Native Habitats forum: Creek conservation project

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Name: Deb
Pacific NW (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Deer Organic Gardener Ferns Herbs Dragonflies
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Bonehead
Apr 13, 2017 4:34 PM CST
We are fortunate to have a small salmon-bearing creek run across our property. Our local County Conservation District has funding to improve the creek, typically with native revegetating, building livestock bridges, fencing off the creek where is crosses pastures, etc. We have a family of beavers who have built a dam a couple of properties downstream from us which has flooded out our access road along with raising the water table significantly. This has been an on-going problem for several years (we've trapped the beavers 2x and tore down their lodge and dams, but new ones just move in). The Conservation folk have recently planted 850 live-stakes of Sitka willow, 850 Pacific willow, 500 red osier dogwood, 500 twinberry, 400 Pacific ninebark, and 225 Pacific crabapple around the creek itself. They also planted 25 cascara, 20 salmonberry, 20 snowberry, 20 nootka rose 10 beaked filbert, 5 grand fir, and 5 red cedar (1 gallon pots) along the banks of a seasonal drainage creek that feeds into the main creek. They have promised to come out a couple times this summer to weedwack around their plantings, which are all flagged with pink tape. You can kind of see the flags in the photos if you look closely.

This is the view of our back acreage from our back deck. The creek runs behind the pond (which was dug by us years ago and is fed by the creek). The water to the right and behind the pond is actually our access road, now only accessible by tractor as it is 12-18 inches deep in some parts. The whitish trees in front of the evergreens are mostly red alder which have been drowned by the beavers and are just waiting for a strong wind to blow them down. Dang beavers!
Thumb of 2017-04-13/Bonehead/4e7c4a

This is the southern edge of the pond, very mushy ground, which has been heavily planted with live stakes.
Thumb of 2017-04-13/Bonehead/e5376d

West side of pond, more live stakes. The actual creek runs just in front of the pink flags, and the green area with no flags is an island created by the inlet and outlet of the pond. I have been planting this area with natives prior to the county project and they basically just left this alone.
Thumb of 2017-04-13/Bonehead/b560e5

This is the actual creek, you can see how flooded it is by the grass running down the middle, which used to be its bank.
Thumb of 2017-04-13/Bonehead/4a9f9b

Beginning of the seasonal drainage creek, just to the right of the cottonwood/alder combo is the culvert that runs under our road. This usually dries up mid-summer.
Thumb of 2017-04-13/Bonehead/aa3915

Our northern edge, which also has the drainage creek at the foot of this slope. The slope was completely covered with invasive blackberries which the County workers weedwacked and replanted with mainly shrubs. I really hope they grow, as it would be a nice natural screen between us and the neighbors (seen in the background).
Thumb of 2017-04-13/Bonehead/30ed68

I look forward to watching this grow and was amazed at the sheer number of plants the County set in the ground. We did not have to dedicate any land, and our only requirements are to not interfere with the plantings and if we sell we must inform the potential buyer of the project. I believe the Conservation District could then enter into a new contract with the new owners. I just hope the beavers don't consider this their new buffet line!

I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Seed Starter Vegetable Grower
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Weedwhacker
Apr 13, 2017 8:13 PM CST
Deb, that is a seriously awesome project! Thumbs up Thumbs up

I think I might need to contact our conservation district director (I happen to know him) to see if there's anything they would be interested in doing to our cedar swamp...
“Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight." ~ Albert Schweitzer /
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Name: Lin
Florida Zone 9b, 10a

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Apr 14, 2017 8:47 AM CST
Deb, I agree ... what an awesome property, really beautiful!


I hope there's a way to keep the Beaver population in check. When my youngest sister lived in north Georgia they had an issue with beavers damming the wetlands on their (and neighboring properties) and had to pay wildlife people to come out and slog through the muck and water to destroy the dams. Beavers are very industrious and they would rebuild within a few days which meant the homeowners had wildlife people on speed dial. Green Grin!

