The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, November 3, 2006


Growing wetlands blamed on beavers

Is a lake creeping up on you? There is one stalking Gabrielle and David Dockterman and their neighbors on Russell Street. There may even be potential victims across town on Davis Road. If so, the uneasy homeowner should suspect that he or she is harboring a coven of devilish engineers — furry spooks with sharp teeth and impressive tails — but no horns.

It seems that, having diagnosed their problem correctly, Gabrielle Dockterman came to the October 26 meeting of the Conservation Commission (ConsCom) seeking help. "We want to coexist with them," she said, but my husband and I didn't anticipate living on lakefront property with the water 28 feet from our house."

When the applicant admitted to a philosophical problem arising from the fact that she kind-of liked their tormentors and didn't want to kill them ("yet"), her listeners commiserated with her, admitting that they shared her dilemma. "After all," they noted," our job is to look after wetlands, and beavers produce plenty of them!"

Turning serious, Dockterman reported that she had consulted beaver-control experts, and they had recommended an installation that was acceptable under the Wetland Protection Act and might solve the problem. The Carlisle Board of Health had issued a 30-day permit for the experiment and she was applying for an Emergency Beaver Control Permit from ConsCom. The request was granted.

99 Davis Road

As for the Davis Road situation, Robert Skrivanek was seeking a third extension on his 1997 Order of Conditions for building a house and swimming pool. The house was built, and the family has been living there for some time. The applicant told the commission that he still wanted to construct the pool, but wanted to change the location.

After viewing the revised map, Chairman Roy Watson pointed out that the wetland boundary had moved considerably over the intervening years, and even the new location might not be acceptable. When Skrivanek tried to explain that this year was an anomaly for flooding, Watson concurred, but noted that beaver activity in Pages Brook had flooded the area up to the 500-year level this spring, and there was no way of assuring where the actual boundary now is without re-flagging.

The applicant was advised to get a Certificate of Compliance on his original order, then return with a new filing when he is ready to construct it. The extension was denied.

2006 The Carlisle Mosquito