Theme: Beavers Revive Watersheds
Restoring the Keystone for Watershed Ecology Health
The State of the Beaver 2015 Conference
February 18th, 19th and 20th - 2015
Seven Feathers Convention Center and Resort
This State of the Beaver Conference will focus on both the North American and the Eurasian Beaver. Although they differ slightly genetically, the benefits and problems they create remain in large the same. Scientific studies have well documented that the beaver's ecological benefits far outweigh beaver's liabilities in most situations.
The State of the Beaver conferences have consistently been an excellent networking and solutions finding experience of beaver experts and enthusiasts from around the world. They come together in one place to address the latest scientific findings related to beaver ecology and to provide solutions to the negative impact sometimes associated with this these critical species.
Stream Restoration and Beavers
Billions of dollars are spent annually worldwide restoring streams for wildlife and human needs. Most of these projects spend little time preparing for and or expecting the changes which will occur due to the natural integration of beavers as stream conditions improve. Beavers are a natural and necessary component of our aquatic ecosystems and are found throughout many of the same reaches being restored. Lack of preparation or shortsightedness for natural colonization is a formula for potential deleterious affects. Careful planning for both planting and instream structure placement should be an integral part of a successful effort in areas of potential beaver habitation. In such cases beaver activities will be a bonus in restoring aquatic habitat health as enhance made made structures.
Beaver and Fish Passage
IOne of the most controversial and important issues concerning beaver damming has to be fish passage. For years flow control devices have been installed, successfully governing dam height and ponded impoundments size to address this problem. Still, fish passage has remained at the forefront of resistance to the natural processes beavers provide. The potential for lost access to miles of spawning and rearing waters, versus the enhanced stream flow and water quality found below beaver dams is at the center of the issue. It is possible to have the best of both worlds. Changes in flow device design have led to salmon passage and juvenile salmonids migrating over beaver dams with little difficulty. Fish can now reach critical spawning and rearing reaches while beaver dams remain in place, providing additional high quality habitat for juvenile fish. The conference will report on these developments.
Living with Beaver: Solutions
Learn to live with beavers. Human infrastructure can be adversely affected by beavers. If you live along a stream where beavers are able to successfully dam, you are about to witness a transformation toward abundant fish, birds and wildlife populations. Adjustments will have to be made for you to successfully interface with these ecological engineers. The conference will cover methods and tools for safely creating a win win scenario that will provide long term benefit to waterways and the living things they sustain. The latest successfully tested flow devices and pond regulation techniques are among the methods that will be covered.
One of, if not the most, endangered habitats of the Northern Hemisphere is wetlands. These wetlands act as giant sponges storing and filtering our freshwater runoff. Beaver dams play a big role in recharging our aquifers and elevating water tables. Over one half of the threatened or endangered species of the Northern Hemisphere rely upon wetlands for survival. Due to the effects of agriculture and urbanization, wetlands are rapidly disappearing along with their interdependent species. Beavers, through their dam building activities, create special wetlands called flowages. The beavers act as wetland engineers creating, maintaining and expanding existing aquatic habitat.
Dealing with Drought
Since wetlands are recognized as one of the fastest shrinking ecosystems, it should not surprise us that the fastest growing ecosystems are deserts. The effects of human impact are worldwide; the shrinking of the polar ice caps, glacial melting and lowering of the earth's water table are just a few signs. The largest percentile of earth's freshwater can be found in the boreal swamps and forests of the Northern Hemisphere. This has led to intensive scientific research of the regions. The beaver has been found to be an important component of water storage and streamflow stabilization across the Northern Hemisphere.
Citizen Science and Advocacy
The role of the citizen scientist and citizen advocate is one that is far too often overlooked. The truth is that the engagement of the public has proved invaluable in moving beaver ecology forward into the 21st century. Surveys have shown that the public instinctively knows beavers belong in the environment. Some of the most successful projects worldwide are accredited to the support and active participation of engaged citizenry. We are at a crucial nexus with scientific findings related to beaver ecology. The facts are in and it is now time to implement beaver reintroduction and management for the benefit of nature and society alike. The State of the Beaver conferences help provide the tools and knowhow to get the task done.
Back to BAC
SURCP's Beaver Advocacy Committee has pooled together for this conference an array of experts from a broad range of sources to fine tune our perspectives and management techniques. We'll see how to take full advantage of the benefits of beavers while at the same time minimize the negative impact on public and private property.
Come Join US!
SURCP's BAC, along with the Cow Creek Band of the Umpqua Indians and many other sponsors are presenting this conference to equip industry along with public and private entities with the tools to realize the potential of Oregon's Golden Beaver.