People like to think that we're unique, but we aren't the only animals that farm.
|Beaver dam completely surrounding storm drain|
|Beaver Damaged trees|
|Flooded meadow, beaver dam at lower right|
The snohomish river basin, where I farm, was probably a maze of beaver dams when this area was settled by white people. the local tribes hunted them for meat and fur, but it's pretty clear that they were widespread at the time. We don't have very good information about the condition of the river deltas -- most of the settlers were busy diking and draining the areas to take notes on what was there before they started, and I mention this because one thing that people talk about is "restoring the land"...
You really have to ask yourself "restoring to what date?" to get this correct. Are you aming to restore it to what was there before white settlement? Before the local tribe? Before humans colonized the americas? Because each of those is likely a different landscape and different conditions.
Our current theory is that woody debris and blocked flow are good for salmon, and a lot of effort is spent throwing logs and stumps into the fake wetlands that they construct. This beaver is doing the same sort of job, but for its own benefit. It's not thinking about the salmon or migratory birds or anything other than being able to get to more and tastier trees.