The beautiful Willamette and Tualatin Rivers create natural borders for West Linn, and the Clackamas spills into the Willamette nearby. These river habitats provide fantastic habitat for flora and fauna that rely on waterways for refuge, travel, food, and drinking water. West Linn is perfectly situated to be at the center of it!
Beavers are native to this area and benefit these waterways more than any other species. By building dams, beavers slow water flow into major rivers which helps to regulate flooding, attract wading birds like heron, and provide refuge to migratory fish. Woody inputs to streams increases insect biodiversity (aquatic bugs are referred to as macroinvertebrates) which are a major food source for a variety of salmon and bird species. Larger mammals including fishers, deer, coyotes, river otters, and foxes rely on sustenance provided by beaver pond habitat.
Dams create major changes to the hydrology and geology of our waterways. Sediment moving down stream becomes captured in beaver ponds and results in better water quality as streams trickle through, around, or over beaver dams. Increased surface water can be used for our purposes to water lawns, farms, gardens, or for livestock on the outskirts of West Linn. Slowed streams mean more groundwater storage as well for those really dry months.
West Linn is in the perfect location to reap the benefits beaver provide while avoiding negative consequences. The major elevation changes in West Linn prevent the city’s beaver population from ever getting too big, and sharp gradients restrict where beavers can build dams. However, the streams West Linn does have a perfect for beaver occupation – many streams are incised and away from major infrastructure. In areas where conflicts arise between beaver activity and people there are easy and inexpensive methods for controlling beavers.
West Linn beavers are making this town a better place for people and for the natural space and splendor our residents enjoy! Beaver Ambassadors are here to promote the beavers in West Linn so that everyone knows why beavers are so great in our ecosystem, and what residents can do to manage beaver activity on their property. Oregon is known world-wide for green space, nature, and trees, and West Linn is right in the center of some of the greatest and most fertile land in the region. Help celebrate our natural settings by preserving a native animal essential to our ecosystem and becoming a beaver ambassador!