Off to the big sky country where beavers are getting some help from the Nature Conservancy.
SEELEY LAKE – A rough trail skirting Tupper’s Lake is becoming a beaten path. The second annual Revive and Thrive event on Sunday drew 40 volunteers and about 200 people celebrating the Clearwater-Blackfoot Project. It’s part of The Nature Conservancy’s $85 million purchase of more than 117,000 acres around Placid Lake and the Gold Creek drainage last year.
For a long time, there were issues with beavers plugging the old culvert, causing water to jump the creek channel and wash out nearby roads. So a new, extended culvert was installed, this one with a water control structure and multiple holes in the culvert.
On Sunday, the volunteers used metal fencing, called calf panels, T-posts and wire to construct a triangle-shaped beaver deceiver surrounding the culvert. Each side is about 14 feet long.
“The idea (with the holes) is the beavers can’t hear the water flowing,” Kloetzel said. “The sound attracts them.”
The hope is that pulling one over on the beavers will raise the lake three feet by this time next year, making it healthier for the cutthroat trout stocked by the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks.
“The idea is to let the beavers live in the lake, but they won’t hurt the roads and the culvert,” Kloetzel said. “It’s an extra security measure. Then if they want to dam, they have to go around the entire surface of the cage.”
The beaver deceiver construction also lent itself to jokes, with one volunteer asking if the beavers had been notified and channeling their response:”Well, I’ll be ‘dam’ed …”
No photos of this ‘beaver deceiver’ though, one has to wonder what it looks like since the reporter can’t tell the difference between a triangle and a trapazoid. Hmm. Or thinks her readers can’t. No discussion of beaver benefits or how this whole project will save wildlife and habitat in the long run. Never mind. It’s Montana for chrissake. We are DELIGHTED they are trying out some coexistence!
I am reposting this because I just realized you can zoom in by double clicking on the image. This is the perfect tool to showcase our heartstopping brochure from generous artist Amelia Hunter.
And this article took my breath away this morning, and I’m going to share it even though its not about beavers. It is about perseverance and tenacity though. Go read it and feel truly inspired.
Let me set the scene first.
In the early 1960s, Pacific Gas & Electric Co. planned and began building a power plant at Bodega Head, one of the most jaw-dropping stretches of coast on the planet.
Meanwhile, developers were mapping plans for a monster residential project just north of Jenner at Sea Ranch, where sheep grazed between coastal bluffs and stunning pebble beaches.
“It began with Bodega Head,” Lucy said of the site of the proposed power plant. But it was Sea Ranch “that really got Bill stirred up.”
The Kortum posse set up ironing boards outside grocery stores, spread out their materials and made their case.
I’m not kidding. Go read this and realize how awesome a battle this was/is. Beavers are child’s play by comparison.