Our Newsletters - 2010 -2022
USFS Center at Taylor Creek completed a new boardwalk, so Rainbow Trail will no longer flood from beaver activity. Tahoe Donner also re-did a boardwalk, also above their beaver ponds. And a CA Tahoe Conservancy crew dug the Pond Leveler at Snow Creek out of the sand (from Moondunes) that had covered our pipe, and added new lengths of pipe, set above the sand to the correct elevation to keep spring runoff at a good level for beavers and the highway.
Maintenance at the USFS Taylor Creek Pond Leveler, and additions to the Rabe Mdw.-Kahle Dr Leveler at Jennings Pond - thru ice! Attended the 1st BeaverCon, a national beaver conference in Baltimore, MD and presented Toogee's "Sand Paint trees to Create a Cleaner lake Tahoe"
we installed a Pond Leveler in SLT at Rabe Mdw-Kahle Dr where beaver activity was flooding a nearby trail. Toogee's trail cam footage of beavers building their dam was used in the film "Beaver Believers" by Sarah Koningsberg, shown at Banff Mtn. Film Festival World Tour
SWC Board Meeting
Dwayne, Sherry, Toogee w/ Max & Miss Lily
Refreshed sand-paint protecting aspens at USFS Taylor Creek - after 3-4 years it was starting to wear off as the trees grew.
SWC donated 18 "PooPoo screens" from Teton Raptor Center, in memory of Ted Guzzi, which the USFS used to screen vents on vault toilets at SLT trails to prevent birds getting trapped.
SWC volunteers protected trees from beaver chewing with abrasive sand-paint for USFS at Taylor Creek, for a homeowners association in Reno, and for Washoe Lake State Park, Nevada
The heavy winter storms of 2016-17 not only washed out the main beaver dam at USFS's Taylor Creek, but also washed our Pond Leveler. We found most of it downstream, along with a big new beaver lodge!
For Glenbrook's Homeowners, Toogee conducted a Mosquito Laval Density Study, monitoring 6 sites, every 2 weeks, for 6 months, which showed mosquitoes were NOT breeding in beaver ponds.
Mosquito Larval Density Study
USFS replaced and added to a falling-down boardwalk at Taylor Creek, with a new viewing platform well above the creek (and beaver activity). Toogee and Dwayne continue to assist the USFS in fish passage for the Fall Fish Fest. Star volunteer Dwayne Crenshaw also helped with protecting trees with sand-paint, tabling our booths, and installing a Pond leveler for a homeowner in Grass Valley.
Our (this) website went public, after many hours put in by founder Sherry Guzzi. We kept busy at USFS Taylor Creek, making sure the winter rains didn't flood trails or the Stream Display. We also attended festivals from Earth Day to the Fall Fish Festival to the Martinez Beaver Festival.
Toogee on TV-Channel 8, Reno
We continued working with USFS Taylor Creek, adding a 3rd pipe to two of our Levelers. Toogee did a record 36 straight days (before his day job) notching lower beaver dams to facilitate passage for fall's salmon run. We got some great press - Tim Hauserman wrote an excellent article for the Oct. Tahoe Weekly "Enjoying the Benefits of Beavers", Toree Warfield's "Leave it to the Beaver" was in all 3 local papers in Sept., and Toogee was interviewed on KOLO, Ch. 8 in Reno about beavers in Sparks, also covered by KRNV, Ch. 4.
An unusual winter! At USFS Taylor Creek water was very low, until January rain led to (lots) more water released from Fallen Leaf Lake upstream, leading to water flowing across the beaver dam and trails. Our newest volunteer, Toogee Sielsch, and friends were able to notch the far side of the beaver dam, lowering water and diverting it away from the nearby underground Stream Display. Low water elsewhere allowed beavers to dam the entire Truckee River, just upstream from river Ranch! Their pond provided good fish habitat thru summer in an otherwise very low river.
