Watershed Guardians 102 S. Main St. #634 Pocatello, ID 83204 US

(208) 232-0825


BeaverCount Training is February 1st, 2020 at the Nordic Center. More...

BeaverCount Training is February 1st, 2020 at the Nordic Center. More...

BeaverCount Training is February 1st, 2020 at the Nordic Center. More...BeaverCount Training is February 1st, 2020 at the Nordic Center. More...

Maps and Zone Descriptions download

All Zones Rev 2020 (pdf)



What is BeaverCount

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. 

 At the training, we also required that volunteers hike in snowshoes for about a mile 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, photos photos and best story.

However, he real surprise is experiencing a 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!

In a nutshell...



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: mike@watershedguardians.org,   208-232-0825 

minimum gear requirements


  • Waterproof boots (muck boots or sturdy boots such as Sorrells
  • non-cotton undershirt
  • non-cotton pullover or sweater
  • waterproof outer shell (jacket) with hood
  • wool socks
  • non-cotton mittens (remember, a poor pair of mittens is better than most gloves)
  • Wool hat
  • Extra:  Jacket, hat, mittens, socks

What We provide

  • Fuel cards for car poolers
  • Tracking chit
  • Compass (one per team)
  • Maps 2 per team
  • Snowshoes
  • Poles
  • Food (when you return)
  • Fuel cards for car-poolersf
  • Heavy Plastic bags

Other Gear: Winter

  • First aid kit (bandage, gauze, tape, astringent, antibiotic)
  • Fire-starting kit or waterproof matches and kindlingtibiotic)
  • Water and water bottle
  • Flashlight
  • Firestarting kit or waterproof matches and kindling
  • Sun protection
  • You may also bring your own:  Map, compass, 
  • Sunglasses or safety glasses
  • Binoculars

Also Recommended

  • Heavy plastic bags
  • Whistle-survival type
  • signaling mirror
  • Nylon cord
  • closed cell foam pad
  • Extra Glasses
  • Metal Pot
  • Hand warmers
  • Water purification
  • Multi-tool
  • Safety pins

The basic consideration

You are being asked to transport yourself on a windy, winter road to a destination that will likely have snow on the road.  Only pull over in designated, plowed parking lots.  if you do slide off the road, stay in your car  Put the flashers on.  Wear bright clothing.  

Once you reach the creek, be careful not to get too close to the edge, The banks can become soft.  Do not depend upon the ice on the creek to hold you up.  It can be very difficult to extract yourself from the ice with snowshoes on.  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.

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


"When technology fails in the wilderness and you have no skills, you are going to die"--Mike Doyle,

Factors that influence survival:  Will to survive, knowledge, equipment-technology fails. Most of it depends upon you remaining calm and using your knowledge:

  • Enemies of survival:  Pain, cold, thirst, hunger, fatigue, boredom, loneliness and unwillingness to stay put
  • Factors that influence survival:  Will to survive, knowledge, equipment.
  • Fitness.  We give you the opportunity to test your physical abilities.  It is up to you to decide when to quit.  Do not over-tire yourself.  

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.

Power Point for Flat-tailers

Review this document to learn more details on what to record in your BeaverCount data sheet

BeaverCount Training Power Point (pptx)


Register here

BeaverCount Registration

Watershed Guardians

Watershed Guardians 102 S. Main St. #634 Pocatello, ID 83204 US

(208) 232-0825