Volunteers save trees & protect beaver habitat

Volunteers save trees & protect beaver habitat

Beaver Fencing Project on Snow King Ave. – July 11th, 2019

By Sarah McIntosh, Alliance Intern

You may have noticed a few damaged trees along Snow King Ave. as you drive, bike, or walk by Karns Meadow and have been wondering what’s been happening recently.

The answer is the local beavers of Karns Meadow have found these road side trees and have taken interest in using them. We love our beavers and want to keep them safe and residing in Karns Meadow, but we also want to ensure the trees stay healthy and standing as well. After a few ineffective attempts to dissuade beavers from this area by removing a new beaver dam near the road in Karns Meadow, a new tactic has been put in place.

The Alliance partnered with Teton County/ Town of Jackson Parks and Recreation, Teton Conservation District, and Wyoming Wetlands Society to pilot a new beaver mitigation technique. Members and volunteers from each of these organizations came out to Snow King Ave on July 11th to install wire fencing around the base of the trees on the north side of the road along Karns Meadow to prevent the beavers from creating further damage. The area will to continue to be monitored to determine if this new fencing does keep the beavers away.

Beavers have periodically caused this problem for a few years, so these partners decided to try this tree fencing technique to deter the beavers and avoid having to relocate them altogether. The Alliance’s 2018 “State of Wildlife in Jackson Hole” report states, “beaver populations in Grand Teton National Park have declined by over 80% in the last 40 years, with threats from residential and commercial development, as well as natural system modifications and climate change”. View the full State of Wildlife report here.

Karns Meadow has become an important wetland ecosystem for Jackson both in providing habitat for threatened organisms like beavers, and in treating stormwater and snow melt from the fairgrounds through the wetland-based stormwater treatment system set up in the meadow. The goal here is to keep the beavers in this thriving wetland habitat, while keeping the nearby trees and neighbors happy as well.

Volunteering is a great way to get involved in conservation in Jackson Hole. Learn more about volunteer opportunities here or contact tisa@jhalliance.org.

Phone: (307) 733-9417
685 S. Cache St. PO Box 2728
Jackson, Wyoming 83001