More to the Story with Staley: Beaver Problems

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — Maybe you remember that skit on “Saturday Night Live” from many years ago.

Chris Farley’s skit on “living in a van down by the river.” We here in Chattanooga certainly have some friends who “live down by the river.” And in a nutshell, they’re driving city workers bonkers!

Those of us who live here often take Chattanooga’s beauty for granted, especially down on Ross’s Landing. But when we think about it, we love what we have. So do the beavers.

“They are fast workers. And they are motivated,” landscaper Erin Duffy said.

Beavers: cute little things, but cunning, mischievous and destructive. They love to chew on things. Here, they’re making short work of pumpkins.

Beavers make short work out of trees on the riverbank as well. In fact, the office of Parks and Outdoors planted some new trees on the riverbank at Ross’s Landing back in January. The beavers quickly mowed down a couple of them.

The city has tried various ways to keep the beavers in check.

“The hot sauce had been working, but you must reapply it,” Natural Resources Project Coordinator Lucy Ellis said. “We wanted something more permanent. The latex paint won’t wash off in a rainstorm.”

Yup! Latex paint, mixed with sand. All colors. It’s the latest attempt at keeping the critters away from our trees.

It’s not only an environmental thing, but also a money issue. And a people issue as well!

“We want to protect our trees and our assets, because who wants to sit on a bench downtown in the middle of July and it’s hot,” Ellis said “We always look for the bench that is in the trees. We want to protect our assets.”

It’s a tricky situation though. Tennessee law states that only under certain circumstances can you relocate beavers. Basically, if you trap them, you must kill them.

And the city doesn’t want that.

So, Parks and Outdoors hopes this will do the trick.

“We felt a little foolish that we didn’t cover the trees up to begin with. But even with some of our tactics, they are crafty,” Duffy said. “If they’re determined, they’ll do what they want.”

The city says if this doesn’t work, they’ll try something else. All with the goal of keeping these little creatures in check.


Categories: Chattanooga, Featured, Local News, More To The Story With Staley