Fraser River - Tooth or Consequences
Making good neighbours of beavers
A nine-kilometre stretch of the Nicola River, a tributary of the Fraser, is
suffering from eroding banks and a loss of streamside vegetation. Some of the
problem stems from cattle that trample the banks.
If allowed free access to a river or stream, cattle will pollute the water and seriously
damage precious fish habitat. Industrious, tree-felling beavers are also serious culprits.
With few trees left for shade, and insect life reduced by the lack of vegetation, the
Nicola River fish have been endangered.
The Nicola River is undergoing revitalization. A 50-metre wide "riparian corridor" of
trees and vegetation is being planted along the river bank. Fences have been erected
to keep cattle away from the river. Cages have been placed around the trees to thwart
Eroding banks have been stabilized by the planting of cedar and pine trees. Insects
falling from the trees will, hopefully, adequately nourish and support the fish population.
Ranchers recognize that stable banks will save their grazing land from losses to erosion.
The attitude of the beavers is unknown.
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