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Woodchucks and fences

  • Subject: [cg] Woodchucks and fences
  • From: "Sean C. Gambrel" scg@ceimaine.org
  • Date: Thu, 24 Apr 2003 13:25:19 -0400
  • Importance: Normal

Hi again all.

The latest drama with the up-and-coming Bath Community Garden is that the
site we have chosen (and the only site available within the city limits) has
at least 2 resident woodchucks, who feed on gardens throughout the
neighborhood and the many grasses that grow in what is now just a vacant
lot.

I've done some research on the issue, and it seems that the best solution is
to enclose our garden with a fence, the bottom buried and bent out at an
agle to prevent digging under and the top bent out at an angle to prevent
climbing.  Sounds like a fine idea, though labor intensive, but definitely
do-able.

Here's the glitch, though - I believe at least one of the little guys'
burrows is partially under the spot we plan to use for the garden, and there
is at least one entrance hole within the area we hope to enclose.  We don't
have a lot of space to move elsewhere, as the ground becomes a little
swampy, so we pretty much have to go with this area.  I don't think there's
any hope to be able to avoid the woodchuck burrows on this property.

It would seem that the logical thing to do would be to remove the animal
from the site and seal its holes.  But my understanding is that trapping and
transplanting the creatures is as inhumane as killing them, because they
have nowhere to hide from predators and have to find a new source of food -
which leaves them quite vulnerable for a long time.  Luckily the pups
ahven't been born yet, but I'd hate to strand a mother out in the woods
somewhere with no burrow for the kiddies!!  Plus, I'm not sure we can even
locate all the holes because there are many porches, garages and sheds quite
close to the property (where a hole might remain open because we don't know
about it), where a new family could move in and pop up a hole within our
fence!!

So anybody have any suggestions?  I'm starting to feel a little like Bill
Murray!

Thanks,

Sean Gambrel
AmeriCorps VISTA Volunteer

Coastal Enterprises, Inc.
P.O. Box 268
Wiscasset, ME  04578
(207) 882-7552 ext. 185
scg@ceimaine.org

CEI's mission is to help people and communities,
especially those with low incomes, reach an adequate
and equitable standard of living, working and learning,
in harmony with the natural environment.


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