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Marlboro teams with nonprofit to protect wetlands, roads, and beavers

For more information on Beaver Deceivers, go to beaverdeceivers.com. To learn more about nonlethal methods of addressing human-wildlife conflicts, or to get involved in protecting Vermont’s wildlife, go to ProtectOurWildlifeVT.org.

MARLBORO—Protect Our Wildlife, a Vermont-based wildlife protection organization, partnered with the town of Marlboro to help prevent beaver-related flooding and subsequent road damage.

In 2017, POW launched a statewide Living With Wildlife program to help towns pursue nonlethal methods to address human-wildlife conflicts. With grant funding from LUSH Cosmetics, POW is providing financial support to install three culvert protective water flow devices, called Beaver Deceivers, on Grant Road in Marlboro.

This site is one of three that the town will have protected with such devices to save the wetlands and maintain these rich ecosystems for beavers and many other species of wildlife. The other devices are located on Adam’s Crossroad and on North Pond Road.

In a news release, Marlboro Selectboard member Patti Smith said that the funding “served as a catalyst to address problem culverts in a way that protects two of our town’s important assets: roads and wetlands. It is wonderful to stop at the Adams Crossroad and Grant Road sites and watch the beavers and other wildlife that now have a secure home.”

“Flow devices are the most efficient and cost-effective tools to prevent beaver-related flooding and road damage and also to protect these keystone species,” said POW project leader Linda Huebner. “Traditional methods of removing beavers usually involve shooting or using leghold or body gripping traps, both of which are unnecessary and temporary; good wetland habitat will host beavers — we can learn to live with them.”

Based in Grafton, Beaver Deceivers is owned and operated by Skip Lisle, a wildlife biologist. “Ponds and wetlands created, shaped, or maintained by beavers are incredibly dynamic, rich habitats,” Lisle writes on his website.

Marlboro Road Foreman David Elliot said he supports the project.

“We are used to just trapping the beavers but they always come back,” he said. “This is going to be a more efficient and inexpensive way to avoid the problems.”

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Originally published in The Commons issue #470 (Wednesday, August 1, 2018). This story appeared on page A3.

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