Dam destruction raises concern

Chase Robinson


The city of Troy tore down a beaver dam beside McKinley Drive near the walkway that connects the Edge apartment complex to campus.

Vaughn Daniels, environmental services director for the city of Troy, said the city worked with the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to make sure the dam removal was environmentally safe.

The beavers were not killed, Daniels said.

According to Daniels, the dam was a threat to the road.

Josh Slaven, grounds manager for Troy University, said that Physical Plant was aware of the beavers. He said the beavers “tend to come and go,” especially during heavy rains.

Slaven said the university has been looking into companies that could relocate the beavers.

After the beaver dam was removed, the pond it created drained.

Members of Troy University’s Environmental Club moved animals from the remains of the pond to the Lagoon.

“In one day out there doing a visual survey, we saw 3-foot grass carp, sunfishes, red-winged blackbirds, belted kingfishers, musk turtles, pond sliders, gray and green tree frogs, Eastern garter snakes, as well as a huge female great horned owl,” said Tanner Stainbrook, a senior ecology and field biology major from Huntsville and a member of the Environmental Club, in an email.

Members of the Environmental Club have voiced concern about the effects tearing down the dam will have on the area.

“The big thing is that this eliminated the major wetland ecosystem in the area,” Stainbrook said. “This mud hole, in two days, will be just that. There’ll be no water left.”

On Saturday, Jeremy Duke, a senior biology major from Ozark and president of the Environmental Club; Cole Harrell, a senior ecology and field biology major from Jackson and vice president of the Environmental Club; Chelsea Smith, a graduate student from Enterprise studying environmental and biological sciences and secretary of the Environmental Club; Seth Nicholson, a senior ecology and field biology major from Brundidge and member of the Environmental Club, and Stainbrook worked to move tadpoles and turtles to the Lagoon.

Group members said they were concerned that this may harm the great horned owl’s habitat, as the owl fed on the frogs in the pond.

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