We’ve talked before about the hero from Pocatello that managed to get Audubon to provide a grant for a beaver count in the habitat in Idaho. Mike Settell is a friend of this website and pulled off his own musical beaver festival last summer (the dam jam!). Now he’s in the news again, training volunteers for a snowy beaver count.
Watershed Guardians began training Saturday for their fourth annual Beaver Count. The Beaver Count is a free winter event where teams snowshoe, ski or hike through various drainages in the Portneuf Watershed to count Beaver activity.
KPVI News Six met with them on Saturday up at Mink Creek to learn more about their role in Beaver sustainability. Members from the Watershed Guardians prepared lunch in a yurt for volunteers coming back from training for the 4th annual Beaver Count.
The training was held at Mink Creek’s Nordic Center.
While the volunteers trained, they learned about the Beaver’s role in a healthy watershed and the current state of the Beaver in Idaho. Watershed Guardian volunteer Joan Bernt says training the volunteers is essential for the Beaver Count.
“The other thing is, is we want to make sure that people realize what they are looking for when they are looking for an active beaver colony. Just because they see a dam, that doesn’t mean that’s an active live Beaver maintaining that dam,” says volunteer, Joan Bernt.
The Beaver Count consists of teams surveying different zones in the area where they will be looking for Beaver activity such as fresh cuts where beaver have chewed on trees, Beaver tracks in the snow and Beaver dams and lodges.
Hooray for Mike and the Watershed Guardians! And congratulations for luring the good folks of Idaho into the snow to appreciate beavers! It’s wonderful to think of folks learning how to keep an eye on the beavers around them and hearing why they matter. I espsecially love the part where the article emphasizes the event is FREE. It reminds me a little of Tom Sawyer or P.T. Barnum.
This way to the Egress.
Great job fanning the beaver flame, and I’m thrilled the reporter added this at the end.
Mike Settell says the data collected from the Beaver Count will be presented at ‘State of the Beaver’ conference in Canyonville Oregon in February.
I can’t wait! See you there, Mike! And good work reminding people why to care about beavers!
Now on to Beaver appreciation in New Hampshire where a trip in the snow reminds folks that beavers are under the ice.
HOLDERNESS, N.H. —One of the benefits of all this rain and cold weather is that it has allowed us to do some ice skating and exploring on our local bogs and ponds in the region.
Recently, we went on a beaver lodge tour of Hawkens Pond in Center Harbor and Holderness and were able to admire up close these houses made of sticks and mud. At the very top of the lodge you could see the chimney of sorts. Rime ice was collecting, indicating something warm inside was exhaling into the atmosphere
Their presence is a good indicator of a healthy habitat. Beaver flowages are important habitat for many other species including great blue herons, osprey, kingfisher, mink, otter and muskrat.
For those of you keeping track at home, that’s beaver appreciation in Arizona, Idaho and New Hampshire in the past two days. Not to mention the usual defenders in Washington and New York. I’m thinking its past time we adopt Dean’s “50 State Strategy”.
Time to congratulate my brilliant husband and beaver man-Friday who undertook the impossible task of cutting out a stencil so we could spray paint our keystone tails. My brain couldn’t even imagine the task of cutting away the shapes you wanted to remain but he boldly finished a design and knocked of 25 of these.
Just 125 more to go!
One of the final benefits of shining the beaver light so steadily and strong for so many years is that there is now an international army of folks keeping watch for beaver treasures around the world. Peter Smith of Kent England posted this find this morning, which I promise will make you smile. Enjoy!