Until we have a larger beaver population, and can move them around from areas where they’re “problems” to places where they’re a solution, we’ll have to do their work. Here are some resources and methods for acting like a beaver does.
Keep Water Around Longer
Beaver dams capture and retain water, which helps keep water in streams longer through the dry season. Maybe you can’t build a dam in your backyard, but you can catch and save rainwater off your roof to do the same. The water that leaves the tank through your irrigation or gray water system will arrive just when endangered fish need it most. It’s a good, simple way to be prepared for drought, climate change, and higher water prices. OAEC Roofwater Harvesting
Prevent Flooding and Siltation
Beavers are great at dealing with flooding, and the techniques in this guide can help you keep water on your land longer, while cleaning it up and slowing it down—all good things for our native fish. Stormwater Management
Reduce Erosion: keep your soil, spare the fish
Fish need water—ideally clear, cold and copious. They need gravel beds free of silt, somewhere to hide during peak flows, plenty of food, cover from predators and a host of other things beaver can offer. We humans can help by reducing erosion, adding large woody debris to streams, and a host of other techniques offered in Groundwork, the best free guide out there.
Gray Water Systems: re-use more of what you have
Gray water systems can also be quickly and cheaply installed, and divert water that would otherwise be wasted on overburdened sewer systems. A simple laundry to landscape system can be installed in a day for very low cost and can help reduce irrigation needs, especially for tree crops. Greywater Action has tons of information, and Oasis Design has the definitive how-to guide.