Coexisting with Beavers

Gordon's Story

The Iowa Beaver Project proudly works with Gordon of Emmet County. Gordon is enthusiastic about restoring native prairie, native wetlands, and giving beavers a location to do what they do best. Gordon demonstrates a great model of how coexistence with beavers is extremely successful. Gordon has fantastic success with beavers on his ~300 acre property. 

We are thrilled to have Gordon on board as one of our relocation intake sites. Families of beavers that have to be relocated through the Iowa Beaver Project in this area will be able to build up ponds and wetland habitat on his property and live their lives being appreciated for their ecosystem engineering.

We visited several active beaver ponds and lodges on his property, as well as areas Gordon hopes to populate with beaver in the future. Gordon has a variety of ponds, streams, and wetland marsh areas of his property he currently shares with beaver. One of his goals is to establish larger colonies.

Gordon is passionate about the work beavers do. He has years of knowledge and trapping experience.

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Gordon uses BDAs (Beaver Dam Analogs) to promote the effects of beavers, and has had tremendous success with his techniques. BDAs can be used to heal damaged streams, re-establish beaver populations, and aid wildlife. Many researchers have seen the positive effects of BDAs as fast as 1-3 years.

Gordon makes his BDAs by using equipment to pile the mud in between two areas of a pond or stream. Over time, the grasses grow. Several of the BDAs on Gordons properties are now maintained by beaver with sticks and mud, and work as a living dam. 

Beaver on this property enjoy all of the well-known beaver favorites: aspen, poplar, willow, and lily pads. 

During the winter, beaver primarily eat lily pad rhizomes/roots as well as branches of trees collected in a food cache throughout the year for winter. During the summer beavers at a variety of vegetation found on site. 

Gordon truly embodies Iowa Beaver Project's vision of coexistence with beavers, and his wetland ecosystem is thriving because of it. 

Below is photo of one of the bank lodges on Gordon's site.