Residents: Beavers wreaking havoc at Seattle park

SEATTLE -- Beavers are destroying trees at a popular Seattle park, but not everyone agrees on how best to deal with the animals.

Regulars at Ballard's Golden Gardens Park say beavers are taking down far too many trees and spoiling the park's natural beauty.

"To me, my opinion, it looks like destruction," said Linda Peterson.

Peterson also said the problem is getting worse.

"Every day when I come here there's another tree down," she said. "Or two or three."

After noticing the ever-increasing damage, Peterson called the Parks and Recreation Department to complain. She said she didn't get the answer she was looking for.

"I asked them, 'What are we going to do about this beaver?' And they said nothing. Just let him go," she said.

Parks officials say beavers have been part of the natural ecosystem for years and are not presenting a danger to people or buildings. The city also says it plants two additional trees for every tree taken down by a beaver.

Despite that pledge, some experts question whether the city can keep up.

"Oh, there's a beaver problem here," said Michael Mead.

Mead owns Critter Control, a private business that removes pesky wildlife. He estimates there could be anywhere from four to eight beavers in the area.

"Until all the trees are gone the beavers are probably going to continue to stay here," Mead said.

The beavers have been building small dams that cause water to back up in the pond, and some park users say the water sometimes rises up to the walkway. City crews keep removing the dams, but some people wish they'd just remove the beavers.