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home : faith & community : connect with us May 24, 2016

11/5/2012 5:58:00 PM
Beavers help save 1st Creek
Residents painted this sign thanking the First Creek Beaver Bucket Brigade.Courtesy Bruce Powers
Residents painted this sign thanking the First Creek Beaver Bucket Brigade.
Courtesy Bruce Powers
Submitted by Bruce Powers
First Creek Resident

Beavers have lived in First Creek long before the first humans came to Chelan. Attracted by the pristine water and tasty vegetation, they surveyed the land and built their homes; living the riparian way, until moving on to repeat the cycle elsewhere.

A year ago, our beavers were challenged by a neighboring property owner, who was fearful their dam would break and flood the bridge to his home.

He waged an unpopular war to remove them, against neighbor's protests. Fear is not always a rational motivation.
He tried shooting, trapping, demolition, but the beavers persevered. Finally, he assembled a crew of beaver exterminators, who cleansed his area of the beasts.

Disbelief, dismay and disdain swept through the valley. Creatures and citizens alike, bemoaned the outcome. The symbiosis between man and nature had been breached. No one won.

In September, several forest fires joined the First Creek complex, to threaten and even greater area. Multiple lightning strikes became a major fire system, growing daily because fire fighting resources were suddenly in demand state wide. Fewer crews, and less equipment made the task more difficult, but didn't diminish the efforts of the fire fighters on scene. They were on it, working as hard and fast as possible to quench or contain, and protect people and

Helicopters with buckets or tubes were flying fast and often, until curtailed by poor visibility. Tankers were hauling water from the lake.

Water, water; that life-giving, fire suppression necessity, and was essential to keep the fire from destroying life and property.

Then, an observant helicopter pilot discovered the pond; up the creek deep in the underbrush. The beavers had come home.

Suddenly, accessible water was closer.

The firefighters plumbed the pond with hoses to replenish their tanker trucks, and a proficient pilot demonstrated his competency, dipping his bucket above the beaver dam. The pond reduced the risk, time and expense of long hauls by road or in the air. It is on Forest Service radar now.

It's been surveyed, GPS'd and recorded for future use.
What were those beavers thinking? Here is a clue: A leak in the dam was discovered after lines were installed. The Forest Service planned to fix it in the morning, but the beavers repaired it overnight, carefully packing material around the gap and covering the line with mud.

Perhaps they share our innate sense of values for family, home and security.

Welcome home, Bucky.

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