FRASER - At the Fraser Town Hall Jeff Durbin has dealt with some strange issues in his ten years as town manager.
"Things like a trademark war with International Falls over the title Ice box of America - to medical marijuana," Durbin said.
These days it's not lawyers causing problems for Jeff or all the penguin statues you can see around town that people place in windows and street corners - but a different animal all together.
It lurks under the water of the Fraser River and has been flooding parts of town and closing trails.
"So there's a lot of beaver activity," Durbin said.
The Beaver is nocturnal and the second largest rodent in the world. While their dams provide ponds to protect against predators - right now in Fraser those dams are flooding the town with drainage pipes underwater - potentially causing more damage downstream.
"There's water inlets and outlets all along here that are getting clogged up," Durbin said.
Most places might just trap and kill the beaver. But, if you can't tell from all the pictures of animals around Jeff's office and all the penguins around town, people here love their wildlife.
"The wildlife is an important part as to why people are here," Durbin said.
So, the plan is to use a secret weapon to outsmart the beaver - taking PVC pipe and punching holes in beaver dams to let the water out.
The devices they call beaver deceivers.
"The beaver deceiver we had was working keeping the pond levels lower," Durbin said.
The only problem is that the bold beavers are deceiving the beaver deceivers and plugging up the pipes. So the town is focusing their beaver battle plan on relocation and trying to move the beaver out of the area. It's just one more town issue that Jeff might not have expected but now knows is part of a mountain town manager's job.
"I now expect the unexpected," Durbin said.
The beaver relocation plan is expected to take several years. In past years some homes have seen minor flooding due to beaver dams. But, there are some beaver benefits. Their ponds can make for healthy fish habitat and those beaver dams can help fill aquifers faster.
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