys can begin and hearings can be scheduled, Dhume said.
Once nearly absent from Ohio, American beaver (that’s the proper term) are making a big comeback, according to Karen Norris of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources wildlife division.
Surveys estimated slightly more than 10,000 in the state in 1980. That number increased to more than 40,000 by 2008.
“Now they are everywhere,” Norris said. “And they are readily becoming a nuisance in many areas.”
She agreed with Dhume that removing the dams alone would not remedy the situation.
“You have to remove the offending group,” Norris added.
American beaver are North America’s largest rodent, weighing up to 60 pounds and growing as long as 30 inches, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources website.
Jane Beathard is a contributor for The Advocate.