Local Forestry

Beavers impact on forest and industry 'dam' complicated

Balancing the impact of beavers and their dams on the ecosystem and industry is a complicated process, according to a retired LakeheadUniversity biologist.The comments from Don Barnes come after an Alberta mining company was fined $1,500 for destroying a dam near Savant Lake in northwestern Ontario. 

Barnes said the beaver plays a crucial role in the ecology of the boreal forest because more than any other animal, it creates its own environment. 

He said the ponds they engineer also become habitat for other species.

'It creates water'

"It creates water, where there wasn't water before so ducks get in there, muskrats. And all those dead trees that are flooded, they become homes for the woodpecker and pine marten," said Barnes 

Michael Runtz said the beaver pools are also vital to the health of moose.

(Michael Runtz is coming to talk at the Hastings Stewardship Winter Speaker Series on January 29.)