Beavers play a critical role in maintaining healthy ecosystems, they are responsible for creating vital wetlands that support almost half the species on Earth. These industrious animals are a keystone species, so much so that 50% of North America’s endangered or threatened species rely on beaver wetlands for their own survival.
Earlier this year Trout Unlimited launched the Wenatchee-Entiat Beaver Project, a 3-year grant funded project that relocates ‘nuisance’ beavers from private property to Wenatchee and Entiat watersheds located on Forest Service Lands. “Loss of beaver from regional watersheds reduces salmonid habitat capacity/productivity and also diminishes the resilience of human communities with respect to flooding, drought, wildfire, and other natural phenomena that impact economies and ways of life.” -Trout Unlimited.
I recently had the pleasure of doing a ride along with them to document this unique project. Re-establishing beavers to the landscape of the Cascades can restore some of the human-altered processes that will benefit not only beavers, but people, fish, and the environment.