Beaver Dam on Heron Pond in Milford wrecked

To the Editor:

In August the town’s Department of Public Works severely breached and wrecked the beaver dam that creates the much enjoyed Heron Pond where the Great Blue Herons nested all summer long.

Back in June, Selectman Mark Fougere had sent an email to the town’s environmental coordinator telling him that he believed the “water should be lowered at least two feet.”

The result of busting the dam is a massive loss of water down to mud flats in some spots.

This is destructive for the many species of wildlife that require the water in the pond to endure our long New Hampshire winter, such as beavers, fish, muskrats and turtles. The beaver family’s underwater entrance to their lodge is now out of the water and exposed to the elements.

Another serious consequence is that the dam itself is now weakened and will be less able to sustain a harsh storm as well as before the breach.

The Milford Conservation Commission did not know this was happening.

In a neighboring town, the Merrimack Conservation Commission is actually leading Merrimack’s effort for a town-wide beaver problem management plan relying heavily on state-of-the-art beaver piping and fencing.

Milford officials say the water was lowered to protect property back on Whitten Road; however, the water level going to Whitten Road was unchanged by the breach on Heron Pond. That is because the source of the problem is at the Heron Pond School driveway where there is an under-sized, inadequate culvert channeling Birch Brook, causing the water to sometimes back up to Whitten Road. That location needs reworking. The Heron Pond dam needs to be left alone because it is not causing problems.

When will Milford learn to co-exist with beavers the ecologically right way and not harm wonderful places like Heron Pond?

Milford’s town leadership ought to not let this human-made disaster happen to Heron Pond ever again.

Suzanne Fournier


Brox Environmental Citizens