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Protecting Endangered Oregon Beaver Habitat

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Lore is seeking twenty six thousand dollars to help restore a piece of previously logged forest in the Pacific Northwest coastal range and revive habitat for beavers currently residing there.

Beavers create ponds that are critical to wetland health and habitat. This forest and wetland that I and a small group of people have been working to restore has not been managed since it was logged in the 1990s. Many invasive species of plants have invaded the forest since it was logged. Several areas of the wetland where the beavers reside have also been damaged by the artificial redirection and heavy channelization of natural waters running through the area. This combination of issues has created a challenging environment for the local beavers as well as making it very difficult to access the inner forest itself

(a very chaotic map of the waterways created and erosion since artificial movement of the waterway)

We have contacted several local government agencies for guidance on creating a sustainable pathway and help the local beavers, but have encountered bureaucratic roadblocks. Agencies state that we cannot divert artificially created unhealthy waterways without a permit. It just so happens that to get such a permit an exorbitant amount of money per yard to address subsurface boring and disconnected channels is required. This permit would be considered a fill permit and would help divert water into its original state. The historic area of ponding has had so much water artificially diverted from it that storm surges are the only time it fills. Coincidentally this is also where the beavers reside.

(area of the disconnected channel from upstream (left) and invasive reed canary grass suffocating native willow that is essential for wetland health)

The second major hurdle we are facing is being able to traverse this area to remove the invasive reed canary grass. This grass is up to 8’ tall and covers much of the natural growing willow that the beavers survive on. To effectively remove it we will need an elevated pathway which will also require the fill permit. We would opt to make a corduroy pathway out of brush and logs that would evolve to become part of the natural terrain, however, the difficulty with this method was that water levels would rise far too high for any pathways made using a corduroy method once rainfall started rendering them unusable. Additionally, any pathways made must be removed at the end of the forestry season due to rules against leaving even natural logs in wetlands, which is extremely wasteful.

(an aerial view of the wetland and extreme grass overgrowth and other features)

Being able to apply for a fill permit for a path through the wetland will also allow us to easily monitor and protect newly planted young willow from the beavers until they are a replenishable resource that won’t be out-competed by the canary grass. It could take up to two years for new willows to become firmly rooted and ready for beavers to use. As new willows grow they will naturally reduce the ability for the invasive canary grass to propagate in the area.

**The raised funds will go directly toward the fill permit, fill material, and the willows needed to restore the beaver’s habitat.**

Thank you for your interest in this fundraiser. Sharing is beneficial if you can. River beavers are often displaced as they’re considered a nuisance. They’ve become increasingly rare due to the loss of habitat. We’re thrilled to be hosting two beaver families on our 3/5ths of an acre of wetland and believe with all our hearts that preserving their habitat is very important!


Donations (1)

  • Aaron Dennis
    • $10 
    • 3 mos
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Lore L
Portland, OR

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