The city of Sparks is preparing to remove beavers that are chomping on trees in the drainage ditch in the middle of Sparks Boulevard.
The city has obtained a permit from the Nevada Department of Wildlife to remove the nuisance beavers and hired a private contractor to trap the critters.
Ron Korman, manager of the city’s public works division, said the trapping was scheduled to start this week. He said the traps will be placed under water to avoid problems with other animals.
“We’re trying to be citizen-friendly and doing our research” on how to best address the problem, he said.
The beavers are eating into the city budget by chewing up trees, but, more importantly, their dams could cause flooding by blocking the storm-drainage ditch, Korman said. The ditch is part of the North Truckee Drain, which carries storm water to the river from Spanish Springs and east Sparks.
“The underlying potential for damage is that those waterways are the city of Sparks’ flood-drainage system, and if there are beaver dams in there causing ponding, then things are going to flood,” he said. “If we have flooding problems, that’s big dollars.”
The beavers have posed an ongoing problem for the city, which has trapped them in the past, Korman said. Last year, he said, the city opted not to remove the beavers for potential legal and public-perception reasons, but their population has grown and created larger nuisance
It’s a difficult problem for the city because the public is divided on whether the beavers should be removed, Korman said.
The state wildlife permit sets conditions on the removal of the beavers. The conditions, in part, require that trapped animals be euthanized and that a report of the activity undertaken under the permit be submitted to the wildlife department.