The Story Behind The Beavers

            It has been previously noted that Montgomery County lies in the conversion area between the Piedmont and the Sandhills. In some instances that can be a benefit and in others it may be a liability.  However, in the case of beavers, it is certainly a positive.  Piedmont streams gather momentum as they flow toward the flat ground lying to the east.  When these streams reach the Sandhills they gradually slow down and disperse that momentum into shallow, slow moving waters.  This area in particular is ideal habitat for beavers.  They can build their woody dams, back up the slow moving streams, and gorge themselves on the shallow water vegetation that results. 

            The beauty of a beaver pond is certainly dependant upon the eye of the beholder.  Beavers are one of those few animals that fall into the love/hate dilemma.  That is, you either love them or hate them.  People who love beavers appreciate their backwaters for the habitat they provide for waterfowl, benefits to water quality and flood control capabilities.  Ironically, the other side also cites beavers for their flooding capabilities.  In addition, they detest the loss of trees and potential loss of economic use of their land.

            Beavers are a native species to Montgomery County .  They were here long before we were.  However, due to the value placed upon their pelts populations quickly began to decline as settlers sought to capitalize on this abundance.  By the late 1800ís beavers were rarely seen.  Finally, in 1897 the last native beaver was believed to have been harvested in North Carolina .  After several decades without beavers, the state decided to restock a few and see how it they would do.  Twenty nine beavers were brought in from Pennsylvania and released onto what is now the Sandhills Game Land .  From there, and with additional stockings, beavers have spread throughout the Piedmont and Coastal Plains.  Only the mountainous counties of our state can claim to be without beavers.  So, regardless of your affinity for them, beavers are here and donít seem to being going anywhere any time soon.