Release the Beavers! - San Pedro River
Efforts to Restore Beavers to the San Pedro River Riparian Corridor and Why It's Important!
Watershed Management Group recently surveyed the San Pedro River for beaver activity. This survey was organized through their River Run Network, a group of community members and WMG staff working toward the organization's 50 year vision to see the rivers in Tucson flow once again. This year was a binational effort. Data was collected on the US side of the San Pedro River as well as the Mexico side. You'll hear an update on the survey findings and experience from Lauren Monheim, WMG's River Run Network Program Manager and Joaquin Murrieta, WMG's Cultural Ecologist.
Beavers are one of the best local helpers for restoring desert creeks and rivers. Beavers build dams that slow down creek and river flow, a process that helps flowing water sink into the aquifer below and recharges groundwater! At the same time, beavers create critical wetland habitat —ciénegas—for our Sonoran Desert ecosystems.
Historically, beavers played a key role in maintaining watershed health for the Santa Cruz and San Pedro Rivers before they were wiped out by fur trappers in the 1800’s. The beaver population made an initial comeback due to relocation efforts in 1999, and with education, community science, and advocacy, we can bring the beavers back and grow their impact to reach our 50-year vision of restoring southern Arizona’s creeks and rivers on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border.