Good Evening, God
You created an amazing world . . . a balanced world . . . filled with creatures large and small, all playing their parts. But, then we came along. And things haven’t been the same since.
But there are encouraging signs. When the wolves were reintroduced into Yellowstone, the elk stopped overgrazing the waterways and the erosion rate dropped. The water got cleaner and vegetation was revitalized. The whole system got back in balance.
And now beavers are being reintroduced to make better use of the water we have. “When you look at the increase in low summer flows, it’s like beaver magically created water,” says Nick Bouwes of Anabranch Solutions — a firm that restores riparian areas.
This is from “Nature’s Ecosystem Engineers,” a story in the August/September 2020 National Wildlife magazine. A rancher in Idaho remembered how healthy Birch Creek used to be when he was a child. Then he remembered that there were beavers there too. (There used to be 400 million beavers and now there are 100,000.) He called Bouwes for help. They constructed 19 Beaver Dam Analogs (BDAs) along the creek in 2015. That created a habitat suitable for beavers. Nine beavers were relocated with the help of the U.S. Forest Service and Idaho Fish and Game. By 2019 there were 149 dams along a two mile stretch and the creek flows 42 more days into summer.
Beavers store water in the spring when there is maybe too much and release it slowly when it is needed. But, it isn’t just better control of water. It is purifying the water, allowing waterborne pollutants to settle and not continue to flow downstream. And they bring back all sorts of fish and creatures to the area.
Maryland is starting to use beavers to help the Chesapeake Bay. This is the sort of news that makes me happy. Happy and Thankful! I’m hoping for more of us to turn toward Nature’s Ways.