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Red Barn Event - Beaver-powered Restoration: The Wenatchee-Entiat Beaver Project

Wednesday, April 26, 2023
7:00 pm8:00 pm
HYBRID EVENT: WRI's Red Barn 347 Division Street, Leavenworth, WA 98826 or livestream via Zoom

Zoom link:

This program is free and open to the public, offered jointly by the Wenatchee Valley Chapter of the Washington Native Plant Society and the Wenatchee River Institute. The presentation will be available in person at the Red Barn and will also be available virtually via Zoom.

Michael Dello Russo of Trout Unlimited and Alex Harwell of Cascadia Conservation District will team up to tell us about the Wenatchee-Entiat Beaver Project! The Project provides education and outreach to manage human-beaver conflicts, relocates beavers, and constructs beaver dam analogs to restore aquatic and riparian environments in Central Washington. Based in Leavenworth, WA, Wenatchee-Entiat Beaver Project started in 2018. Beavers are keystone species and ecosystem engineers, having a massively disproportionate impact on their environment. Through constructing dams, beavers build ponds that provide myriad benefits to riparian systems. Beaver ponds slow and spread water in streams, promoting riparian plant growth while improving streamside resilience to drought and wildfire. Beavers are important actors in ameliorating the effects of climate change through building wetlands. We partner with beavers to restore streams, learning from them as we build our own beaver dam analogues. We provide habitat so that relocated beavers can take over project sites and continue our work. The Wenatchee-Entiat Beaver Project uses beaver-powered restoration throughout Central Washington to enhance riparian systems. Join us to learn more about this keystone species, and the work the Wenatchee-Entiat Beaver Project does in north-central Washington!

Michael Dello Russo is the Beaver/Dam Analog Habitat Coordinator for Trout Unlimited’s Wenatchee-Entiat Beaver Project. Michael started working seasonally for the Wenatchee-Entiat Beaver Project in 2021 and was hired on full time in the fall of 2022. He is passionate about enhancing stream systems through beaver relocation and beaver dam analog construction. The Wenatchee-Entiat Beaver Project works to reduce human-beaver conflict and build beaver dam analogs in Chelan and Douglas Counties. Through beaver-powered restoration the project is conserving and preserving important riparian habitat.

Originally from bluebonnet and hurricane-rich gulfcoast Texas, Alex Harwell originally began working seasonally in the Pacific Northwest in 2008. Jumping around raft and sea kayak guiding, trail building, and teaching, Alex followed her passions and went back to school to graduate in 2015 with a Master’s in Environmental Horticulture and Ecological Restoration. Since then, she has been working full time helping to achieve lasting sustainability goals through the reconnection of people to place through inclusive, innovative and integrated restoration approaches. When not at work you can find Alex wandering Cascadia: collecting seeds, wildcrafting, and deepening her own connection to place.

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