In 2013, the Northern Pacific Landscape Conservation Cooperative partnered with U.S. Fish & Wildlife, NOAA, Portland State University, and the U.S. Forest Service to develop a comprehensive guide on using beaver for stream restoration. Throughout the past year, five sold out workshops were held to share information from this developing guidebook with over 200 land managers currently working with, or interested in, using beaver in restoration projects. Workshop participants provided input and feedback into the guidebook, and we are pleased to announce its finalization and official release.
The water impounded behind beaver dams provides new habitat for many bird species. Beaver-created wetlands and ponds produce numerous species of aquatic insects, which are essential food for waterfowl. The cover offered by lush riparian vegetation— both tall trees and shrubs and emergent herbaceous vegetation—offers cover from predation by flying raptors and terrestrial hunters. In addition, the habitat created by beaver dams is a refuge for many migratory birds species, providing rest and refueling locations along their north-south routes. The dead snags created by beaver through girdling and flooding provide excellent nesting habitat for many birds, and attracts numerous woodpecker species.
The goal of this guidebook is to provide an accessible, useful resource for anyone involved in using beaver to restore streams, floodplains, wetlands, and riparian areas. It provides a practical synthesis of the best available science, an overview of management techniques, and case studies from throughout the western U.S.