Such incidents were repeated in many states where conservation officials re-introduced the eager engineer. When a piece of neglected wood lot was flooded by beavers it suddenly became priceless. In upper New York State the Conservation Department undertook to move the beavers when landowners complained. Soon they were carting beavers all over the place. The rub here is that the average cost of trapping and moving one beaver is $52.72.
It became obvious that there were either too many people or too many beavers. Conservation departments decided to cut down on the latter and in many states open seasons on beaver trapping were declared. Now the annual trapping figures are astonishing. In New York State more than 9,000 beavers were trapped last season and a recent survey shows there are still 25,000 at work. Many other states are now reporting big catches.
Nobody is going to become the richest man in America today by trapping beavers, thanks to the conservation laws. This is as it should be. When beavers show up we should think twice before giving them the bum's rush. Instead we should tip our hat and be glad that it is not a beaver hat. America owes that animal too much.