Get involved with your watershed. Check out our M.A.R.S. program for chance to help!
Mike Settell-Director, Watershed Guardians
For 12 years, Watershed Guardians has mentored, supported, trained and provided scholarships to ISU Outdoor Leadership students. It has been a wonderful experience for them and us. We will continue to support them in achieving their natural future. To help us help them, visit our donate page and specify "ISU-OL" in your donation. In the meantime, please enjoy some of the pictures of past ISU-OL students "on the job".in the slide show below.
1. We are supposed to form our own teams--is that correct? I think I have three other people who want to join me.
ANS. Yes. They will have to be trained, however. Also, you will want to arrange transportation. If they are in your pod, you may car-pool. Otherwise, you will want to arrange separate rides. Please indicate all of the members of your team on the registration form.
Will there be on-line training?
ANS No. We do not have a fully developed on-line training at this time. We will post some training materials in the sections below.
What is a "self assessment"?
ANS. Everyone, trained and experienced, needs to do a physical self assessment. Namely, Ask yourself: "Can I snowshoe one mile with an incline of 150 ft without feeling uncomfortable, stress, shortness of breath or any pain?" If you have any doubt, consult your doctor. Anyone who is a new volunteer must to do a physical assessment on 1/30 at 10 AM.
Is there also a separate self-assessment?
ANS. Yes. Check your gear, including your vehicle. Ensure that you have the right gear, clothing, equipment and understanding about the event. Ensure that your vehicle is suitably equipped , including good tires. The physical assessment is so important that our volunteers need to understand the physical demands required for even the simple zones.
When can we pick up our snowshoes?
ANS. Pick up your snowshoes the evening before your training date or the evening before you plan to snowshoe.
Are we required to have a team?
ANS. You MUST count with no fewer than 2 team members and 3 or more is preferred. If you do not have a team, we can put you in a team. Meet new friends!
Do we pick our own day/time to do the BeaverCount during that week from 1/28 to 2/4?
ANS. Yes. Just pick your date and time and respond by email to email@example.com IMPORTANT: Since we're not using our "chit system" we are tracking volunteers with text. Please text 2082320825 when you leave the valley and when you return.
Are you assigning where we do our count?
ANS. Zones will be on a first come, first serve basis, with up to three teams per zone allowed.
How/when will we get that info?
ANS. You may select your zone by number or give a general description of that zone as soon as possible and we will sign you up. If you don't hear anything call back at 2082320825
Where? ANS: Training at the Cherry Springs Nature Area. If the parking lot is not plowed or open, we'll meet at the Mink Creek Nodic Center.
When: ANS: Jan 28th : 12PM to 4PM. On Jan 29th, training starts at 10AM and goes through 2PM.
What Should I bring? ANS: , Water, snacks warm clothes, snacks and good footwear. Footwear means shoes and socks.
How do I register? ANS: Register below. If you need snowshoes, indicate that on the registration.
Why are we censusing or "counting" beaver in the winter? ANS: Because beaver remain active throughout the winter and folks need something to do in the winter, outside.
Watershed Guardians 102 S. Main St. #634 Pocatello, ID 83204 US
09:00 am – 05:00 pm
While this message shows us being open "By Appointment Only" you may be able to reach us by us by calling 2082320825 until 9PM
Do you have snowshoes? Poles? Bring them! That helps save us costs that we can use for other purchases/projects.
What follows is a list from the The Boy Scouts' of America (BSA) Scouting Hand book. "Basic Essentials". These are required prior to embarking on the Count. We have added an 11th item that we feel important and we require that volunteers have the requisite clothing listed in "Winter Clothing".
This list is taken from the Boy Scouts of America Scouting Handbook. It has been recommended the world over for the minimum requirements for outdoor adventures.
You are being asked to transport yourself on a windy, winter road to a destination that will likely have snow or ice on the road. Only pull over in designated, plowed parking lots. If you get stuck, stay in your car Put the flashers on. Wear bright clothing.
Cell phone service is sketchy.
Once you reach the creek, be careful not to get too close to the edge, The banks can be soft and unstable. It can be very difficult to extract yourself from the pond. It may be easier to remove your shoes.
You may also choose to travel through the brush. Be mindful of your eyes that you don't smack the person in the eye behind you. Wear sunglasses or safety glasses.
Your poles are like a second set of legs, They can help you climb, navigate through the brush, keep you upright and could help keep wild animals away. Use them!
