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Old 10-11-2018, 06:50 PM   #21
forest dweller
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If you don't like beaver dams you really don't want to paddle upstream of High Falls. Dozens and dozens of dams between there and the Headwaters carry trail. It's some what easier going downstream but not much.
I didn't mind them so much going up river, I'd just get out and pull tge canoe past them. They are MUCH more of a problem on land surrounded by water, swamp and dense forest, not knowing exactly how much work it will be to get around but knowing it will be a lot and very miserable.

I don't mind walking across old, established very stable ones but this was not one of those and my companion wanted no part of that.

As I said, I'd volunteer to help out with a trail re-route on higher ground where it would be less likely to happen again.
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Old 10-11-2018, 07:23 PM   #22
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I just read an account of beaver reacting to the sound of running water in Lucy Cooke's book The Truth About Animals. Actually didn't read it but listened to it on Audible during many long drives to the trailheads. Recommended! Sort of a mythbusters for zoology.

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The beavers were here long before we were.
I read about an experiment where they put equipment in the middle of a field, that played the sound of running water. Nearby beavers gathered round & started building around it to block the "water". Can't remember where I saw it, but it struck me as fascinating.
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Old 10-11-2018, 08:02 PM   #23
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My parents both grew up on Tug Hill in the earlier part of the 20th century. My father, growing up as an experienced woodsman, said there were no beavers around at the time, as they had all been previously trapped out. Look at the most current versions of the USGS topo maps of the area (circa 1943). It is all upland with many interconnected small stream beds. But go there now and you run into nothing but flooded ponds and marshes where the map says is dry land. Many woods trails made by my father that I still remember hiking and hunting with him are now frequently impossible to travel without getting wet (or swimming). I've been on SAR incidents in the area that were made quite difficult for rangers to efficiently plan and for searchers to effectively cover due to beaver activity.
Yes, during the 1950ís Tug Hill was almost beaver free. Thatís why you could drink from most brooks , streams, and rivers there. Also, those water ways teemed with native brook trout. Thanks to the proliferation of beaver, itís not the same today.

Donít expect beaver fur prices to increase much any time soon. The fur market is dependent on foreign economies, such as Russia, China, Korea, Greece, Ukraine, Italy, etc.. Another reason for low price on beaver pelts, they are one of the most costly to dress/tan.
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Old 10-11-2018, 08:14 PM   #24
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Yes, during the 1950’s Tug Hill was almost beaver free. That’s why you could drink from most brooks , streams, and rivers there. Also, those water ways teemed with native brook trout. Thanks to the proliferation of beaver, it’s not the same today.
My dad had a series of drinking glasses (usually mason jars) hanging on branches at various cool water "springs" on the back country trails of his that we hiked. AFAIK neither he nor I ever got sick from it, not when I was around anyway, though he was aware of and mentioned knowledge of "beaver fever".
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Old 10-11-2018, 09:30 PM   #25
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DEC policy on beavers pretty much destroying trails to major destinations?

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Yes, during the 1950ís Tug Hill was almost beaver free. Thatís why you could drink from most brooks , streams, and rivers there. Also, those water ways teemed with native brook trout. Thanks to the proliferation of beaver, itís not the same today.



Donít expect beaver fur prices to increase much any time soon. The fur market is dependent on foreign economies, such as Russia, China, Korea, Greece, Ukraine, Italy, etc.. Another reason for low price on beaver pelts, they are one of the most costly to dress/tan.


Maybe we could convince China that powdered Beaver tail works better than Rhino horn.

Last edited by JohnnyVirgil; 10-12-2018 at 06:27 AM..
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Old 10-11-2018, 10:11 PM   #26
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I'm Mad..... and That's a Fact!

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DEC policy on beavers pretty much destroying trails to major destinations?

Just got back from a 5 day trip, which was supposed to be a combination of a canoe trip up to campsite 23 on the Oswegatchie River (where it intersects with trail down to the Five Ponds and beyond) and a single overnight backpack down to Sand Lake and then back...only to backpack about 2/3 of a mile and find a big pond, and a major "wetlands" "down-dam", caused by beavers, which sane people would not cross or go through the required hell to find a way around.

We turned around and paddled up to High Falls instead but my "Voice of Reason" copilot / partner that did not want to get our rear ends kicked finding a way across the beaver created monstrosity also didn't want to portage around High Falls and go further up the Oswegatchie River!

These things, along with the first 3 days of ugly clouds and shower activity, made what could have been an exceptional Adirondack backcountry experience an average sort of bittersweet one. I DON'T LIKE to fail at doing the intended trip...especially when plan B doesn't work out either.

