With expanding urbanization and changing climate conditions creating challenges to environmental health and forest ecosystems, The Lands Council is striving to find practical solutions to these problems. One innovative solution is beavers. Beavers are progressively acknowledged and utilized as a silver-bullet solution to our natural resource and environmental health concerns. An increasing amount of science and traditional knowledge shows that beavers are a historically vital component of forest health.
The Beaver Solution
Beavers dam streams, which build wetlands that function as significant pieces of the life cycle for most forest creatures. These wetlands not only hold and distribute water more evenly through drought and rainy seasons, but they also sequester carbon, filter toxins, and mitigate flood and fire events. Beavers are also remarkably adaptable and able to thrive at urban interface situations. The future of most wildlife, as human populations expand, will undoubtedly be faced with challenges and this limitation.
The Lands Council’s beaver program has a uniquely diversified approach to using beavers to address issues, such as: policy reform, education and outreach, and direct project implementation. We are actively shaping beaver population management policy and connectivity at the state and regional scale by informing and engaging governing agencies and authorities. We give numerous presentations each year to school groups and other organizations and showcase beavers at our annual Picnic with the Beavers each September. Additionally, we offer consultation and nuisance management services such as tree protections and flood control structures from beaver activity and we offer live-trapping and relocation services as well. Finally, The Lands Council prioritizes long term goals to accommodate greater beaver populations – not only with safeguards for nuisance activity, but also with building future habitats that will reforest our stream reaches with trees and vegetation appropriate for beaver diet and structural needs. To date, we have reforested approximately a mile of stream reach and we are actively monitoring the results of each project, utilizing volunteers, and investing in additional community planning in this project.