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-   -   Western States reconsidering beavers (http://www.wildlifegardeners.org/forum/biodiversity/12661-western-states-reconsidering-beavers.html)

Gloria 10-30-2014 09:56 AM

Western States reconsidering beavers


BUTTE, Mont. ó Once routinely trapped and shot as varmints, their dams obliterated by dynamite and bulldozers, beavers are getting new respect these days. Across the West, they are being welcomed into the landscape as a defense against the withering effects of a warmer and drier climate.

Beaver dams, it turns out, have beneficial effects that canít easily be replicated in other ways. They raise the water table alongside a stream, aiding the growth of trees and plants that stabilize the banks and prevent erosion. They improve fish and wildlife habitat and promote new, rich soil.
By JIM ROBBINS OCT. 27, 2014

Gloria 10-30-2014 10:10 AM

Another story with more about moving beavers that have been trouble to areas where they are needed.

Beavers, their dams put to work restoring streams - US News


"Beavers can be really destructive, but in the right places, they can be good ecosystem engineers," said Mel Babik, project manager with the Mid-Columbia Fisheries Enhancement Group, a nonprofit that works to restore salmon populations.

In Washington, Oregon, Utah and other parts of the West, beavers increasingly are being used as an effective, low-cost tool to help restore rivers.
Beaver dams, ponds and other structures add complexity to an ecosystem, slowing the flow of water and sediment downstream. Salmon and other fish take advantage of pockets of slow water to rest, feed and hide.

Using a grant from state salmon-recovery money, biologists take calls from landowners with beaver problems in urban and agricultural areas. If the animals can't be managed on site, the group moves them to tributaries in the upper Yakima River.
The group has relocated 126 beavers over four years. About half stick around and build dams near where they were transplanted. Others are killed by predators or return to where they were trapped. One beaver swam 40 miles to reunite with his mate.

Gloria 10-30-2014 10:26 AM

A bit of blog reading about the beaver and current articles going around.



Mary’s Closing argument:
Humans may disagree about the advantages and disadvantages of having beavers as neighbors, but there is no disputing the fact that beavers play an important role in preserving biological diversity.
And THAT’s what the New York Times SHOULD have said. (By the way I just heard that the NYT beaver article is tracking as the 6th most emailed!)

Gloria 10-30-2014 12:23 PM

The Mary mentioned in the link to the blog and her article.
Monday, October 27, 2014
(Published in print: Monday, October 27, 2014)

Naturally Curious: Ecosystem Engineers | Valley News


From 1780 to 1980, wetland loss occurred at a rate of 60 acres per hour. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reports that this has slowed considerably, but even so, wetlands are particularly vulnerable to loss and degradation. More beaver ponds means greater diversity of both plants and animals, and greater species diversity ensures natural sustainability for all life forms.

Mary Holland is the author of Naturally Curious: A Photographic Field Guide and Month-by-Month Journey Through the Fields, Woods, and Marshes of New England, Milkweed Visitors, Ferdinand Fox’s First Summer and The Beavers’ Busy Year . She has a natural history blog, which can be found at www.naturallycuriouswithmaryholland.wordpress.com

EllenW 10-30-2014 07:45 PM

I'm glad that beavers are being respected and appreciated. Touching that the beaver mentioned traveled a long distance to reunite with it's mate.

Gloria 11-05-2014 12:36 PM

Hi Ellen. Yes it is good to see the beaver being appreciated for its contributions to the function of an ecosystem. For far too long it has just been noted for its nuisance quotient without an understanding of how the beaver contributes to the habitat of other species and the natural community as a whole.

Gloria 11-05-2014 12:39 PM

Beavers and Water: A Beautiful Relationship in the Methow - National Forest Foundation


On the Methow Ranger District of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest in North Central Washington, Forest Service biologists have turned to the unflagging energy of the beaver to help restore the Methow watershed. So far, the project outcomes have been remarkable.

The biologists on the Methow Valley Ranger District decided to address two issues with a beaver relocation program:

•removing “nuisance” beavers from areas in which they are interfering with human systems, and

•restoring wetlands by reintroducing the beavers to strategic areas in which they were historically located.

The project goal is for the successful establishment of 50 sites throughout the Methow watershed (or more!). To date, 19 successful site re-establishments have occurred in the Methow Valley, storing hundreds of millions of gallons of water as a climate change adaptation.

Gloria 11-05-2014 01:34 PM

Entire 53 minute PBS special on video at link. Very good viewing than can be done in increments if necessary.

Watch Leave It to Beavers | PBS Nature | Nature | PBS


A growing number of scientists, conservationists and grass-roots environmentalists have come to regard beavers as overlooked tools when it comes to reversing the disastrous effects of global warming and world-wide water shortages. Once valued for their fur or hunted as pests, these industrious rodents are seen in a new light through the eyes of this novel assembly of beaver enthusiasts and “employers” who reveal the ways in which the presence of beavers can transform and revive landscapes. Using their skills as natural builders and brilliant hydro-engineers, beavers are being recruited to accomplish everything from finding water in a bone-dry desert to recharging water tables and coaxing life back into damaged lands.

katjh 11-08-2014 10:33 PM

Just watched the PBS show...thanks for the link! :)

Gloria 11-11-2014 12:51 PM

kat, what did you think of the women beaver catchers? While I liked the stories of beaver rescue I would have liked to see more of the two in the beginning talking about how the beaver helped the water levels to remain stable even through drought and to even bring water back to wetlands that were drying out. Need plenty of cute quotient to attract viewers though and it is good to understand more about the beaver lifecycle.

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