Beaver divides opinion in the district of bad kissingen
506 beavers were paid in lower franconia in 2017, 82 of them in the district of bad kissingen, as can be read in an inquiry by the grunen member of the state parliament kerstin celina to the bavarian state government. To find out how the protection of beavers is implemented here in the region, and how the protection measures are viewed by local farmers, the delegate, together with her newly elected colleague, farmer paul knoblach from the district of schweinfurt, visited the experts from the district office and the water management office in bad kissingen, as well as several farmers.
Roland lenhart, head of the lower nature conservation authority in the district of bad kissingen, informed those present, including hammelburg’s grunen town councillor elisabeth assmann, elfershausen’s grunen town councillor volker partsch, bad bockelt’s grunen town councillor antje kopp and petra winter, spokeswoman for the grunen district association of bad kissingen, about various successful projects, including the klaushof project and the grobwenkheim beaver lake: "at the wild park klaushof you can see and experience the world of the beaver. The beaver shapes the landscape and is a key species for making nature conservation visible on site", said lenhart.
Not everyone is equally happy about the reintroduction of the beaver in the region. Several farmers contacted celina after she asked the bavarian government to show them the concrete problems on the ground. Farmer paul knoblach felt that the discussions on site were objective and important to dispel potential misunderstandings. "The question is, can I still use my field in the future as I did in the past, is the beaver taking up more and more space and the farmers have less and less, will the burden remain one-sided on the farmers and how can we create a reasonable balance??", he summarized the topics.
The fact that the financial compensation of the damages is important, but as it is now regulated, is not satisfactory, celina took with her as a result of her on-site meetings: "there is a beaver compensation fund, which is used for the compensation of damages caused by beavers. However, this is capped, so that the more claims are reported in total, the less falls to the individual claimant. And if the compensation is only paid a year after the damage has occurred, that is absolutely unsatisfactory for the farmers concerned", she said.
In 2017, for example, the compensation rate was 67 percent, and the actual reimbursement was not paid until may 2018. Celina praised in this context a special measure of the district of bad kissingen, which takes over beaver damage to private individuals, as the state fund is only available to farmers.
The fronts between those who want to protect beavers and those who feel impaired by comprehensive protection are sometimes hardened "we feel this everywhere", said celina. "But it’s precisely this that is an incentive for us to seek dialogue, both at the municipal level and at the national level", she said. "But what we have noticed everywhere today is that there is a willingness to talk, that it is time to form new working groups and to think about new, individual approaches to solving the problem, e.G., to create a new company.B. Fundamental disagreements."