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Woman trying to save beaver fined

A woman fined $250 -- the maximum -- in Alfred Town Court Monday for trying to safely catch and release a beaver that was later killed on a state road will appeal the decision.

Gudrun Scott, of Independence, was ticketed last May by the state Department of Environmental Conservation for trapping out of season, after using a Havahart trap to capture one of several beavers building dams on both sides of State Route 21 in Alfred.

She had feared the beavers would be run over, because the road has only a 3-foot shoulder on each side and a speed limit of 55 mph. A DEC regional officer found and released the beaver and ticketed Scott for trapping out of season despite a note on the trap that said the animal was to be released in a safer location.

"I am not guilty of trapping out of season. I was rescuing an animal, and that has no particular season," she said at the time.

The Scotts said they are fighting for a larger principle: Beavers -- "nature's engineer and New York's State animal" -- should be relocated to a safe location when necessary and not automatically killed.

e-mail: msommer@buffnews.com

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