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Prospector Beaver Free At Last


A beaver living in Poison Creek along the Rail Trail has bypassed a death sentence and now has been successfully protected and relocated to a remote section on the Price River.

A Prospector resident contacted KPCW a couple of weeks ago when she discovered Park City Municipal had plans to trap and euthanize a beaver living in Poison Creek near Cochise Court. Its dam had caused property damage in the area because water was backing up into a resident’s crawl space. Park City Public Works made multiple attempts to dismantle the dam, but the beaver would rebuild its lodge overnight. Public Works Director Troy Dayley told KPCW they could not relocate a beaver in this area so late in the year. He said it would have no chance of acclimating in time before snowfall and winter set in.

Humane Society Board member, John Zeigler reached out to the Utah State University Watershed Sciences Department. Beaver Rehabilitation and Relocation Center Director, Nick Bouwers coordinated the process of reintroducing the beaver into an area along the Price River. There was a state veterinarian, a graduate student and a technician that monitored and tagged the beaver before the release.

“It’s likely there isn’t another beaver because there isn’t any activity after that one was trapped. It’s pretty common when a beaver disperses at that age that they’re alone for a little bit until they find a mate. So, they can take out the dams now and hopefully that relocation will be a good place for this new beaver.”

The beaver was quarantined for five days and cleared of carrying invasive aquatic Organisms.

“It was released on the Price river. There’s a restoration site there. And, it’s a sub-adult female. So, it was released on Thursday. They leave after about two years old. The parents have kits in late winter and the kits stay with them for two years and they overlap with another generation and then they leave in their second year.”

The program is about a year old and they’ve had success with reintroducing beaver all over the state. There are great environmental benefits to the water ecology and river systems when beavers are introduced. Bouwer says they’ll use a radio monitor to keep track of the young female. 


KPCW reporter Carolyn Murray covers Summit and Wasatch County School Districts. She also reports on wildlife and environmental stories, along with breaking news. Carolyn has been in town since the mid ‘80s and raised two daughters in Park City.
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