Hill County Park Board Approves Beaver Management Document

HAVRE, Mont. (NMB) – The Hill County Park Board held their regular monthly meeting on Monday evening and approved a document detailing plans of beaver management in Beaver Creek Park.

The document that was approved is the same as the draft that was approved by the Rules and Regulations Committee several months ago.

The policy states that trapping is a “necessary management tool” that can be utilized at the discretion of the Park Superintendent.

Alternative management methods, such as installing culverts, flow devices and pond levelers, can be recommended by the Superintendent to the Park Board, and funding for it must be approved by the Park Board.

The annual trapping season at the Park begins on October 15th, and Superintendent Chad Edgar requested that an agenda item for next month’s meeting to approve funding for trapping.

Commissioner Mark Peterson says this plan is a “living document,” that can be updated as needed or based on public input. He says the document will be looked at again at next month’s meeting, and that they will specifically look at comments provided by Lou Hagener, a cabin owner in the Park and  certified professional in rangeland management.

Included in Hagener’s suggestions are a request for a permanent record to be maintained of “actions taken and beavers trapped or removed from where, when and for what reason.”

The next Park Board meeting is scheduled for 5:30 PM on Monday, October 4th at the Timmons Room of the Hill County Courthouse.

Also discussed at the meeting:

  • Edgar says the park received 2.9 inches of rain in August, which is a nice boost but doesn’t fully mitigate the drought conditions
  • Hagener provided a presentation on the importance of monitoring causal factors that impact the park. These can range from better monitoring grazing, to weather, to wildlife use, to use of treatments in the Park. Hagener requested the Board look at providing funding for objective monitoring of these factors so they can better understand issues with the Park and how to fix them
  • Edgar says he is going to re-number campsites to provide for more clarity. Campsites will likely soon be labeled with a letter and a number, such as R1 for Rotary Campsite 1, instead of just using numbers.
  • Edgar said that MSU-Northern Welding students will soon be building a new arch and gate for display outside the Park Lodge. Pacific Recycling has stated their intent to donate iron towards the project, but Edgar says the Park will still have to incur some costs.
  • The Board said there have been a few mountain lion sightings recently and encourage recreators to be vigilant

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