Following on the earlier post (12/6/16) about how to best control cane on the Rio Grande, here is a piece that shows beavers will use almost anything to build dams.
This includes cane and saltcedar. Recently I toured a beautiful ranch on the Purgatoire River in southeastern Colorado, owned by The Nature Conservancy (TNC).
On the Purgatoire just as on the Rio Grande, stands of dying saltcedar cover miles and miles of eroding river banks, creeks and canyons. An exotic beetle that destroys saltcedar was released in an attempt to restore cottonwoods in areas now dominated by the saline-tolerant plant.
The senior TNC officer said the beetle release was “a great success,” even though cottonwood had not come back. When I asked if beaver would eat saltcedar, he replied that the most beautiful beaver dam he had ever seen was just upstream of the ranch, and it was constructed entirely of saltcedar.
As we all know, beavers are water engineers, which is why many consider them invasive pests. Raising water tables and eating plants like cane is what beavers do. Beavers, acting as riverbank restoration engineers in places like Yellowstone National Park, beat poisons, bullets, beetles and “managers” hands down.
But for four generations, land grant colleges have indoctrinated ag and wildlife students to believe that invasive species ideology, with its endless lists of prescribed plants and animals, is a science and that chemical fertilizers and pesticides can replace sustainable agriculture practices.
Then, when you add into the policy mix a huge public sector that must keep busy to be justified and funded, are we surprised that minimalist practices like beaver and nutria releases are seldom considered?
NOTE: This post initially posted to SAExpressNews.com on August 8, 2016
WABENO, Wis. (AP) — A Wisconsin man has his prosthetic leg back after the lost limb was discovered sticking out of a beaver dam by two canoers.
Elliot Fuller and Jason Franklin spotted the leg while paddling between a pair of lakes near Wabeno in Forest County on Thursday, the Wisconsin Journal Sentinel (http://bit.ly/2bdNgRF ) reported. Fuller said they were convinced it was part of a corpse until they got close enough to pull it out.
“I was sure we had found a dead body that someone dumped into the creek,” the Germantown man said. “We thought it was real at first until we got a closer look.”
A quick search on Craigslist yielded an ad from Mark Warner, who lost the prosthetic limb when his own canoe tipped over during a July fishing trip on Range Line Lake in Wabeno. The 49-year-old from Green Bay said he rescued his fishing gear and cooler, but the prosthetic limb got away.
“I wasn’t overly worried about it because I use my older model for fishing and hunting,” Warner said. “It wasn’t my everyday leg, to put it that way.”
Fuller and Franklin found the limb three miles from where Warner lost it. They returned it to Warner on Friday, netting a $50 reward for its safe return.
“Just did what I thought was right,” Franklin said. “I hope that if I lost my leg that someone would return it to me, too.”
Warner said he was sure it was gone. A friend had to convince him to put up the Craigslist ad.
“I really didn’t expect to see it again. On my end, it’s pretty amazing and it’s pretty bizarre where it ended up,” Warner said.