Look forward to seeing more of your lovely area!
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot! ~


Name: Deb
Pacific NW (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Deer Organic Gardener Ferns Herbs Dragonflies
Spiders! Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Birds Fruit Growers Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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Bonehead
Apr 14, 2017 9:21 AM CST
We have given up on the beaver battle. We have the perfect habitat for them. As noted, whatever one can do in a day to tear down dams, the beavers repair that very same night...over and over. Trappers are effective, but charge $100 per animal (family size is usually 4-6), and we only get a short respite before a new family moves in. I am not at all opposed to co-existing with the critters, but we do plan to take steps to reclaim our access road. We've laid down road cloth and plan to just start trucking in gravel to build the road up, with culverts here and there, likely with some sort of beaver protection so they don't plug the culverts. There are also different 'pond levelers' one can employ to keep the beaver ponds at an agreeable depth. It's an on-going project.

WW, do contact your conservation folks. I was amazed at the number of plants they brought in. Our creek is one of only a few remaining salmon bearing creeks in our county, and there are funds ear-marked specifically for its restoration.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Lin
Florida Zone 9b, 10a

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
Apr 14, 2017 9:38 AM CST
I don't mind co-existing with critters either but I just remember the damage; tree loss and flooding caused by beavers at my sister and her neighbors properties in North Georgia. When my sister and her husband first purchased their acreage years ago, it was completely wooded and you could only barely see the creek behind the homes when the trees were bare in winter. After a number of years of beavers moving in, many trees were lost and you could see quite far back into the preserve area. The beavers would dam the creek and the water levels rose to the point of encroaching into backyards.
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot! ~


Name: Deb
Pacific NW (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Deer Organic Gardener Ferns Herbs Dragonflies
Spiders! Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Birds Fruit Growers Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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Bonehead
Apr 14, 2017 9:58 AM CST
I agree they are destructive little buggers. We had a creek lined with alders, a farm pond we dug, and an open field in front of the pond that we used for many an outdoor party (volleyball, horseshoes, bonfire, water-play in pond. Those days are long gone. Per the DNR, beavers are 'nuisance' animals but it is a bit sketchy whether one can simply shoot them (I'm not a gun person so that's outside my pervue anyway). Their preference is to have them live trapped and relocated....but, where? I wouldn't want to drop them on someone else. And, with more development all the time, their habitat is shrinking. So, we co-exist.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Toronto, Ontario (Zone 5b)
Peonies Roses Clematis Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Bee Lover
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Jasmin
Apr 21, 2017 12:52 PM CST
Deb, great project! Hurray! By the way, what is the nettle-like plant in the last picture of your post?

Looking forward to seeing more pictures.
"Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better."~Albert Einstein
Name: Deb
Pacific NW (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Deer Organic Gardener Ferns Herbs Dragonflies
Spiders! Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Birds Fruit Growers Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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Bonehead
Apr 21, 2017 8:17 PM CST
Jasmin, that nettle-like plant would be stinging nettles. Native in my area so I just let them be.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Liz Shaw
Gilbert, AZ (Sunset Zone 13) (Zone 9a)
Arizona Gardener
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LizDTM
Apr 21, 2017 10:25 PM CST
Stinging nettles are a great herb with lots of uses. I bought some a few months ago and made a tincture. If you've got it growing wild, you might enjoy learning about how it's used: http://www.herballegacy.com/Va...
And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. -Anaïs Nin
Name: Deb
Pacific NW (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Deer Organic Gardener Ferns Herbs Dragonflies
Spiders! Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Birds Fruit Growers Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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Bonehead
Apr 22, 2017 8:43 AM CST
Thanks, Liz. I've been doing a lot of experimenting with herbal lotions and potions. Good web site, I'll bookmark that one! I keep thinking I'll try nettles cooked as well, but tend to miss the window of the first early flush.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Seed Starter Vegetable Grower
Greenhouse Region: United States of America Region: Michigan Enjoys or suffers cold winters Butterflies Birds
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Weedwhacker
Apr 22, 2017 1:01 PM CST
LizDTM said:Stinging nettles are a great herb with lots of uses. I bought some a few months ago and made a tincture. If you've got it growing wild, you might enjoy learning about how it's used: http://www.herballegacy.com/Va...


