Through our education and outreach programs we explore and share beaver biology, ecology, coexistence strategies, stewardship measures, and how you can become involved with the Methow Beaver Project in building a sustainable, resilient and biodiverse community.
During the current "Stay At Home" Covid-19 restrictions, we will share home based beaver activities & curriculum ideas as we find or create them.
Beavers are endemic to North America. They were hunted to near extinction during the fur trade era and considered pests by westward expansionists settling, farming, and ranching in river floodplains. Though humans and beavers often still face challenges coexisting with one another, we now face an uncertain future in our watersheds considering the effects of land conversion/development and climate change.
Beavers and their dam building are now being acknowledged as practical partners in ecosystem restoration, conservation and resilience. Through sharing the knowledge of beavers benefits and resolving the challenges created by their industrious activities, much needed habitat is being improved or restored such as
- increased water storage on the landscape for both wildlife and people
- increased habitat complexity to accommodate other wildlife including fish, songbirds, waterfowl, amphibians, reptiles, ungulates, bats, insects as well as all the vegetation these lifeforms depend on
- increased resilience to drought, flooding and fire
- increased prevention of wildfire spread.
Through our various education and outreach programs we explore and share beaver biology, ecology, coexistence strategies, stewardship measures, and how you can become involved with the Methow Beaver Project in building a sustainable, resilient and biodiverse community.
Pre-K through High School
MBP provides classroom or hatchery-based programing to grades pre-k through High School. MBP staff collaborate with classroom teachers to develop curriculum which dove tails with classroom science standards that are STEAM based and provide students with hands-on learning experiences.
Pre-K-5: Beaver Biology and Ecology, The Keystone Connection. This class explores the life history, adaptations, and habits of beavers as well as the habitat created by their dam building and the biodiversity these pond complexes support. Supporting a tremendous number of other organisms gives beavers the rare distinction of being a keystone species, an exceptionally critical piece in a complex web of life.
5-6: What is a Watershed? Through this hands-on class students learn what a watershed is, and how their choices and stewardship actions impact the land and water quality.
Pre-K-6: Tours of our beaver relocation hatchery facility. View beavers, learn about their adaptations and their importance in the ecosystem, why we occasionally relocate them and how, and the connection between salmon and beavers. (Offered May-June, September)
We provide half and full day field trips for undergraduate and graduate students to experience beaver biology, ecology, mitigation techniques, and field data collection methodology.
Alternatively, if you're a college student interested in beaver ecology and research, please reach out to us as well as our collaborative partners around the PNW. We have scientific questions we need help answering!
MBP participates in the annual National Fishing Day event at the Winthrop National Fish Hatchery held the second Saturday in June. This is a family oriented, outdoor themed multi-agency event. Participants can view beavers, engage in hands-on activities, and catch fish to take home for dinner.
Would you like to get hands-on experience with MBP?
Join the Volunteer Beaver Naturalist Program. Participants learn beaver biology, ecology, and husbandry or care for beavers while in transition. Volunteers are also encouraged to assist with beaver releases and have adventures in the field with staff doing assessments of pre- and post-beaver release sites. This is a great opportunity to be involved in a local conservation effort while spending time around pretty adorable large semi-aquatic rodents.
Volunteer Beaver Naturalist program requirements are:
- Passionate about wildlife, especially beavers
- Able to climb into and out of 4 feet deep concrete fish raceways
- Lift and carry 25 lbs
- Over the age of 12
- Dependable and reliable