Friday, April 23: The Aftermath

Yesterday was a tough day for us and for the Glenview beavers. And yet while we lost a battle in that the beavers' den was destroyed, we also won a significant battle: the HOA, which had already agreed to not trap and kill the beavers, also agreed to not trap and relocate the beavers. Trapping and relocating is stressful for them. We need to be proud of how our voices have amplified our message. We have accomplished much of our short-term plans.

Instead the HOA is planning to cut off the beavers' food source by wrapping the trees and thus forcing them to move on. I'm sure that is why HOA President Patrick Evans refused our request to deliver branches for shelter to the beavers. The HOA wants the beavers to move on. In nature, beavers and other wildlife are often forced to relocate due to powers beyond their control. In general they are equipped to do so, although of course this is particularly poor timing as the female is likely about to give birth to her kits.

The HOA Board wasn't willing to meet with us to learn about how they could coexist with the beavers. It didn't matter to them that the community wanted to help support the beavers while keeping the HOA landscaping intact. The messages that they sent to their homeowners, to my eye, did not accurately convey the costs and benefits of coexisting with the beavers. The HOA prefers to take on the cost of replanting the trees themselves rather than let us provide trees of their choosing that would be free to them. They simply did not want to be told what they could do with their property, and unfortunately the law is on their side. President Patrick Evans kept saying they "couldn't" to me last night, but what he really meant was they "wouldn't."

I'm not worried about the beavers relocating. They can travel over land and they are nocturnal, which means there won't be much street traffic when they are looking for an appropriate habitat. These guys are wild animals and if they don't want to stay in that retention pond, they will move. And they are right to move since their current habitat is not hospitable, to say the least.

What I am worried about, and what our group needs to focus on, is making sure that the next place they end up is owned by property owners who understand that it is possible to coexist peacefully with beavers. Many states in New England and on the West Coast in particular are doing so using flow devices and wrapping ornamental trees and other "beaver deceiver" and "beaver proofing" techniques.

For that reason, it is not in our best interest to alienate the Village of Glenview by attacking them or attacking local businesses. We need the Village, and the Glenview Park District, to be our partners as we educate the public about how humans can coexist peacefully with beavers. So I, for one, will not endorse any wholesale attacks on the Village or on our local businesses. My focus remains on protecting and supporting our Glenview beavers. When the time is right, let us use our voices to convince the Village to pledge to not trap and kill beavers on Village property. We know that other park districts and water districts in the area are already coexisting with beavers.

We will be sending out a new press release today, as I wrote in my announcement last night. We are keeping to our plan of educating the public about beavers and trying to change the way the State of Illinois advises property owners about coexisting with beavers.

Hopefully we can lift the moderation of incoming posts in the next few days.

ETA: I am planning to file a FOIA request with the Village this morning to determine whether the Village had any communications about the beavers that would shine a light on the destruction of the den.

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