Latah SWCD works to conserve and restore beaver populations in appropriate settings
Beavers are North America’s preeminent keystone species; that is, they create habitat for many other species including mammals, birds, plants, fish, and invertebrates. Beavers increase biological productivity in many ways. The wetlands they create in the forests increases the diversity of the landscape. This is important even after a beaver abandons a wetland. When dams decay through lack of maintenance, flowages initially become wet meadows. Like ‘active’ flowages, these meadows are unique habitats that also have great natural value. All of this makes beavers very beneficial to Steelhead Trout and other native species. They also provide flood control by preventing the rapid run-off of water and controlling soil erosion.
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Beaver Issues and How to Handle Them Responsibly
Beavers often get a bad rap, and it is understandable that these little critters often get blamed for unwanted cutting of trees, blocking of culverts, flooding, and other problems in public and residential areas. However, there are easy ways to manage beavers and prevent these problems before they happen. By following Best Management Practice recommendations, we can learn to anticipate a beaver’s behavior and prevent the unwanted problems by using simple, cheap, and most importantly , effective solutions. Best Management Practices allow humans to work WITH beavers in their natural habitat instead of against them. Beavers are a very important keystone species in Latah County and they deserve our careful management and consideration in our restoration and conservation practices.