WHY aren't beaver ponds drained, dams destroyed or trails re-routed so that mere mortal backpackers can still get to their intended destination?

I'm willing to volunteer if it's a lack of DEC manpower due to NY being cheap!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7CF9yTKkHQ


[A 1]
I'm mad
And that's a fact
I found out
Animals don't help.
Animals think
They're pretty smart

Sh!t on the ground
See in the dark

[B 1]
They wander around like a crazy dog
Make a mistake in the parking lot
Always bumping into things
Always let you down, down, down, down

[A 2]
Animals think
They understand
Trusting them
A big mistake!
Animals want
To change my life
I will ignore
Animals' advice!

[B 2]
They're never there when you need them
They're never there when you call them
They're never there when you need them
They're never there when you call them down, down, down, down

[A 3]
I know the animals
Are laughing at us
Don't even know
What a joke is

I won't follow
Animals' advice
I don't care
If they're laughing at us

[B 3]
They're never there when you need them
They're never there when you call them
They're never there when you need them
They're never there when you call them down, down, down

[C]
They say they don't need money
They're living on nuts and berries
They say animals don't worry
They're living on nuts and berries


You know animals are hairy?
They say animals don't worry
They think they know what's best
They're making a fool of us

They ought to be more careful
They're setting a bad example
They say animals don't worry
They're living on nuts and berries

They're setting a bad example
They ought to be more careful
You know animals are hairy?
They're living on nuts and berries

They want to know what's best
They're making a fool of us
They ought to be more careful
They're setting a bad example

They like to laugh at people
They're setting a bad example
They have untroubled lives
They think every thing's nice

You know they don't need money?
They say animals don't worry
They're living on nuts and berries
You know animals are hairy?

They think they know what's best
They're making a fool of us
They like to laugh at people
They're making a bad example

They say they don't need money
You know animals are hairy?
They're living on nuts and berries
They say they don't need money
They're setting a bad example

They ought to be more careful
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Old 10-11-2018, 10:21 PM   #27
Tug Hill
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Maybe we could convince China that powered Beaver tail works better than Rhino horn.
Actually there is a limited market for beaver tail leather. They make great wallets. I have one and it has lasted way longer than a cowhide wallet.
Fur harvesters auction, in North Bay , Ontario used to sell them.

The # 1 grade castor gland if handled properly is worth upwards to $70 per lb..

But on topic, the DEC usually is very cooperative when it comes to problem/nuisance beaver, and will issues permits to take care of any problem.
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Old 10-12-2018, 01:01 AM   #28
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Is anyone besides me finding it ironic that someone calling themselves 'forest dweller' is upset that a true, real life forest dweller spoiled their trip?

Last edited by IndLk_Brett; 10-12-2018 at 01:17 AM..
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Old 10-12-2018, 09:47 AM   #29
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The trail from Wanakena to the lean to which follows the old rail bed was diverted when I hiked it in the spring of 2017 due to beaver works. By the time I did a return trip over the Columbus Day weekend the problem had been dealt with by some manmade engineering works, culverts I seem to recall.


I have not been back since so have no idea if the solution was effective in the long term.
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Old 10-12-2018, 10:40 AM   #30
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Someone else already said this but it bears repeating..if you don't care to deal with beavers, this route is one that you should avoid. And I would add, if you are surprised to run into trail surprises, better planning may be in order. I can recall having the same problems in that area almost 50 years ago. Beaver dams are a part of the character of that area.
The DEC does deal with beaver where they interfere with roads or cause damage to usable land...the back country trails are on the forever wild radar...and from where I sit, they should be. Beavers serve a purpose...once they are done landscaping, other species will enjoy the habitat they create....
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Old 10-12-2018, 10:59 AM   #31
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Is anyone besides me finding it ironic that someone calling themselves 'forest dweller' is upset that a true, real life forest dweller spoiled their trip?
I was tempted to suggest that a long backpack through Central Park would avoid a lot of the beaver problems , but.....
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Old 10-12-2018, 12:58 PM   #32
Tug Hill
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The DEC does deal with beaver where they interfere with roads or cause damage to usable land...the back country trails are on the forever wild radar...and from where I sit, they should be. Beavers serve a purpose...once they are done landscaping, other species will enjoy the habitat they create....
Beaver are similar to humans, because they manipulate the ecosystem to their benefit, and to the detriment of others.

Your statement is true, other species will benefit from the habitat the beavers create. However, The beaver destroy another form of habitat when they build their dams, and other species are displaced as a result.
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Old 10-12-2018, 01:09 PM   #33
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Beaver are similar to humans, because they manipulate the ecosystem to their benefit, and to the detriment of others.

