Arrow-right Camera

Outdoors blog

Thu., June 7, 2012, 7:42 a.m.

Idaho once had Beaver Airborne Mission

Though commonly thought of by some as pests, beavers can be of great benefit to wetlands.  (Paul K. Haeder / Down to Earth NW Correspondent)
Though commonly thought of by some as pests, beavers can be of great benefit to wetlands. (Paul K. Haeder / Down to Earth NW Correspondent)

WILDLIFE -- The Lands Council based in Spokane is getting more press about its efforts to reintroduce beavers in select areas to restore watersheds naturally.  

A recent story in The Atlantic magazine mentions TLC Beaver Solution project in relationship to national beaver restoration efforts that date back at least to 1928. 

One of the more intriguing tidbits in the story is the 1940s Idaho Fish and Game Department project to introduce beavers in remote areas -- by parachute.

In the 1940s, Idaho’s Department of Fish and Game embarked on an effort both larger in scale and kookier in method. Finding long, dusty overland trips too hard on the beavers, the department instead packed pairs of the animals into crates, loaded them onto airplanes bound for drought-stricken corners of the state, and dropped them by parachute. (The crates were rigged to open on impact.) The endeavor was apparently a success: a 1950 report notes that of the 76 beavers airdropped in the fall of 1948, only one fell to its death; the others began building dams and homes and founding colonies, which can grow as large as a dozen or so beavers.




You must be logged in to post comments. Please log in here or click the comment box below for options.

comments powered by Disqus
« Back to Outdoors blog
Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

Follow Rich online: