Human & beaver dams: when and how to remove

Beaver Dam at Potato Lake. Photo by Al_HikesAZ

As part of the Riverwide Connecticut River Speaker Series, Tyler Brown, wildlife specialist with the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, and Ron Rhodes, director of Restoration Programs with the Connecticut River Conservancy, will give an online presentation at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, June 29.

Dams can be spotted across the Upper Connecticut River watershed. Whether the engineer is a beaver or person, these structures have an incredible impact on our human and natural ecosystems, including water quality, animal and plant diversity and flood control.

Beavers, a keystone species, can build them to people’s annoyance or celebration. The beaver deceiver is a system where the two engineering species work together for a mutually beneficial dam. Old human-made dams on the Connecticut River tributaries have become a symbol of past industries and community. When is it time to commit these structures to the history books? How can we live better with beavers?

Register for the presentation here.

Brown started working as a seasonal employee with the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department in 2012 and was hired full-time in 2022. He is responsible for the department’s Beaver Baffle Program, as well as assisting with the furbearer program. He also provides technical assistance to private landowners in Windham and Windsor counties as part of NRCS’ EQIP program.

Rhodes joined CRC in 2011 as a NH/VT River Steward, spending most of his time removing old dams, planting trees and working with landowners and partners to implement river restoration projects. Now, he leads CRC’s aquatic and riparian habitat restoration programs throughout the watershed in New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts and Connecticut and determines short- and long-range restoration program opportunities.


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About the Author: This item was edited from one or more press releases submitted to The Chester Telegraph.

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