Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Article: Often pesky beavers put to work restoring streams

Pest beavers are being moved to areas where they can be useful, helping to restore streams.
In a heavily irrigated Washington valley where fish, crops and people often compete for water, biologists are turning to one of nature's best engineers to help restore streams and salmon habitat.
Landowners typically trap or kill beavers that block irrigation canals and flood homes in the Yakima Valley. But one project is relocating the troublemaking creatures to the headwaters of the Yakima River, where their talent for chewing willows and constructing lodges can be put to good use.
Beaver ponds help store water on the surface as well as underground.
Trapping and killing beavers is legal in Washington, and between 1,000 and 2,000 are trapped each year, state officials said.
Legal beaver hunting is amazing to someone who lives on the East Coast.

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