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The HSUS Works with Camp Selah Ministries to Prevent Campground Flooding Caused by Beavers

Innovative System Allows Campers and Beavers to Peacefully Coexist


Wildlife biologists with The Humane Society of the United States worked with a group of dedicated volunteers on Saturday, April 14, at Camp Selah Ministries in Sutherlin, Va., a faith-based camp, to implement an innovative device that will allow campers to coexist with a colony of beavers living at the camp. The device is designed to prevent the beavers’ dams from flooding the camp’s roads.

Earlier this year, the camp’s board of directors consulted with The HSUS to find a way to solve the problem of beavers building a dam that caused the camp’s roads to flood. The HSUS conducted a site evaluation and recommended that the camp install and maintain a water flow control device to prevent flooding and alleviate road damage attributed to beaver activity.

“Beavers are certainly one of God’s precious creatures, but they have proven challenging for Camp Selah,” said Sallye Hardy, chairman of the board of directors at Camp Selah Ministries. “Building their dams, they have caused significant damage to the roads getting into and out of the camp. To our delight, solutions abound. So in an effort to be good stewards of the property and these little fellows, we are partnering with The Humane Society of the United States to reach a ‘no-kill’ solution.”

“This is a win-win for Camp Selah and the beavers,” said Stephanie Boyles Griffin, senior director of wildlife response, innovations and services for The HSUS. “Installing a pipe system will not only solve the camp’s flooding problems—Camp Selah’s efforts to implement a humane, non-lethal solution to manage beaver activity will be a living testimony to its primary tool of ministry: embracing all of God’s creation.”

The newly implemented system consists of a flexible corrugated plastic pipe, usually between 8 inches and 15 inches in diameter. The device is installed by notching the existing dam and securing the pipe in the gap. The sound and feel of water running through the pipe stimulates the beavers to attempt repairing the dam at the site of the notch rather than at the pipe ends.  Thus, the device “sneaks” water through the beavers dam and allows the upstream water level to be maintained at a depth that meets the camp’s needs. To prevent beavers from plugging the upstream end of the system with debris, a filtering device was also installed.

For more information, visit Camp Selah’s website at http://www.campselahministries.com/.


Media Contact: Stephanie Twining, 301-258-1491, stwining@humanesociety.org