Resident seeks help against pesky beavers
State asked to solve beaver issue affecting Waldorf yard
Beavers are part of the county’s natural environment and have a big role to play in conserving land and creating balance in the natural ecosystem.
But for Alice Newcome, 83, of Pinefield, they have become a bit of a nuisance. Newcome’s Waldorf property sits right next to Mattawoman Creek and has property that stretches directly into the creek.
Her backyard has a fence around it shielding it from the water. Newcome said she normally does not have any issues with the creek but, due to a beaver dam, the water has been backed up for weeks.
When it rains, she said, the water flows over the dam and alleviates the issue for a bit. But when the rain stops, she said, “It rises up all over again.”
“This can be a real problem. I need someone to come out here and take care of it. I’ve called the county and no one seems to know what to do,” Newcome said. “There is just so much standing water and so many bugs around. With mosquitos, that’s a big problem. Especially with that Zika going around.”
Newcome said she likes to invite people over to her house, but is afraid to do so because of the potential for wildlife and insects to become a bother.
Erin Pomrekne, a spokeswoman for the Charles County government, said the county cannot do anything with the dam because it would require a state permit to remove the beavers from the area. Normally when nuisance animals are being dealt with, she said, the state resolves the issue.
The only way for permits to be acquired, Pomrekne said, is from the state’s Department of Natural Resources. And the county could not request the permit themselves, she said. It would have to be Newcome who requests the permit.
Jay Apperson, a spokesman for the Maryland Deparmtent of the Environment, said, according to MDE officials, so long as there is no machinery used in the process of removing the dam, it can be taken down.
“We look at this the same way we look at debris removal,” Apperson said. “So long as it is removed by either hand or land, and no machinery or equipment is used in the stream, the dam is able to be removed.”
And although the department of the environment does deal with wildlife issues, he said, the state’s Department of Natural Resources normally will tend to any nuisance issues dealing with wildlife.
Newcome said before she even attempts to remove the dam herself, she will need help. As an 83-year-old woman turning 84 in November, she said, there are not many people for her to call upon. Most of the residents who live in the area are older and there are not many “teenagers or young people” to help, she noted.
“I don’t have any teenagers here. Most of the ones in the neighborhood moved away,” Newcome said. “I don’t have much help.”
Apperson said the department does not remove wildlife from their habitats despite nuisance complaints, but the Department of Natural Resources does.
The Department of Natural Resources has a state wildlife nuisance hotline residents across the state can call that will remove any nuisance wildlife safely for both parties.
Newcome said she called the line and will have officials come out to help her sometime this week. But having to go through the hassle is a bit much for her, she said.
“I’m just glad I’ll finally have it done,” she said.
Alice Newcome, 83, has an issue with a beaver dam, pictured left, in Mattawoman Creek flooding her backyard, right, after too much water buildup. Newcome has been seeking help from the county government.