As long as you remember not to grab the darn things without your gloves on...

They grow wild here too, and every year when I'm weeding (and not paying enough attention to what I'm doing) I manage to get "tricked" by at least one of them! Blinking
“Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight." ~ Albert Schweitzer /
Cubits.org - A Universe of Communities[/I] / Share your recipes: Favorite Recipes A-Z cubit
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Name: Deb
Pacific NW (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Deer Organic Gardener Ferns Herbs Dragonflies
Spiders! Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Birds Fruit Growers Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Image
Bonehead
Apr 22, 2017 2:44 PM CST
I rarely find them inside my cultured beds. Never really thought about that. They grow rampantly in the fields immediately surrounding me, but do seem to prefer growing under a tree. But, I have trees inside my yard. Wonder what keeps the nettles out? I suppose just regular weeding and mowing.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Toronto, Ontario (Zone 5b)
Peonies Roses Clematis Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Bee Lover
Cat Lover Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: Canadian Permaculture Garden Ideas: Level 2
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Jasmin
Apr 23, 2017 9:55 AM CST
Deb and Liz, love stinging nettle, particularly because of admiral butterflies:

http://www.stuff.co.nz/environ...

Last year I bought some seeds, but before I started the seeds, I found a nettle plant growing in one of my big pots. Not sure if it was stinging or not; didn't dare to try. I would love to know what type of nettle I have.
"Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better."~Albert Einstein
Name: Deb
Pacific NW (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Deer Organic Gardener Ferns Herbs Dragonflies
Spiders! Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Birds Fruit Growers Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Image
Bonehead
Apr 23, 2017 10:06 AM CST
Who would have thought - nettle seeds...?? Kind of like dandelion seeds I guess. I have no knowledge of butterflies, but glad to be able to provide them with whatever it is they need.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Deb
Pacific NW (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Deer Organic Gardener Ferns Herbs Dragonflies
Spiders! Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Birds Fruit Growers Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Image
Bonehead
May 21, 2017 8:53 AM CST
Took a walk through our conversation project, and virtually all of the little twigs are showing active growth. Some were potted plants, but most of them were live-stakes - about 4' whips that the workers trimmed a bit off the bottom at a 45 degree angle then just jammed in the ground about 10-12". I am rather surprised at the so-far great mortality rate. We'll see how they fare over the summer... The workers are slated to come out next week to weedwack.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Mary
Lake Stevens, WA (Zone 8a)
Near Seattle
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Pistil
May 21, 2017 10:00 AM CST
I bet the record-breaking monsoons this spring helped. It's all over now though. Hopefully they are established enough to get through the dry season. Did you move any of them?
Name: Deb
Pacific NW (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Deer Organic Gardener Ferns Herbs Dragonflies
Spiders! Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Birds Fruit Growers Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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Bonehead
May 21, 2017 11:12 AM CST
No, it's just been too wet down there (the workers usually wear hip boots). Gary did mow some of them - the workers for whatever reason planted right in the middle of side access road -- ?? I guess it might have been unclear that it was a road (it is grass rather than dirt), although it has a culvert across the creek and what seems to me a pretty clear mowing path (obviously much shorter than the surrounding field grass). Shrug. I told him he could have moved the plants but that would involve getting on/off the tractor and he's not the most spry guy so that didn't happen. Water under the bridge.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Deb
Pacific NW (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Deer Organic Gardener Ferns Herbs Dragonflies
Spiders! Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Birds Fruit Growers Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Image
Bonehead
May 3, 2018 9:14 PM CST
The conservation head guy was out a week ago to check status of growth, but the beavers have the road so flooded he couldn't get to where the bulk of them are planted (he forgot his hip waders and just had knee boots). I can see new growth on most of them so assume they are holding their own. My camera is not functioning, as soon as I buy a new one, I'll update this thread with current pics.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.

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