Sunday, August 18, 2013

August 18, 2013 Of Beavers and Men

I have been busy lately.  It's been a while since I have done a blog too!  Here's one of the extra things I have been doing.....watching beavers.  I have been watching beavers and monitoring some of the goings on by the crew that got the bid for the Flutereed Watershed Restoration Project. 
Now.....people all know, beavers can be a nuisance if they are in the wrong place engineering a project.  Why?  Because, they are usually pretty determined little animals once they start in.  This pair has two babies, that I have seen.  They are getting dynamited out of house and home and having their space continually invaded by men trying to evict them because they want to engineer a space on the other words, modify something Mother Nature has been doing for years. 
All of these things going on in a trout stream rather bothers me and a few other people in the community.  If any other entitiy goes in and mucks about in a trout stream....the powers that be yell bloody murder.  Now, we have a guy.....who moved here from the cities.....lives at the bottom and over a bit from this stream....and, guess what!?  He doesn't like the muddy water every time it rains!  Well.....duh!  It and how many others on the shore.....have made muddy water that ran into  Lake Superior ever since I was a kid.  Nothing new about that!  However......he was determined to fix it. 
So....the Flutereed Watershed Partnership was formed.
Now......grants have been written and people are getting paid to fix the clay slump banks on the river.  Ok.....they are clay....the river runs through clay.....that isn't going to change.  However, they are trying to stop any further erosion on these banks.  So, a few of them are being fixed.....I hope, for all the money spent....they stay fixed!  Personally, I think all that money could have been better spent.
Trucks and equipment working in the river bottom of one of the clay slumps they have fixed.
There's piles of this stuff....lots more than shown here.....that is being put in the river to fix it!
Here is a shot showing a lot of the fixing that is being done.  Notice all the stuff layered in near the clay bank to hold it in place and keep it from eroding.
Here is the finished product of the first section they fixed.  I have lots of other photos but don't think I should post so many at a time to show all the process.
Here's what is left of the beaver's house after they blew it up all over the bridge and river.  The beavers have not started rebuilding a house yet.

Here is the river with the dam they are working to remove and the beaver's blown up house is on the bottom left of photo.
The beavers have been continually trying to rebuild their dam.  I see them eating or working each day when I stop.  One day, I was sitting on the bridge when a popple tree fell down.  I walked over to take a look and got several photos of the beaver trying to chew the rest of that tree off.  He got in every position manageable trying to get a better "chew" on his subject. see what a muddy mess they made when they mucked about trying to discourage the beavers. a trout stream.  Where is the indignation!?  Such double standards in this county.  A special interest to fix Mother Nature  can make all the mess they want.  But, no one else better  touch that river!
I was there yesterday and the dam had been messed with again.  I didn't see any sign of any, not sure what transpired there. 
Here is another shot of one of the adult beavers eating.  It was just minding its business and doing what beavers do.  There have been a lot of people watching these creatures on a regular basis now.  Too bad they have to be harassed for such a poor reason.  Fixing the river isn't a bad thing.....if it works, I suppose.  However, this is just a few spots on a river that is clay.  It isn't going to stop the river from running brown every time it rains.  Hopefully, with all the work and thought that has gone in to this, Mother Nature doesn't just wash it all out down the river.  It has washed out some mighty big projects on this river before.  Time will tell, I guess. 
The only thing I can say is if it doesn't work.....all the old timers say it won't.......Mother Nature will have the last laugh when it ends up where it does. 
Construction techniques have changed a lot.....let's hope all this money was "well-spent!"