Badgers threaten Oregon dam’s safety

Johnson Creek Dam owner Debaca Land & Cattle LLC can kill the animals or trap and move them

Badgers are digging tunnels and threatening one Oregon dam's safety, officials say. (Courtesy: American Forests Facebook page)

BEND, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon dam is at risk from badger tunnels and other passages created by burrowing animals.

The Bulletin reports Johnson Creek Dam owner Debaca Land & Cattle LLC can kill the animals or trap and move them.

Repairs are expected in the coming months.

State engineer Keith Mills told the dam owner in a January letter that the tunnels could cause leaks.

A high winter snowpack is predicted to fill the dam’s reservoir for the first time in five years.

The dam made the Oregon Water Resources Department’s list of the state’s seven unsatisfactory dams.

The department says the dam’s failure would likely cause fatalities and impact seven homes.

Safety concerns were raised after the Oroville Dam prompted the evacuation of 200,000 California residents.