Think Wild, Central Oregon’s new wildlife hospital and conservation center, is excited to announce the launch of its Beaver Response Team. The response team is an integral part of Think Wild’s program Beaver Works Oregon, which works to build awareness of beaver as a keystone species, enhance habitat and mitigate beaver conflicts.
Every spring and summer, homeowners in Central Oregon — especially those living along a river or stream — may experience fallen trees, property flooding or culvert blockages. This is thanks to the hard work of a large, tree-gnawing, aquatic rodent — the beaver. While tree chewing and dam building may disrupt one’s carefully landscaped yard or pose a risk to a nearby structure, these activities are actually critical to maintaining Central Oregon’s watershed health and create essential habitat for native wildlife.
The Beaver Response Team helps homeowners mitigate beaver damage through proven tools and techniques such as exclusion fencing, sand paint, flexible flow devices and culvert protective fencing. People experiencing beaver conflicts — whether on private or public land — can call the Beaver Response Team, and within 24 hours, field technicians trained in beaver mitigation solutions will provide an initial free consultation. Further resources and support are also available to include on-site assessments and field implementation services, for a nominal fee on a sliding scale.
Beavers are valuable to Oregon’s high-desert watersheds. Environmental economists estimate that ecosystem benefits of improved water quality, water availability, vegetation and even flood control amount to $120,000 per beaver. Oregon native wildlife (and many endangered species, including the Oregon Spotted Frog, Redband Trout and Sage Grouse) rely on the favorable habitat conditions created by beavers. By educating individual landowners and land stewards on these benefits and providing viable, alternative solutions to lethal removal, Think Wild hopes the program will help both humans and wildlife alike to coexist and even thrive.
To learn more, visit beaverworks.org or contact the Beaver Response Team (541-362-1024) for a free 30-minute phone consultation.