The city of Sparks has gotten out of the beaver-trapping business for now.
The city, which obtained a permit from the Nevada Department of Wildlife to remove nuisance beavers from the North Truckee Drain on Sparks Boulevard, is seeking other possible ways to address the problem of the animals destroying trees and potentially causing flooding by building dams in the drainage ditch. The drain carries storm water from Spanish Springs and east Sparks to the Truckee River.
A private contractor hired by the city had trapped and killed five beavers before the city halted the activity.
The trapped beavers, according to the state permit, cannot be relocated.
The beavers were trapped under water to prevent other animals, such as cats, from being captured. The trapping raised criticism from wildlife advocates.
“We felt if there’s another humane way to address the problem, we’ll explore that,” said Adam Mayberry, the city’s community relations manager. “It’s not our intent to do any more trapping through the duration of the permit,” which expires next November.
If the city, however, can’t find a better alternative and the beaver population continues to grow, the city may consider resuming trapping, Mayberry said.
“The city’s not in the wildlife business, so it’s certainly somewhat of a challenge to us,” he said. “That’s why we reached to (the Nevada Department of Wildlife) to walk us through the permit process.”
He added that the nuisance beavers are a “low priority for us at this stage.”