The Lester beaver must move as the dam causes concerns at the southern end of Ottawa

The Lester beaver must move as the dam causes concerns at the southern end of Ottawa

OTTAWA – The future of a Beaver Dam at the southern end of Ottawa is in doubt.

The habitat is located along a path in Sawmill Creek near Fawn Meadows Park and near home.

The beaver, which some locals have called ‘Lester’ for the road that runs behind the dam, has been busy.

“I think the beaver has been building in this area over the last few months,” says Robert Grant, who lives nearby.

“We’ve got a lot of people visiting the dam, we’ve had at least two groups of our friends bring their little ones to come and learn about the dam.”

However, Lester may soon be on the move.

The City of Ottawa tells CTV News Ottawa that there are concerns about high water levels caused by the beaver dam, and it follows local and provincial guidelines. The staff will hire a prisoner to move the beaver.

“While we understand the value this beaver has brought to the community, the city’s primary concern is the safety of its residents and those who use Fawn Meadow Park and the surrounding area,” said Adrian Richardson, Area Manager, Parks & Grounds with the City of Ottawa.

“The city follows the guidelines of the Ottawa Wildlife Strategy and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR) on this practice and hired an OMNR-licensed hunter.”

Richardson tells CTV News Ottawa that the beaver dam has caused the water level to rise “by up to six feet and has flooded the forest.” Richardson adds the high water levels, “Pose a risk to vegetation and nearby trees and can damage infrastructure. There is also a risk of a sudden burst of the dam, creating a danger to public safety.”

A letter sent to residents said city staff recently lowered the dam to ease water pressure, but despite best efforts, high water levels continue to pose a threat to residents, residential properties and urban infrastructure.

“It’s not too big a deal,” says one Adrian Turner, as he walks with his dog near the path, “My house is not near, so it’s not really too worrying; but some of the occupants may have some problems with the water level are rising because they have some lower backyards. “

Other residents like Greg Lister would also like to see the beaver stay.

“It’s a very unique thing I find, I’ve never had this opportunity to close the home, and I’m very grateful,” Lister said.

Grant tells CTV News Ottawa that he has not seen the water come near the trail.

“It’s a wonderful education for the children in our area, it increases biodiversity,” he says. “It’s just great to see a beaver when you’ve out for a walk and he does not hurt anyone; he does not play loud music at night.”

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