What's involved? BeaverCount volunteers vary in age from 8 to 80. You will spend one day how to identify beaver habitat, how to snowshoe and how to measure your stamina. We also provide information on how enjoy E Idaho's wild, winter landscape yet avoid weather related situations such as exposure or getting lost. This may include anything from how to use a signal mirror to how to build a snow shelter. We want you to be safe.
We also ask that volunteers hike in snowshoes for about a mile and a half in controlled conditions so that they can assess their own abilities to walk or hike at various distances. We will then assign you an area to survey based on your responses to questions after the training.
Then, the weekend after the training Saturday, volunteers meet in Pocatello to car-pool into the watershed and "count" beaver activity clusters. Teams are formed ahead of time. Sometimes groups of friends will join together to form a team, others just pair up with others of like ability. There are prizes for team names, team photos and best story.
But the real surprise is experiencing and nearly pristine forest in the winter. Some have said "sublime" others have said, "wondrous!". It depends on the person. Upon return, volunteers reassemble at the meeting place (typically at the church on the corner of the Connector and Bannock Highway) for hot chili, drinks and snacks. You will also share your story and turn in your survey sheet.
Watershed Guardians Mission is, "To preserve, maintain, and protect the Portneuf River Watershed, one beaver at a time". By helping us collect data that indicates the current beaver population trend, we can prevent further loss of populations and enhance them were they were only a few years ago.
BeaverCount is a totally free event funded by those who value wildlife and healthy watersheds by donating or attending one of our events such as BeaverDamJam-Idaho (held in the late summer). Some risk occurs with all outside activities and we expect our volunteers to appreciate that. Our intent is to give you some good tools to make good decisions, but ultimately, the power to choose is yours.
Executive Director Mike Settell began the first BeaverCount in 2012 with a small Grant from Together Green, a consortium between Toyota Motors and The National Audubon Society. All funding for our organization since the end of the grant has been funded by events and the donations of generous folks like you. Please consider making a donation today. Help us, help them, help us!
Training: Feb 1st, 2020 10AM-2PM
Count: Feb 8th, 9AM- 4PM (Other dates available. Call 208-232-0825 for more info.
Training: Mink Cr. Nordic Center
Count: Mink Cr. Watershed (Launch from Community of Christ Church on Bannock Hwy)
What to Bring
Bring water, warm clothes, and sturdy, water-proof boots and
"10 essentials" ( you'll learn more about these at the training).
What is provided
Lunch, snowshoes, logistical support (carpooling)
Why: First, we want those interested in preserving our natural heritage to get to know the watershed. We think that snowshoeing during the winter is one of the most exhilarating experiences you can have. And, we need to know how our local beaver populations are doing.
Who is sponsoring?
Watershed Guardians: email: firstname.lastname@example.org, 208-232-0825
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)