Workshops and Flow Devices
No tool is perfect and that includes the use of beaver as a stream restoration and climate change adaptation tool.
While beaver can do great things to restore streams, create wildlife habitat, increase forage production, etc., they also can plug up culverts, put dams in places where they are unwanted and other mischief.
If beaver are to gain acceptance as a tool, we must also have accurate information and practical techniques to manage them. That is precisely what the Institute's workshops deliver. Called "Living With Beaver On Your Ranch" these workshops were developed expressly for ranchers and tested by ranchers who have declared themselves happy customers.
A typical workshop runs over two days of intensive training and includes:
- The Institute's film, Rethinking Beaver: old nuisance or new partner? This film features 6 ranchers and one early "pioneer" in the use of beaver as a stream restoration tool, from Nevada, Idaho and New Mexico, talking straight to other ranchers about the pros and cons of beaver.
- Expert information on beaver behavior and ecology that demystifies seemingly whacky beaver behavior, like "Why do they keep building the dam back in the same spot, no matter how many times I tear it out?" so you can out-smart beaver.
- And the best part - the hands-on building of flow devices. Workshop participants will be doing this themselves - if possible, the constructed devices will be immediately installed and used on the ranch hosting the workshop.
- There's also plenty of time for questions, discussion, sharing of beaver stories, and meeting new people.
- Some degree of customization is possible. Other topics that can be covered include tree protection and live trapping for relocation.
All workshops are taught by Bill Morris and Cathryn Wild who have been working with every aspect of beaver - mostly on ranches - since 2008 - trapping, relocations, flow devices, construction of beaver dam analogs, and more.
Interested in scheduling a workshop on your ranch? Contact us for more info and any questions.
Most of the old-school beaver management tools such as ripping out dams and killing beaver are ineffective and temporary. Sometimes very temporary. Sometimes they make the situation worse. Always, they are expensive, time-consuming and frustrating.
But there are new-school tools and these include flow devices, which were invented by Skip Lisle. Flow devices use knowledge of beaver behavior to better manage them. Because, while beaver have big teeth, we humans have the big brains. These new-school techniques are less expensive and a lot less frustrating. There is one catch: they must be constructed correctly for each site and the specific conditions found there. Cookie cutter plans to build these things can fail and end up back where you started: frustrated.
The Institute builds a limited number of flow devices at appropriate sites.