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Order to trap and kill beavers halted in Orchard Park

Posted at 12:22 AM, Oct 19, 2023

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WKBW) — Town leaders in Orchard Park have now decided to put a pause on a plan to trap and remove beavers, from one local park.

On Monday, we took you to birdsong park nature trails, where the town board approved a move to get rid of the beavers inhabiting the park.

At that time, Town leaders said the beavers were doing a lot of damage to the park by damming up the ponds, causing flooding, and taking down trees across the trails but since then, more neighbors have joined a push to protect the beavers.

However, there are a lot of opinions on this damming topic.

PREVIOUS STORY: Residents unhappy with Orchard Park officials approving trap and kill method to address beavers occupying park

7 News' Pheben Kassahun headed down to the town's board meeting to hear from them, as well as local wildlife advocates and town leaders themselves, on why they're damming the plan to get rid of the rodents.

"The traps are not in place at the moment. No beavers are being trapped at the moment. We heard the public comments and we delayed that action and we are going to listen to what solutions are brought forward," Town of Orchard Park councilperson Scott Honer said.

The Town of Orchard Park is going back on its initial plan to trap and remove beavers at Birdsong Nature Trails Park.

This after numerous residents voiced their opposition to the plan.

Cameras were not allowed in the courtroom for Wednesday's meeting.

At least six people came to the podium.

Only Orchard Park residents were allowed to speak, even though residents from East Aurora and the Town of Tonawanda came to share their thoughts.

Kassahun spoke with animal rights advocate, Sharon Ashcraft ahead of the meeting who said she would rather the board do more research before moving forward with trapping and killing the beavers.

Animal rights advocate Sharon Ashcraft said, "I feel that the beaver has so much to offer with the ecosystem and the biodiversity of the animals and the positives that they can bring forth. Killing them to me is just not an option. I can't wrap my head around that."

"It says nature trail. The beavers are the part of nature. There must be some way to possibly keep them there and maybe somebody will have to go out and not mess with their dams and make sure the bridges aren't overflowing with water or whatever they said they were causing," Orchard Park resident Lisa Kuppens said.

At the very end of the meeting, Orchard Parks Recreation and Parks director Ed Leak stated they decided to not pursue the contract right now and to explore options on how the town will approach this issue humanely.