The Best Dam Ecosystem Engineers

Beavers may be our most important partner in protecting and restoring western streams and watersheds. By building temporary dams on small streams, beavers slow down rainwater runoff and snowmelt. This replenishes groundwater and provides essential stream flows during the dry months in the late summer and fall to sustain year-round habitat for fish and wildlife, as well as assisting ranching and recreational interests.

Despite this important role, wildlife managers have a long history of treating beavers as a nuisance species and promoting beaver eradication. Slowly, attitudes toward beavers are changing, as evidenced by a growing number of river restoration projects that include human-built structures mimicking beaver activity, as well as reintroduction of beavers to some portions of their historic habitat. Expanding beaver habitat is good for our rivers and an essential component of building cost-effective, durable watershed resilience in a warming West.

The “beaver buzz” is growing, fueled by diverse voices of support and useful resources such as these:

October 30, 2018

NEWS

Blog Carpe Diem West staff and advisors explore issues related to western water and climate change.

What's New Find out what's new in the field with updates from the Carpe Diem West Network.

Upcoming Webinars Our webinars engage subject matter experts and practitioners in the field in a detailed discussion of issues at the intersection of water and climate change.

Interviews Western water leaders speak firsthand about the latest issues and happenings.

News Articles & Op-Ed's See the latest commentary from Carpe Diem West network leaders quoted in the media.

Webinars Our webinars engage subject matter experts and practitioners in the field in a detailed discussion of issues at the intersection of water and climate change.