Selectmen had a long discussion Tuesday evening about the beaver dams at the Fork Factory off Rte. 109 with Michael Francis, Superintendent for the Trustees of the Reservations’ Charles River Valley Management Unit and Russ Hopping, the Trustee’s ecologist, Frank Perry of the Lyme Disease Study Committee, the Board of Health, and the owner of the downstream Jewell’s Pond, Alec Stevens.
After that meeting Alec Stevens yesterday wrote a lengthy email description of the issues and problems he experiences carefully monitoring and adjusting the water level in Jewell’s Pond to respond to water flow changes based on rainfall by means of his spillway boards and three valves that control deep culverts, the dangers to Jewell Pond from a sudden release from the upstream beaver ponds, and suggestions for improvements to beaver management.
Also after that meeting, last evening Alec, Frank and I toured both the beaver dams at the Fork Factory and Jewell’s Pond, during which I took the attached photos of those beaver dams. The reality is that the beaver dams are not too much, but are strategically placed to block the outflow of the two stone raceways. There is a 6″ beaver deceiver pipe installed to allow the flow trough the dam. There was also a beaver swimming around who seemed unconcerned with our presence.
Also after Alec’s email, today Mike Francis emailed that the Trustees are willing to look at installing more measures to control and manage the beaver dams. The TTOR actually distributed copies of its beaver policies from 2005 at the meeting, which are basically to leave the beavers alone unless they pose a nuisance.
I am hopeful that progress in on the horizon. I am truly impressed are how much hands on pond and water flow management Alec is doing, including daily checks, multiple checks per day during rain events, and a webcam for remote monitoring.