By Phaedra Budy | September 19th, 2019

Using Beaver to Benefit Stream Management and Restoration of Public Lands

using beaver

Utah State University graduate students Marshall Wolf and Karen Bartelt were hired to develop a research program aimed at understanding how the construction and eventual collapse of beaver dams influence the ecological and geomorphic characteristics of floodplains on Utah’s public lands. As of 09/19/2019, Wolf and Bartelt have collected high-resolution aerial imagery of 75 beaver complexes using drones.

Data processing procedures have been established to produce metrics of ecological and geomorphic complexity from the drone acquired imagery. This data will be leveraged to better understand how beaver are influencing primary productivity, salmonid habitat quality, wetted width and floodplain connectivity within Utah’s rivers and streams.

Professor Phaedra Budy, Department of Watershed Sciences and unit leader U.S. Geological Survey-Utah Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit, Phaedra.Budy@usu.edu