We finally talked the Forest Service into letting us install our 1st Leveler at Taylor Creek. We think they were pleasantly surprised that it worked - so then they asked us to install 2 more! And for the 1st time they agreed to just notch downstream beaver dams to help fish passage, instead of tearing them out for the fall run. We also protected our first 20+ aspen with gritty sand-paint for them. And we were featured in summer's Tahoe Donner's Homeowner News.
A great documentary came out in May on PBS called, naturally, "Leave It to Beavers" :-)
At the USFS Taylor Creek Center, the Forest Service again destroyed the beaver dam, in mid-December, also exposing/compromising the beaver lodge. The beaver family found refuge under the piles of sticks the FS left by the sides of the creek, and were OK thru the winter. We continue meeting with the Forest Service about better options. Our 2 Pond Levelers (aka Flow Devices) in Tahoe Donner continue to function well to keep beaver ponds from flooding trails.
w/ USFS Jean Norman and Smokey Bear with Sherry Guzzi at Taylor Creek
Sierra Wildlife Coalition enjoyed a spring and summer of festivals, Earth Day in April, Native Species in June at Taylor Creek, Air Show in July in Truckee, and the 6th Martinez Beaver Festival.
We also had a display in the Tahoe City Library about Beavers up for Sept-Oct and about Coyotes up for Nov-Dec.
We continued talks with the Forest Service at their Taylor Creek Center about better options for dealing with their beavers, and the Town of Truckee is working with us on their ongoing restoration of Trout Creek. Unfortunately a family of beavers was killed last winter at Tyrolian Village, in Incline Village. With IVGID, we had installed culvert protection to prevent flooding, but the homeowners did not contact IVGID or us. However our Pond Levelers at Tahoe Donner and at the wetlands in Tahoe Vista continue to function well.
The day after we installed a Pond Leveler with the CA Tahoe Conservancy it snowed! These are beaver tracks in the snow, coming up from Lake Tahoe over the sand dune that same day to check out this pond on Snow Creek in Tahoe Vista.
On December 9 we saw the beaver pair eating vegetation at the site, so the Pond Leveler works just fine.
We continued corresponding with the U.S. Forest Service about options to removing beaver dams at their Taylor Creek Center, without much success. Then we met with Tom Knudson, the Sacramento Bee's Environmental Reporter. His well-researched article appeared on the front page of Oct. 7th Bee. In addition to our concerns, Tom highlighted the recent peer-reviewed research published in CA Fish & Game's own journal documenting that beaver were/are native to the high Sierra. A flawed 1930's article had postulated that beaver were everywhere in North America, but not in the Sierra above 1000' elevation. This new research is a game changer, as agencies can no longer justify eliminating beavers as non-native.
Thanks to many of you who wrote letters and spoke at the Truckee Town council meeting in January, the council directed Town Engineers to work with SWC to protect beavers, rather than "remove" (kill) them, during the Town's restoration of Trout Creek. The town also referred us to homeowners with beaver concerns along the Truckee River. We met with them and then sent out a letter and information to all 110 homeowners along the river about protecting trees from beaver chewing. Finally IVIGD contacted us and paid for a culvert protection fencing system (aka Beaver Deceiver) on upper Incline Creek where a small service road crossed the creek.
We've been busy! We installed our 1st Pond Leveler (aka Flow Device) on upper Alder Creek in Tahoe Donner to alleviate flooding concerns, with a generous donation from a homeowner and help from Tahoe Donner's Forester. We also protected nearby aspens from beaver chewing with a gritty mixture of non-toxic latex paint and playground sand.
And we interviewed with Bill Jensen, producer of "Around Tahoe" on our local Tahoe TV.
Thanks to all who came to our first public meeting in Kings Beach to protest killing the beaver family at Griff Creek, and to those who sent in comments. Supervisor Jennifer Montgomery attended and we also thank her for her support. More thanks for generous donations from 'Worth a Dam' in Martinez, Ca and from 'Wylie Animal Rescue Foundation'.