11 Sep '11, 12am

Control flooding - and keep beavers.

Control flooding - and keep beavers.

Today’s Wall Street Journal has a fascinating story about beavers and the realization by some ranchers that they provide many economic, as well as ecological, benefits. Mr. Woolery's ranch on Beaver Creek outside Kinnear, Wyo., has been beaver-free for decades, but he could sure use their help now. A small beaver colony, he says, would engineer dams that raise the water table under his pastures, opening up drinking holes for his cattle. * * * Justin Burnett, a rancher in Richards, Texas, desperately wants beavers. He blames low creek levels for a "red water" virus that is killing his Angus herd. "Since we are in an extreme drought and there are no beavers to keep the water level sufficient, the water is stagnant and becoming deadly…The creek is constantly getting shallower. I just need beavers back at my ranch." This begs an obvious question: why does the Department of Agr...

Full article: http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/awetzler/why_were_bette...

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