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Beavers Can Do Better: Oregon Hand Crew Builds Dams to Attract Beavers for Habitat Health

One crew of volunteers is building natural dam 'replicas' to attract beavers who will build on what the people started, and stick around to improve the ecosystem.

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Beavers are essential nonhuman stewards in a lot of habitats. They clear out deadfall, create ecosystems for fish and waterfowl, and generally improve the health of river systems or wetlands. Without beavers, an area can fall into ecological disrepair. Attracting beavers back can be a challenge, too. But that’s where Oregon’s Hand Crews, featured in Patagonia’s video Leave It to Beavers, come in.

Leave It To Beavers profiles the project and the handful of volunteers executing it. The basic idea is to build what they call a “replica” of a beaver dam using natural materials and tactics beavers use. Hopefully, eventually, a beaver comes by who looks at that dam, and decides that they could do better. Should they stop and make a home, it’s a dam mission success.

For more information on Oregon’s Hand Crews and other similar projects around the state, visit the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Page on the Oregon Government website. For more videos like this from Patagonia, check out the brand’s YouTube page.

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