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Man-made beaver dams aim to help ecosystem near Rock Springs

A group of seventy people installed man made beaver dams the 14th and 15th of May.
Jaden Bales
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Wyoming Wildlife Federation helped install forty beaver dam stations at Trout Creek near Rock Springs. The dams are made of natural materials and will help Trout Creek slow the flow of water to support the local cutthroat trout population.

Sam Lockwood with Wyoming Wildlife Habitat Coordinator said a couple years ago they installed dams in other sites nearby.

“It's kind of like if you build it, they will come. And beavers have started moving into that watershed and building natural dams. And that's kind of what the hope is here is that we build these man made ones to get beavers to come in,” he said.

Lockwood said beaver dams help hold back the water. This keeps water in the area longer so that plants and animals have more time to use it including the local populations that haven't been doing so great.

Jaden Bales, communications director of Wyoming Wildlife, said a lot of the local ecosystem isn’t doing very well.

“The deer population is not doing that great down there. The sage grouse kind of across Wyoming is not doing that great. And when you look at the beaver dam analogs, they help improve the total ecosystem holding back that water a little bit,” said Bales.

Around seventy individuals came out for the event and was supported by Wyoming Trout Unlimited, Western Midstream, Bowhunters of Wyoming and the BLM as well as private landowners. There are currently sixty total man made beaver dams in the area.

The Wyoming Wildlife Federation is doing another project around Rawlins and Dubois replacing old fences with wildlife friendly fences.

Taylar Dawn Stagner is a central Wyoming rural and tribal reporter for Wyoming Public Radio. She has degrees in American Studies, a discipline that interrogates the history and culture of America. She was a Native American Journalist Association Fellow in 2019, and won an Edward R. Murrow Award for her Modern West podcast episode about drag queens in rural spaces in 2021. Stagner is Arapaho and Shoshone.
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