An Ode to Beaver Dams

An Ode to Beaver Dams
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Filed Under: Paddle

We paddlers don’t give beavers enough credit. When we come to a beaver dam that blocks our way, we know it’s going to be a haul over. Often in remote canoe locations, paddlers will have tried to break the dam to make it easier to paddle through. But, we don’t give beavers enough credit.

Despite the slight inconvenience of maybe getting your feet wet as you pull your canoe over a beaver dam, beavers, a keystone species that important for the health of environment, create these wonders of the world and create helpful habitat for all sorts of species. They create wetlands by engineering a dam and raising the water behind it. That opens the forest canopy and allows plenty of sunlight to hit the water. That increases the life that can grow and thrive there.

They do this to create deep enough water to enter and exit their lodges while remaining underwater and to allow access to a stash of food in the winter — and, no, beavers don’t d.... Continue Reading at Paddling Light



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