Beaver restoration in SE Idaho

This is a story about beaver being reintroduced to places in southeast Idaho where they have been wiped out. Because of the natural abundance of aspen and willows in Eastern Idaho, the area is naturally better beaver habitat than points north, such as central Idaho and Yellowstone.

In the past, many beaver dams were deliberately destroyed. Just a decade ago some agency people and some farmers argued that beaver stole water and grass by impounding it. The result of dynamiting or trapping out beavers was stream erosion from rapid runoff, and lower water flows in the summertime, and the drying of riparian meadows.

It’s good to see that incorrect view going and maybe gone and beaver restoration underway.

Article in the Idaho State Journal.



, ,




  1. Kalanu Avatar

    Great, now soon the ‘beaver lovers’ will be responding to the claims of the ‘beaver-haters’ that the beavers will starve out the elk by eating all the willows.

  2. mike Avatar

    Any man who isn’t a “beaver lover” is no kind of man in my book!

  3. Alan Gregory Avatar

    I was an Explorer scout in a Pocatello post sponsored in the late 60s by Idaho F&G. I remember – quite readily – the time a few of us and a post leader went outside of town (Mink Creek?) to remove, by hand, a beaver dam. Hey, when you’re 12 or so, you don’t know better. But what really comes to mind when I think of that day is overhearing two F&G dudes talking about how quickly they could remove the dam by simply dynamiting it! We’d all like to think that our level of ecological literacy has greatly improved since those years, but I often wonder.

     I had about the same experience as late as the 1980s on the Caribou National Forest near Pocatello, only it was the Forest Service. They didn’t like beaver because they said the dams will wash out, causing erosion. Well, duh!  Yes, if they only allow one dam to be built and then eliminate the beaver.

    Fortunately, times seem to have changed and in some places a nice series of ponds, almost like a step ladder of pools is being built up some creeks. Ralph Maughan 

  4. Kalanu Avatar

    Don’t give them any ideas.


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

Subscribe to get new posts right in your Inbox

Ralph Maughan