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Susan Allen Beaver Believer
by Susan Allen, click here for bio

Program: Land & Livestock Report
Date: September 20, 2011

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Are you a  beaver believer? Well I know a lot of our Northwest Agricultural community are true to the old Orange and Black and yes many of you know that I went to  OSU berfore I graduated from ASU. I’m Susan Allen and when Open Range returns I’ll share another reason ranchers  throughout the west are becoming beaver believers. When I’m fly fishing a river and navigating the logs piles of a beaver colony I am amazed by the power of these creatures to change the course of a waterway. For decades out west beavers have been considered nuisances but that mind set is changing as more and more conservation groups and ranchers are discovering the engineering power of beaver dams. The Spokane Land Council actually has a group called Beaver Solutions that relocates the creatures to property owners that appreciate their tenuous pond and wetland creations.  After the beaver were nearly eradicated  by over-trapping, ranchers not just in  our western states  but those as far away as Texas and  Arizona noticed their land drying up because beaver ponds create marshes and grasslands that support trees like aspen and alder. It has also been proven that beavers can raise actually raise the water table helping to create lush pastures.  Yet there remain a host of farmers and ranchers who will always see beavers as a pest and threats to cultivated land and orchards .In Oregon it’s legal to shoot beavers on private land but lucky for beavers there is a growing collation of pro-beaver ranchers  who submit their names on long waiting lists in hopes they’ll will be approved as adopters whenever fish and wildlife or conservation groups find a beaver that needs to be rehomed. 

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