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We believe that artificial beaver dams are a poor substitute
The Idaho Fish and Game is proposing to construct 50+ Beaver Dam Analogues (BDAs) on the South Fork and 30+ BDAs on the West Fork Mink. We have our oppinion which I will share on this page in the coming days, but in the mean time, I encourage all interested parties to take a look at this scoping document. See our summary and FAQs below
This pdf file contains the scoping document which summarizes the proposal. Please review and email your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. You should also send them to the address listed in the scoping document. See the project overview below.
This project is a proposal to install man-made, temporary beaver dams in the South and West Forks of Mink Creek. Though listed as a "beaver restoration" project, the goals are to create more riparian habitat and ponded areas for fish. Beaver Dam analogues or BDAs as they are known in some academic circles, are temporary. To see our comments on this approach and what "beaver restoration" means, please check out our blog. ~54 BDAs are proposed for the South Fork and ~33 are proposed for the West Fork of Mink Creek.
In addition to the Scoping document, a joint permit (IDWR/ACOE) is also completed. This document contains more details and maps
· Watershed Guardians has historical data on beaver population trends in the Mink Creek Basin.
· Beaver populations have been in decline on the South Fork Mink Creek since 2017 and were extirpated on the West Fork Mink Creek in 2017.
· The beaver restoration project from IDFG, makes no clear aims to protect or enhance beaver population in the Mink Creek basin.
· There are no provisions for long-term maintenance of the man-made dams described in this proposal.
· Previous work done by Watershed Guardians’ staff and volunteers including beaver activity censuses (BeaverCount) and stream gauge monitoring network (MARS) is not considered and may be compromised by this project.
· The West Fork of Mink Creek is closed to trapping, the South Fork is not.
· We support construction of man-made dams on the West Fork to the extent that they coincide with beaver introduction. Beaver relocation appears as a possibility on the West Fork of Mink yet not a specific component.
· We support projects that specifically improve the opportunities for beaver. This project does not appear to do so.
· Due to the significance of this Federal project, and the fact that new dams are to be constructed, not maintained, an Environmental Assessment is required.
As written, we do not support this proposal. We would be honored to meet with the principals of this proposal to develop it further.
Download the file, Mink Creek BDA Comments_Rev 9-21-21.docx. Review those comments. Then, email your comments to email@example.com or write a letter and mail it to Kim Obele, Westside District Ranger, 4350 Cliffs Dr. Pocatello, ID 83204. Please cc us on your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
Make sure that you are on our mailing list. You mail email your comments here. You can add to this or write your own. Be sure to sign your name at the bottom
If we go to Environmental Assessment (EA), this will be a formal comment. it would look bad if we asked for an opportunity for public comment and nobody shows.
We will be posting updates on facebook, but in the meantime, if you know someone who is interested in this topic, share the info with them.
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