[permaculture] Creek remediation

Toby Hemenway toby at patternliteracy.com
Tue Dec 18 22:21:36 EST 2007

The famous (in permaculture circles) Bullock brothers (Orcas Island, 
Washington State, US) developed beaver "trouble" when the wetland they 
restored evolved to a high level of biodiversity. The beavers probably 
hadn't been there for a century, or since the wetland had been drained. 
The Bullocks had planted fruit and nut trees near the water, and when 
the beavers returned they chewed down a number of them. The Bullocks 
were pretty unhappy, but they just took it as a lesson not to plant 
food-producing plants near the water. There are plenty of species that 
coppice nicely when beavers fell them. I suppose if a commercial 
orchardist were hit by beavers, they might not be so sanguine. But since 
the Bullocks in a very real sense called in the beavers, they weren't 
about to harm them.

The wetland also attracted muskrats, which ate the cattails that the 
Bullocks also likes to eat. But before long the habitat evolved to where 
otters and eagles were eating the muskrats, and the cattails once again 
came back in force. So we all figure the beavers will get balanced back 
into the system before too long.

Factoid: Estimated population of beavers in the US Pacific Northwest in 
1600: 400 Million (based on the number of pelts shipped to Europe). 
Population by 1900: 9 million, when the fur-trapping industry collapsed.


roxann wrote:
> LOL. No. the water backs up into the pastures and then the tractors bog down while mowing hay. as far as i know, it's all because of their cows and hay. to them, the beavers are cutting in on their livlihoods and the soggy ground is useless. plus, they hate losing a few trees to them each year. 
> Roxann, NW AR
> http://blog.ancientearthwisdom.com
>>  -------Original Message-------
>>  From: Lawrence F. London, Jr. <lflj at intrex.net>
>>  Subject: Re: [permaculture] Creek remediation
>>  Sent: 18 Dec '07 08:37
>>  J Kolenovsky wrote:
>>  > Why are the farmers shooting them? Are they bored with nothing to do,
>>  > except, run around bare footed?
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