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Reston Association Working to Manage Beaver Population in Glade Area

by Dave Emke — February 16, 2017 at 2:45 pm 22 Comments

Beavers have long been a part of the Glade Stream Valley, but Reston Association is working to make sure they don’t cause destruction for nearby residents in the form of damaged trees and flooding.

“It would be hard to find a better example in Reston of a healthy, diverse, native ecosystem than the two beaver wetlands (Glade Valley and Bright Pond),” reads information provided by Claudia Thompson-Deahl, senior environmental resource manager. “Reston’s beaver wetlands are one of the few places in Reston where nature is able to thrive despite all the surrounding suburban pressures.”

Beavers, however, bring a “dramatic change” to the surrounding environment, so Reston Association has developed a beaver management policy.

According to Thompson-Deahl, additional fencing is being installed to keep Glade beavers out of residents’ yards and off wooded slopes, and many individual trees have been protected with wire mesh to safeguard the pathway.

In the long term, Reston Association staff, with input from residents and wildlife experts, has developed and implemented guidelines for beaver management in the area. The primary goal is to find methods to preserve and protect substantial portions of the stream valley from beaver activity. To do so, staff plan to divide the valley into two sections.

  • Section 1, designated as a “Beaver Management Area,” will consist of stream valley that runs from Twin Branches Road to the bridge behind Leatherwood Drive that leads to the Hunting Horn Lane Tot Lot.
  • Section 2, running from Hunting Horn Tot Lot to Soapstone Drive, will be managed as a wooded stream valley.

Section 1 contains residential property, utility easements and recreational facilities. With that in mind, according to Thompson-Deahl, fencing and pipes will be used to protect those areas. Three-foot wire-mesh fencing will protect and areas threatened by beaver activity, in the attempt to ensure continuous tree cover between Twin Branches Road and Soapstone Drive. In addition, over 100 Bald Cypress trees have been planted, with wire-mesh caging around each one.

In Section 2, beaver activity will be discouraged with fencing and stream gates. According to provided information, beavers in that area “will be removed” by a licensed trapper if the discouragement fails.

According to Thompson-Deahl, beavers provide positive attributes to the ecosystem including a reduction in stream erosion, reservoirs of water during period of drought and freeze, and the creation of wetlands that support a large amount of plant and other animal life.

“Both Reston’s residents and the Reston Association value encouraging a healthy, diverse community of plants and animals to thrive in Reston’s natural areas,” she writes. “Therefore, it makes sense to reach a compromise and create a beaver management plan that allows the beavers to stay in some areas while keeping them out of others.”

RA’s website offers more information about the beaver population in Reston and how it is managed. For help with issues related to beavers or other wildlife, call 703-435-6547.

  • 30yearsinreston

    Another example of RA overeach trying to.solve a non problem
    RA would be better off learning how to.manage their contractors and staff instead of worrying about beavers

    • Poster

      So helping protect homeowners’ trees and property as well as the environment, yet not resorting to killing animals is not part of RA’s mission? And you say you live in Reston? Sure.

      • Mike M

        Do homeowners have any responsibility? Or do we all have to subsidize a few with special services? In Reston? Shall we invest to save nature from itself. Eeek! My oak leaves are killing my grass. Where is the RA? The blue jays are waking me up in the morning. Damages? Hunters?

        I say we all don our beaver caps and march down Glade Stream Valley in protest!

        • Willie Reston

          It’s not just peoples’ yards that can be affected by this. Roads, utilities, public parks, etc. can all be harmed. Keep in mind most of Reston’s electrical grid is underground; we’d like for parts of it not to be under six feet of water too.

          • Mike M

            I am familiar with this case in particular. No road involved. Very deep ravine. Recurring problem over the years.

          • 30yearsinreston

            As I said, a solution looking for a problem. A RA specialty

        • Scott

          I bet we could find someone to knit hats!

          • Mike M

            Sned me a design. I think we could just die the pink ones brown, then pin two big yellow buck teef to the front.

      • Mike M

        So, . . . they are saving the environment, . . . from itself? The beaver is indigenous.

    • Willie Reston

      You’re clearly unfamiliar with how much flooding a single beaver can cause to an area. These are not raccoons or skunks we’re talking about here.

      • 30yearsinreston

        Yes I am
        I tired of rent seekers getting Taxpayers to pay for local problems
        The common area at the back of my house has erosion due to misplaced trees
        Since I’m not allowed to cut them diwn Why don’t RA pay for that ?

  • Think local act global

    I think we should capture all beavers and airlift them to Canada where they belong. This is a small project but because it transcends international boundaries its, for its kind, an unprecedented example of how we can manage global relations and the eco system worldwide. Local residents will be surprised to find that we can probably do this without a fime coming out of your pocket, just keep the pools closed for one season only.

    • Get a clue

      Wow that sounds stupid

      • Train the trainer

        Agree. And expensive. Maybe RA can train the beavers instead, cap all Reston trees at the half way mark to rule out potential storm damage. I think you would be with me on this one.

    • 30yearsinreston

      Will the Canadians accept them ?

      • Mike M

        Canadians like their beaver. Maybe the Donald can make a deal. We keep Justin Bieber; they get our beaver. I think they’d go for that.

        Note: The Canadians did well not to get all those [email protected] who said they were moving to Canada if trump won.

  • Drip

    If RA had competent leadership, I don’t think there would be much consternation over this project. However, we have recently experienced the epic fails on Tetra, Pony Barn, the haphazard planned IT contract to create a photographic database of our children, continued employment of Cate Fulkerson, Eve Thompson’s blatant conflicts of interest, “finding money” in the budget through obvious paper movements, increased dues, just to name a few. These fiascos have caused RA to lose any ounce of credibility it may have previously had. Those who pay attention generally do not trust or respect RA to be proper fiduciary stewards of our money. Cate Fulkerson can say the sky is blue and most of us would look up to confirm, while simultaneously checking to make sure our wallet was still there.

    • Guest

      It’s good to be focused on solving problems in RA. However, the Environmental Team always has to manage these particular critters. This is just the latest step.

  • Scott

    I grabbed my chainsaw and was going to harvest those downed trees to burn in my fireplace, but the damn beaver fence kept me out!

  • 30yearsinreston

    What are RA going to address the groundhog and deer problem
    They are using the paths without paying dues
    Staff and the Project Director should be immediately tasked with hiring consultants to tell us what to do

    • Sal Quinn

      Like it or not times are changing.

  • I’d Rather Post As A Guest

    Oh! My mistake…for a minute I thought that RA was reacting to PLAYBOY Magazine’s decision to return to full nudity again…

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