Putting Beavers to Work for Watershed Resiliency and Restoration
A collaborative multi-year project that is focused on facilitating coexistence with beavers so their benefits as a watershed resiliency and restoration tool are realized.
The Issue / Idea
How can municipalities coexist with beavers for their watershed benefits?
Beavers, Canada’s national animal, provide many valuable ecosystem services including storage of water during droughts and flooding, creation of habitat for a variety of species, and improvement of water quality. These benefits allow for the increased watershed resiliency and restoration across the landscape. Land owners, including municipalities, can come into conflict with beavers as they can cause damage by flooding roads, plugging culverts or taking down prized trees, which can result in the removal of beavers from the landscape.
This project is a partnership between the Miistakis Institute and Cows and Fish Alberta Riparian Habitat Management Society and aims to increase the coexistence of humans and beavers. By engaging with land owners and land managers this project strives to decrease conflict with beavers, foster social tolerance, and heighten understanding of the benefits that beavers provide us and the ecosystem as a whole. The project aims to achieve these goals by researching new coexistence tools, hosting hands-on coexistence workshops, and creating information materials and videos to increase awareness.
Below is a selection of resources specific to municipalities.
Webinar: Understanding Beavers as a Natural Infrastructure Solution
Slide Deck: Understanding Beavers as a Natural Infrastructure Solution
Beaver Coexistence Tools
Cost Benefit Analysis of Beaver Coexistence Tools
Putting Beavers to Work Website
Coexisting with Beavers Part 1: Municipal District of Foothills
These assessments were undertaken by
The Miistakis Institute
Cows and Fish – Alberta Riparian Habitat Management Society
Began in 2012
2012 – on-going
Alberta Environment and Parks’ Watershed Resiliency and Restoration Program (WRRP)
The Calgary Foundation
Alberta Ecotrust Foundation