Here is the press release that we just sent to our media contacts.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Homeowners Association Rejects Community Group’s Offer to Help Support the Glenview Beavers
APRIL 23, 2021, GLENVIEW, ILLINOIS: Yesterday the Concord at the Glen HOA sent out a notice to its residents announcing its intention to leave the Glenview beavers in the association’s retention ponds but cut off their food source by wrapping the trees, forcing them to move on. (A copy of the HOA memo is attached to this press release.) Several hours later, and seemingly by accident, workers for the Village of Glenview mistakenly dismantled the beavers’ lodge while apparently doing routine drain clearing on the middle retention pond.
The public first became aware of the plight of the beavers on April 8 when community members shared the HOA’s plans to trap and kill the beavers using underwater traps because they had destroyed some ornamental trees. Mrs. Bunty Clements, who was a longtime president of the Canadian group the Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals, once wrote: "A beaver trapped in an under-water set can take up to twenty minutes to drown. All this time it fights the trap, sometimes breaking its teeth in a desperate effort to escape. Besides, no authority in the world recommends drowning as a method of euthanasia; and aquatic animals do not often drown instantly."
The newly formed community group Glenview Beavers Fan Club (GBFC) sent a written proposal to the HOA on Monday, April 19, outlining a plan to support the HOA in maintaining a suitable habitat for the beavers. The HOA had been given an estimate of $25,000 to replace the trees that the beavers had damaged. Those replacement trees would need to be protected from other beavers who might decide to make their home in the retention ponds should the current occupants be removed.
“We sent a positive offer to the HOA offering to use our relationships with local garden centers to purchase replacement trees below cost, fundraise to cover the costs of the trees, and coordinate with local service organizations to plant and protect the new trees. We were really excited by the idea of involving the whole community, and every business and service organization that we reached out to was excited to partner with us and the HOA,” Glenview resident and one of GBFC founding members Rachel Schick Siegel recounts. “We also took inspiration from the Colorado Group Wildlife 2000 and offered to plant “snack trees” each year for the beavers to use in constructing their den. Under our proposal, the HOA would have saved the estimated $25,000 and been able to enjoy the wildlife at the retention ponds without ongoing landscaping costs. The only thing we were asking of them was to let us know if there was a problem.” (A copy of the proposal is attached to this press release.)
However, the HOA did not share the proposal with its residents and declined to meet with the GBFC and wildlife experts.
Upon learning of the lodge’s destruction, one of the GBFC’s founding members, Northbrook resident and landscape designer Jackie Barrett, rushed over to the pond to survey the damage. “I asked [HOA President] Patrick Evans if we could deliver branches or some kind of shelter for the beavers now that their lodge has been destroyed. If one of the beavers is female and pregnant, she is likely to give birth shortly and she and the babies will be unprotected from predators,” Barrett recounted. “Unfortunately, he turned me down.”
Mr. Evans also refused to let Barrett and Siegel search through the rubble of the beaver den to make sure that there were no beaver babies--called kits--under the branches. A worker from the Village of Glenview arrived within the hour and determined that there were no live kits among the pile of branches. The Village of Glenview reached out today, April 23, to notify the GBFC that they are improving internal communications so that this sort of tragedy doesn’t happen again. Other employees and trustees at the Village had known about the beaver lodge but apparently word had not reached the employees charged with clearing the water access points. At least one of the beavers has been spotted by several people since the destruction of their lodge.
The Glenview Beavers Fan Club is next turning its attention to working with the Village of Glenview and the Glenview Park District to ensure that these entities will not be trapping and killing beavers on Glenview taxpayers’ property in the future. This will help ensure the safety of the Glenview beavers should they decide to relocate to a nearby pond or lake. An online petition started by the group to protect the Glenview beavers has garnered more than 36,000 signatures.
Several local government agencies and property owners in the Chicago suburbs have learned to live peacefully with beavers, including Northwestern University in Evanston, the Wheaton Park District, and the Squaw Creek Drainage District in Lake County. Beavers can be considered "nuisances" when they cause flooding or chew down ornamental trees. However, many states around the country are no longer trapping and killing "nuisance" beavers for causing flooding or tree damage. Instead, they are using flow devices or "beaver deceivers" to lower water levels and "beaver-proofing" their culverts to prevent flooding. Unlike the State of Illinois, which has strict laws that limit the relocation of beavers, some states such as the State of Washington relocate "nuisance" beavers in order to develop wetlands, which has positive environmental outcomes.
For more information about the Glenview beavers, please visit Facebook group Glenview Beavers Fan Club, visit our website at www.glenviewbeaversfanclub.com, or call (847) 528-8476.