Montreat College is trapping beavers in effort to repair Black Mountain campus

Ty Roush
Black Mountain News
Lethal beaver trapping is legal in North Carolina if damage has occurred on a landowner's property.

BLACK MOUNTAIN - An effort to trap beavers by Montreat College's Pulliam Stadium and Howard Fisher Memorial Field is underway. 

Beavers are damming and causing floods by the nearby creek bank, leading to trails on the 89-acre, Black Mountain-based campus being washed out, the private institution says. Repairs to the damaged culverts and erosion will occur once the dams are removed and there is a guarantee they will not be rebuilt.

There are indications of traps being disarmed by concerned residents, the school says.

Montreat College first contacted the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission regarding the removal of the beavers. The commission has provided a wildlife control agent to the college to trap the beavers and prevent further property damage.

Traps were placed Feb. 1 and are expected to remain through the week of Feb. 21. The area will then be reassessed if the trapping period needs to be extended.

Because the trails are public, warning signs and caution tape have been placed around the affected areas. 

The beaver dam on the walking path by Howard Fisher Memorial Field.

Lethal beaver trapping is legal in North Carolina during the regulated trapping season between Nov. 1 and March 31, or if trapping is done with the landowner's permission when damage has occurred on private property. Traps must be observed daily.

Beaver dams may be removed or breached to restore regular water level and streamflow, should the dams affect the area. It is, however, illegal to disturb where the beaver lives.

A beaver trap spotted by a Black Mountain resident.

Disturbance of a beaver lodge must be permitted by the NCWRC. Shooting and trapping of beavers are legal year-round if found by the landowner, according to the NCWRC, or if depredation or damage of the property has occurred. 

Montreat College first purchased 72 acres of the Black Mountain property, located off Vance Avenue, in 2001. An additional 17 acres were purchased in 2004.

Though the trails by the dams are used by the public, they are located on private property.

The location, formerly home to a conference center, now serves as the college's primary athletic complex and Team and Leadership Center.