Wildlife Stewardship and Water Conservation of the Mountain Beaver

I grew up in Humboldt County. My Father was in the timber industry. My family and I camped and tramped through the Redwood National Forest and the coastal range. I did my under graduate at Humboldt State. As a young adult I moved to Sacramento where I did a Masters degree in Business and continued a career in domestic Animal Services with Placer County. Animal Services has always had a lot of cross over into wildlife.

I also fell in love with the Bishop, Lone Pine, Independence area on the backside of the Sierra Nevada and subsequently back packed into the Golden Trout Wilderness. The last 17 years I have lived in Riverside County and made my way back up to Inyo County to sojourn into Death Valley or continue up to the Kern Plateau.

During this time I have become concerned about water conservation, wildlife and stewardship. We all want a place of recluse and a place revive and a place to play. However, we need to do it in a way we don't destroy the environment. Personally, my play has been to observe wildlife.

Two years ago in the glacier meadow adjacent to Troy campground on the edge of the Golden Trout Wilderness, at about 7,800 feet, I noticed a small beaver lodge. The creek was a tributary about an average of 4-6 inches deep in low places and up to 18 inches in still places and 2-3 ft wide in narrow places and 12-14 ft wide in open places.   I went up last spring and didn't notice that many changes. However, this spring. WOW! The beaver couples first year kits must be helping them. Talk about natural wetland engineers!  They have a entire catch-basin going. There are so many little damns that have caused the stream to branch out into the meadow, it is amazing. How can they do that with sticks and mud!  I'll bet there is about 1/2 acre of water at least 36 inches deep in some places, with canals running from pond to pond.

Beavers build damns so water seeps through. They don't entirely stop water from running. Secondly, they have to make the water deep enough so that it does not freeze to the bottom so they can swim below the surface and retrieve food storage in the winter.

It seems like we have natural partners who work for dirt cheap in preserving our water and bringing back our wetlands if we just leave them alone and monitor their work. Moreover, there are many more birds nesting in the marsh like environment and I saw  much more dragonfly activity, so it seems like the trout will be happy. 

We didn't have much snowpack this year and I know we are short on water and the water down stream is getting low; but hopefully, they will let the beaver stay. When you go on line and try to look anything up about beaver, you pretty much find nothing except how to trap and remove them from being a nuisance.

Plan to upload some photos, next time.

Photos of beaver activity

Mountain Beaver Continued - old news to some, new news to me

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