Wildlife may be in the area. Do not interact with the wildlife any more than is necessary.
You may also run into hikers, skiers or fishermen. If the opportunity presents itself, explain what you are doing.
Thank you for helping us help them help us!
Factors that influence survival:
Remember, technology fails. Most of survival depends upon you remaining calm and using your knowledge:
Do not underestimate the importance of staying hydrated. You can help with this by hauling warm water in your spare socks. As you drink the warm water, you can replenish it with snow and double the amount of water available.
We managed to make it through CoVID (mostly), so wer are not being as restricitveabouht gathering. That said, boht riders and drivers, please use respect and precautions when riding with your car pool.
Car pooling is encouraged.
Cotton is what is known as hydro-phillic or water loving. Moisture from the outside or from your body accumulates in the cotton and it loses what little insulating properties it has. In some cold conditions, it is deadly. Don't bring it, don't wear it. This includes shirts, Levis and socks. Wool is best and polypropylene is second best.
We will use two different USGS maps for this count. They are included below. These maps are "Pocatello South" and "Clifton Creek". They are below
BeaverCount is Watershed Guardians' annual census of beaver activity in the Portneuf Watershed. We train volunteers in winter preparedness and how to identify beaver signs or spoor. We use the data collected to identify population trends that could reveal a collapse or near collapse of beaver population, and possibly prevent their demise.
We'll have more on this later! Check back for more details!
Location: Mink Creek Basin, Bannock County, Idaho.
Specific Name: South Fork, Main Stem Mink Creek
Stream length: 8.2 miles
Total length: 10.5 miles Includes Bull Canyon
Management: USFS Westside Ranger District, Caribou-Targhee National Forest.
Idaho Fish and Game, Region V, Dan Garren Regional Supervisor
Beaver Trapping: Currently restricted to 5 animals per year
Miles censused: 9.0
We have seen increased pressure in this area due to both regulated and un-regulated uses. Competing uses include grazing, irrigation and target shooting. We have petitioned the Idaho Fish and Game to close this area to trapping for the past two (four years) comment periods.
Review this document to learn more details on what to record in your BeaverCount data sheet. The ALL Zones Mink Creek are the zone descriptions and maps for the Mink Creek area. Toponce zones will be censused in June. Use the "ALL ZONES Rev 2021" to review zones and maps.
This was a little fellow we named "Tom Sawyer" He was trapped two years ago.(Gretchen Vanek)
Like a Swiss wood carver, the beaver peels the birch in smooth, single slices. We think we may be able to age the beaver by the cut-marks. Can you think of how?
Beaver Lodge on the SF Mink (ca 2018, photo: (Unknown)
You'll need a good pair of snowshoes to participate in BeaverCount. The newer shoes (not these) feature quick release bindings!
There are many options to travel to census zones. On this amazing day, the South Fork road was perfect for fat-tire biking! (Bruce Padian)
Never walk on thin ice! (Mike Settell)
Yes! It's time again for BeaverCount, when intrepid Voyagèrs emerge from their lodges and respectfully visit their furry, wet famlly guardians and check on them, see how they are doing. Registration is required. You can do that on-line up to 2 days before the count. Otherwise you may check in via text (number bottom of page). New trainees MUST sign in in person. This typically will happen on the day of the 'Count, weather permitting. We wil do a gear check after the training on 1/28. Want to count your back yard/neighborhood? Text us at our number at the bottom of the page. You may also e-mail us! Field-trained Flat-ailers REGISTER ON-LINE here
If you've had training in the last 10 years, you can go right to the registration page. Once you register, you can rent your gear. Meet at theCherry Springs parking lot at 10:00AM for training. After registering, you can rent snowshoes and poles at the ISU Wilderness Rental Center....FREE! (Thank you George and Richard!) and so many others keep Flat-tailers on the snow). You will want to dress accordingingly. You can find out more about BeaverCount on the BeaverCount page. Please join us. It's more important than ever.
WHO NEEDS TRAINING?
We are extremely happy to have Mike Doyle bacck again to hep with training. for the Fifth(?) year!. Mike has been help with Scouting's Klonkdike Derby and trained hundreds on outdoor survival skills.
Did you know that you can use a dial face watch as a compass? Snowshoeing can be strenuous and it's possible to get lost, cold or both. Regardless of the situation, it's better to have a partner. We'll cover that and other tips at the training. Team sizes vary from 2 to 10. Just make sure that your team-mates and youreself have been through the training. REGISTER