The beavers that live alongside the Hunnewell Town Forest trail off of Oak Street in Natick haven’t been backing down from the challenges of those breaching their dam over the past month in Little Jennings Pond.
As the town’s Conservation Commission indicated at its Aug. 11 meeting, the Natick Public Works Department was authorized to “punch a hole in the dam” in September, and it did.
But the beavers came right back and plugged the gap, keeping a section of the blue trail in the Town Forest off limits to people.
Since then, at least a couple more breaches have been executed, one that was erased rather quickly, and now a more ambitious one of which a Natick Report reader has shared photos and a video.
Here’s what the dam looked like when I stopped by on Monday morning:
Claire Rundelli, planner conservation agent for the town, said that after the Public Works breach earlier this month there weren’t any additional approvals for breaches. When asked about the beavers during the Sept. 15 Conservation Commission, she said “we’ve heard nothing from the beavers in recent days.”
The Commission held a town-wide beaver discussion in March in conjunction with the Trails and Forest Stewardship Committee, and Open Space Advisory Committee, and it ended with consensus to adapt to the beavers rather than trap them. The thinking was that other beavers would just come back to the area and rebuild the dam.
Natick has rerouted an oft-flooded trail at the Town Forest to avoid the beaver dam’s impact. Flow devices used to address beaver issues in other parts of Natick’s complex and large watershed were deemed unlikely to work in the relatively shallow water along the Town Forest trail.
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