Polar Bear as Canadian Emblem rather than Beaver...

Duke Redbird, my Elder Ojibway friend, called me this morning and asked if heard about the Beaver news. Senator Nicole Eaton desires to remove the Beaver as the emblem and rightly so.

The First Nations do not care for the buck-tooth water-rodents that build dams and prevent free flowing waters. They create stagnant ponds and some creatures die.

From my point of view and experience: the hateful rats cut down old willow trees on my family's compound, and twenty or thirty Birch trees.

Yet foolish people called them dexterous and made them into an emblem. A shame.

A polar bear would be much better. It would show independence and strength.

The Americans have the Eagle, the British the Lion or, perhaps, Bulldog, because of Winston. Whereas, we have the buck-tooth water-rat. I stopped buying anything from Bell Canada when they had those two beavers in commercials.

Polar bear should replace beaver as Canadian national emblem: Senator Nicole Eaton

Duke Redbird Poem - YouTube

Generally, farmers despise beavers on their properties. As industrious as they are the rodents are also destructive.

Damning the beaver — Tamsin McMahon, National Post

The Canadian beaver, unwittingly dragged into a fight to retain its place as the symbol of national pride, has a new enemy.

Last week, Senator Nicole Eaton called on the government to retire the beaver as Canada's national emblem, arguing the polar bear was a more appropriate image than a "dentally defective rat."

Now a group of nearly 100 Ottawa-area farmers has declared war on the beaver, whose population has exploded with the decline of trapping, leaving the critters to build dozens of dams that have destroyed trees, flooded farmland and are threatening farmers' wells, septic systems and roads.

"The beaver was the national symbol because of its value and because of the fur trade and the fact that it is a very industrious and hardworking creature," said farmer John Woodfine. "If left unchecked, it's just like anything else. It will just go right off the map and the water will come onto the map and that's what's happened here."

Mr. Woodfine has lost more than half his 57-acre sheep farm south of Ottawa to flooding caused by dozens of beaver dams along a 13kilometre stretch of the Kemptville Creek.

For his neighbour, Horace Roxborough, the issue finally came to a head last fall when a delivery truck got stuck in the mud near his barn and had to be pulled out with a tow truck.

"The fact is, over the past 30 years this area has slowly become a swamp, and it's directly attributed to the pesky little beavers," he said.

The farmers, along with local municipalities and the conservation authority, have pooled $5,000 to hire a lone trapper to breach the dams and trap beavers. But Mr. Roxborough said it's a losing battle.

"The only way to do it is to really annihilate these dams because they'll have it patched up again the next day," he said. "It's a war. It's really a war."

As an indication of how far the beaver has fallen since the days when its silken fur lured European traders to North America, trappers now earn five times as much to kill the animals for pest control than they do selling their fur.

The global market for beavers "is soft right now," said Bill Davies, president of the Canadian National Trappers Alliance. Beavers command as much as $125 apiece if killed as a pest, but as little as $20 at a fur auction. Trappers can capture only about four or five beavers a day and each one takes 90 minutes to skin and dry. Coupled with rising fuel costs, along with government royalties and auction fees, and beavers are no longer worth the trouble.

Sharon Brown, a biologist with advocacy organization Beavers: Wetlands & Wildlife, said the rodent is misunderstood. Beaver dams create wetlands, one of the most efficient ecosystems in North America when it comes to filtering carbon emissions, silt and pesticides, and supporting diverse wildlife such as fish, deer and waterfowl.