Farmers along the Rideau River near Ottawa are waging war on the beaver, the proud and mighty symbol of Canadian national pride that landowners say has become a pest whose exploding population and massive dams have destroyed trees and flood valuable farmland.
“We’re losing lots of land. The water backed up three or four acres on both sides of the creek now,” farmer Frank Campbell told the CBC. He is one of 60 farmers who have banded together to pay trappers up to $1,200 apiece to tear down dams and capture beavers.
The beaver population along the river has been allowed to run wild in recent years, thanks in part the farmers say to the fact that the price for beaver pelts has fallen from $150 to just $20.