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Thursday, May 23 • 11:25am - 11:45am
DTA Presentation - Beaver Relocation in Upper Columbia River Basin

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Beavers (Castor canadensis) are foundation species that have many positive impacts on the hydrology and ecology of temperate watersheds through their modifications of small, low-gradient streams, but can be considered a nuisance when their activities are in conflict with human land use. Beaver populations in North America were greatly reduced due to the high demand for beaver pelts and because of human competition for  productive valleys, but have increased over the last century, although often in human-conflict areas. Many land managers now recognize the benefits of relocating nuisance beavers to suitable locations in remote areas to provide maintenance and restoration of stream and riparian ecosystems. Trout Unlimited (TU), a non-profit organization with the mission to conserve, protect and restore cold water fisheries, watersheds, and ecosystems,  is implementing a multi-year project to relocate nuisance beavers to suitable locations in upper Columbia River watersheds. Under their sponsorship, we are implementing a GIS-based model to determine stream reaches within the Entiat, Okanogan and Methow Basins that are (1) suitable for beaver relocation and that have been (2) identified as critical areas for fish recovery efforts. The spatial criteria we are using to predict high beaver potential include stream gradient, streamflow, basin width, vegetation type, land use and fish restoration priority ranking. Since the presence of beaver dams in Upper Columbia basins is difficult to detect with remote sensing, we will also develop an Esri Collector mobile application to support field observations for restoration projects. Our model will benefit current conservation efforts by Trout Unlimited and collaborating organizations, and will be designed and documented so that it can be modified for field data collection and site selection for other watersheds.


Thursday May 23, 2019 11:25am - 11:45am
GTCC RM 315 Tacoma Convention Center, 1500 Commerce St, Tacoma, WA 98402
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