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New Holding Facility Increases Capacity For Habitat Improvement Using Beavers


The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is announcing that they have completed construction of a structure that will aid in handling beavers.  Because of G&F’s long-term effort to improve riparian and stream habitat areas for beavers, the new structure will temporarily house nuisance beavers that have been trapped on private land and then relocated to areas that are in need of habitat restoration.

“Game and Fish routinely use beavers to improve habitat in Wyoming and this facility will grow the capacity for habitat enhancement using beavers in the northwest portion of our state,” says Jerry Altermatt who is the Cody Region Terrestrial Habitat biologist.

Following their natural instincts, beavers often can be very good stewards of streams, rivers, bogs, and swamplands.  Riparians, (or beavers), can dramatically alter the landscape for the better by gnawing down trees, blocking streams, culverts or rivers, and that can change the local ecology.  They can help replenish aquifers, create better, more sustainable food sources for animals like moose as well as help fish thrive in rivers and streams.

“Beavers are occasionally referred to as “grassroots conservationists” because of their water impoundment and conservation efforts in our nation’s watersheds. Without beavers maintaining waterways on the Wyoming headwaters, downstream flooding would be more severe each spring, and water conservation would be a much more serious concern. The manpower and monetary costs of providing the benefits beaver provide would
be staggering,” according to Wyoming Game and Fish’s report.

But beavers can get a bad wrap for doing what nature intended when it conflicts with humans and becomes a “nuisance.”  So, sometimes biologists have to physically relocate nature’s chainsaws to a more friendly, less populated environment in order to thrive.

Beavers in Wyoming can grow in excess of 50 pounds and measure over 40 inches from tip of the tail to snout.  In rare cases, beavers weighing over 100 pounds have been harvested in Wyoming.

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