We embrace biodiversity at Beaver Ponds Environmental Education Center. In Germany a common slogan is “Im wasser ist heil” which translates to “in water is health”. Clean water ingested by microbial and invertebrate populations trickles through the food chain to various trophic (feeding) levels helping ecosystems thrive. The Sacramento Creek Protection Plan, watershed education, citizen science, forest management, soil improvement, gardening, and pollinator gardens are just a few ways that we are giving back to the environment and promoting biodiversity.
The Beaver Ponds forest management plan has been ongoing and involves thinning of the forest to promote tree health and allow more understory diversity. Englemann spruce and aspen have been encouraged by strategic thinning of lodgepole pine, and patch cuts have provided some diversity in what was dog-hair lodgepole stands. The long-term benefits include providing varied and abundant sources of food and shelter for animals, providing a wildlife corridor, decreasing erosion, assisting with fire mitigation, and diversifying tree species. Over time our forest is getting more biologically diverse. The beavers are helping us do what we can to diversify the woods and waters building highly engineered water filters (aka dams). And many thanks go out to the USDA and NRCS for future assistance through their Forest to Faucet program.
The Hayman fire June 8 2002, in Teller County is still in the memories of many locals and the intensity of the fire as well as the size of the burn added tons of sediment to the reservoirs and streams of Teller County and downstream. Impacts on homeowners, ranchers, animals, streams, rivers, lakes, and reservoirs are tied to the health of our forests. Fire intensity influences soil health and regenerative capacity of the flora and fauna down the road. The Weston Pass fire about 10 miles from Beaver Ponds in July 2018 was another reminder of how fragile our water quality and local ecosystems can be. It also served as a reminder of the good that people can to when they coordinate and collaborate. Thanks to everyone involved in helping!
Eric Chatt N.D.