Beavers are important animals to healthy rivers and floodplains. Beaver dams spread water onto the floodplain and reconnect side channels allowing for greater water storage, ultimately creating habitat for resident fish (including endangered salmon and threatened bull trout), migratory birds, insects and other animals. They also are important in creating landscape resiliency against fires and contributing to overall forest health. Beaver Dam Analogs (BDAs) mimic the form and function of a natural beaver dam through the installation of upright posts in the streambed which are then woven with natural debris. After installation and monitoring, beaver habitat can successfully be restored.
It is unknown since when the last beaver existed in the Potato Creek watershed (located in the Entiat subbasin) but evidence suggested several decades have passed. With the area impacted by devasting wildfires, drought and steady recreational use, the need for the beaver is greater than ever in the area. Luckily, that is where the Wenatchee-Entiat Beaver Project is stepping in! Over 30 BDAs were installed on Potato Creek in recent years and the habitat is already showing great improvement and potential for the reintroduction of beaver.
The Wenatchee-Entiat Beaver Project is dedicated to continued monitoring and adaptive management over the coming years to measure and ensure success of the BDA project.
For more information visit their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/WenatcheeEntiatBeaverProject/