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‘Live and let live’: Residents urged to respect nature after Seine beaver dam taken down

A Winnipeg environmental group is urging people in the Seine River area to respect wildlife after the dismantling of a beaver dam earlier this week.

Barry Gibson and his wife live in a condo overlooking the Bois-des-Esprit in Royalwood, a beloved and well-used stretch along the Seine River.

"It’s so scenic and peaceful. It’s so relaxing," Gibson said. "You can come out and sit on your deck and enjoy a coffee, and watch the wildlife."

Gibson says he's noticed more beaver activity along the Seine this year.

"They have been busier this year, I noticed for sure. More dam building. More cutting down trees. Doing beaver things and things like that," he said.

But that all changed when a group of residents partially dismantled a large beaver dam in the area. Ryan Palmquist with Save Our Seine said he was disappointed to hear people had interfered with the natural environment.

"On Monday, a group of trail users here - who were upset one of the lower dirt trails had been flooded out by the beaver dam - came in and started dismantling it," said Palmquist.

Palmquist believes the dam didn't pose any significant risk to properties in the area, and anyone who is worried about such a thing should call the City of Winnipeg first.

"Removing beavers in an urban environment can from time-to-time be necessary if property is being threatened. However, beavers are a natural part of a Ryperian forested ecosystem,” said Palmquist.

The City of Winnipeg told CTV News it has trapped beavers in the area this year.

"The City did undertake trapping and removal of some beavers from the Seine due to flooding and the risk of extensive tree/forest loss," said an email statement from the City. "Removals were not related to activities by residents in the area."

Barret Miller with FortWhyte Alive told CTV News that choosing to dismantle a dam may make matters worse.

"Beavers have that real desire to slow down that moving water and if the water starts moving swiftly again, they’ll try and dam it up again."

Miller said it's important to be mindful of urban wildlife, and their habitats.

"We can’t necessarily expect them to live by our rules, but generally, live and let live is the best way to go."

The City said people who have concerns related to beavers can call 311. Top Stories

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