Your statement is true, other species will benefit from the habitat the beavers create. However, The beaver destroy another form of habitat when they build their dams, and other species are displaced as a result.
But the beaver was a natural part of the Adirondack and Tug Hill ecosystem until it was eradicated by overharvest in the 19th century, after which conservationists saw it is worthwhile for restoration.
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Old 10-12-2018, 02:47 PM   #34
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But the beaver was a natural part of the Adirondack and Tug Hill ecosystem until it was eradicated by overharvest in the 19th century, after which conservationists saw it is worthwhile for restoration.
Humans were /are a natural part of those ecosystems too, so what part of my statement is controversial ?
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Old 10-12-2018, 04:12 PM   #35
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Where did I say, or even imply, that your statement was controversial? I'm only observing that the habitat "destruction" (actually cycling from wet to dry and back over a long period) was a natural phenomenon, so some of the " desirable" habitat impacted by the beaver was less natural, a result of their extirpation, and their return to the hill is restoration of the longer term natural cycle.
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Old 10-13-2018, 12:43 AM   #36
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I did the backpack down to Sand Lake about a decade ago and did not have this problem, so stop saying it comes with the territory. The Five Ponds, Wolf Pond, Cage Lake and Sand Lake MMUUSSTT be a highlight of the Five Ponds Wilderness, so allowing beavers to create a situation in which more than half the people will turn around before getting anywhere near any of it can't be a good thing. The trail needs maintaining, the trail needs a re-route, perhaps over slightly higher ground, where this won't happen over and over again.

Yes it's wilderness, and I'm all for not tampering with wilderness, but I'm also for having trails...preferably trails that won't always be problematic to the point of being useless.
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Old 10-13-2018, 08:04 AM   #37
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Well, lets just pave it all.
Some of us actually enjoy the challenge of finding our own way and enjoying what nature in the wildlands provide without having to rely on someone else's cleared path and brush cutters. I have spent years traveling in the Five Ponds and nearby Pepperbox since the 1970s, including difficult years just after the 1995 derecho, visiting remote places most people who depend exclusively on trails and trampled pathways will never bother even trying to find. All the while learning critical navigation skills without always having to depend on human cleared highways in the woods.
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Old 10-14-2018, 01:27 PM   #38
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All posturing and bluster aside, it would be good to know what the DEC policy is on keeping trails passable in wilderness areas. My own opinion is if it is labelled as a trail and gets cut off by beavers, landslides, blowdown, whatever, if the DEC intends to keep it a marked trail that people are depending on being there (for better or worse), then they should be informed about it and then create a work-around. If not, then they should just let the trail fade into oblivion, let people know about it being derelict, and the trail thenceforth becomes the realm of the ‹ber-navigators among us (such as Cold Brook Pass trail, Southside Trail or Twin Brook).
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Old 10-14-2018, 03:14 PM   #39
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This is posted on the Backcountry information page for the western 'Dacks. https://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/106196.html

My recollection is that it took quite some time to clear blowdown in the is area after the 1995 storm, and a lot of it was closed then. They are apparently aware of the beaver activity, and have been for a while, is it is dated 2016, but there may not be resources for clearing dams, or there may be no good alternative site for rerouting. But the information is out there on their site for anyone who took the time to look into it. It is not easy to access, either, so if the critters are as persistent there as the ones I've dealt with, it has to be done over and over, and they are not getting back there all that often to work. You are either putting workers into the woods to camp or you get a very short workday with lots of work just to get there and back on either end.

"Five Ponds Wilderness
•The Five Ponds Wilderness web page provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities and a map of the unit.
•A ten-mile section of the Oswegatchie River from High Falls downstream to the Inlet Hand Launch (Inlet Road) has numerous fallen trees across the river which may make passage difficult. Paddlers should portage around downed trees whenever possible. (2018)
•An 800-foot portion of the High Falls Loop (part of the Cranberry 50) has been rerouted to avoid a dangerous log crossing of a beaver dam. The new route has been signed and blowdown has been removed. It is located approximately 0.6 mile east of High Falls. (2018)
•Frequent flooding from beaver activity occurs along the High Falls Trail between Wanakena and the Sand Lake Trail. The trail is an important part of both the High Falls Loop (approximately 14 miles), and the larger Cranberry Lake 50 mile trail. (2016)"
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Old 10-14-2018, 08:02 PM   #40
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If you are seeing nature as an obstacle than you have a civilized mindset, but you go out there to escape said mindset. One might find answers if one can escape that smothering grasp of control.
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