How To Protect Roads AND Beavers

To a beaver, a culvert pipe through a roadbed looks like a hole in a dam. With a relatively small amount of work beavers can plug the culvert with mud and sticks and turn the entire roadbed into a large dam. For this reason, beavers damming road culvert pipes is the most common human-beaver flooding conflict we see.

Unfortunately, a beaver dammed culvert can quickly flood the road and create a very dangerous situation. Clearing a blocked culvert can be expensive, time consuming and often causes culvert and environmental damage. In addition, once reopened the beavers can reblock the culvert in a single night! For this reason beavers are commonly trapped and killed when they dam road culverts.

When you consider that there are millions of road culverts from coast to coast, you can understand what a massive problem this is.

Fortunately though, most road culverts can be protected from beaver damming without the need to kill the beavers. Culvert protective flow devices have been used effectively for decades. They offer cost-effective, long-term, environmentally-friendly, and humane options to protect these man-made drainage structures.

There are various culvert flow device designs. Good designs have success rates exceeding 95% after many years despite the presence of beavers. They also require little maintenance which is perfect for budget and time constrained road crews. Some successful culvert device designs include: diversion dams and fences, culvert exclusion fences of trapezoidal and other shapes, and fence with pipe flow devices. These devices can be customized for nearly any culvert situation.

Beaver dammed culverts and road safety remain problems nationwide because Highway Departments often lack the knowledge and skills to implement, or lack access to professionals who offer these proven beaver management techniques. Once Highway Departments from coast to coast gain access to these successful beaver management tools; motorists, road crews, taxpayers and the environment will all greatly benefit.

In our next blog we will formally announce an ambitious Beaver Institute plan to address this critical need.