Yakima Valley residents don't like busy beavers. Sometimes the furry critters build dams – habitat to defend against predators – that block irrigation canals and flood homes and farming fields.
No problem. Using funds from salmon-recovery grants, biologists are trapping the mammals and relocating them to upper Yakima River tributaries, where their gnawing and dam-building helps to restore streams and salmon habitat.
In the past four years, 126 beavers have been relocated this way. About half stick around their new environs, while the rest find their way back home or become prey for predators.
Beaver dams help the ecosystem by slowing the flow of water and sediment, creating pools where fish can rest, feed, and hide. Water ebbs downward, then emerges in warmer months, benefitting fish and farmers. Read the Associated Press article.