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Building a beaver dam

 
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Daron Williams wrote:Thank you! I hope your power stays on!



Well it does not matter now. We moved from the Tiny House, back into the Big Timber Framed house, so today I did some rearranging, and brought my generator over here. (The two houses are directly across the road from one another). I had a duck house I built, so I grabbed that, then grabbed my generator and shoved it inside the duck house so now my Generator is inside a building. This is a 20 KW generator so it can power two houses. I hardwired it into my main box, drove a ground rod, and an hour after I started, I am now ready for any power outage.
 
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Just a quick update... the pond is holding water fairly well at the moment. After a bunch of rain we have entered a week of dry weather. I'm marking the edge of the water each day starting this morning to see how it does.

From what I can tell the pond is working a lot better than last year but the new material I added to the dam is still settling out. Plus there were some critter holes that are slowly collapsing. I have helped this process along a bit and it seems to help.

I think it may hold water better as the fall/winter continues. But so far I'm happy with it and with the improvements I made to the dam I can easily walk along the top of it which is fun!
 
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This is the coolest! It reminds me of games my brothers and I used to play on our driveway... makes me want to try this!
 
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I find this very interesting and will need to see how I can make this work on my property vs. traditional dam construction.   In regards to the leaking, I agree with Mick Fisch regarding the beaver pooh as a possible solution.  Geoff Lawton and others recommend using ducks (Muscovy in specific) to help seal a leaking pond via pooh buildup.  Any chance you could add your own ducks instead of waiting on wild ones?
 
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I just found this thread. I love all your stuff Daron! Any 2020 updates?
 
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Daron Williams wrote:
One big reason for me to try this out is that beaver dams were and are a major component of water storage in the western United States. The land and wildlife here are adapted to this type of water storage. I'm a big fan of working with nature when I can and building my own beaver dams seems like a great way to make my homestead truly be a part of the natural environment. For example, fish can generally get through beaver dams while human made dams tend to block them.



This is an awesome post and you are a person after my own heart to be sure. Had I the ability to give you apples, I would give you a bushel!!

One other benefit to a natural dam is water chemistry. When you have a bunch of native plants decaying in the dam and slowly releasing chemicals into the water, it creates a pH balance that is just right for native amphibians. How do I know this? I used to work with Dr. Bernd Blossey's team at Cornell ecology lab on invasive species, and we found time and time again when we replaced native plants with an invasive, it significantly shifted the pH and nutrient balance of the water. So it stands to reason if you have an earthwork or (horror!) concrete dam, obviously you are going to have very different water chemistry they will not foster amphibian and other life.

I'vee of the ethics of permaculture is "All life has value." We must strive for solutions that are functional parts of our ecosystem out we will not survive.
 
Myron Platte
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D.W. Stratton wrote:

Daron Williams wrote:
One big reason for me to try this out is that beaver dams were and are a major component of water storage in the western United States. The land and wildlife here are adapted to this type of water storage. I'm a big fan of working with nature when I can and building my own beaver dams seems like a great way to make my homestead truly be a part of the natural environment. For example, fish can generally get through beaver dams while human made dams tend to block them.



This is an awesome post and you are a person after my own heart to be sure. Had I the ability to give you apples, I would give you a bushel!!

One other benefit to a natural dam is water chemistry. When you have a bunch of native plants decaying in the dam and slowly releasing chemicals into the water, it creates a pH balance that is just right for native amphibians. How do I know this? I used to work with Dr. Bernd Blossey's team at Cornell ecology lab on invasive species, and we found time and time again when we replaced native plants with an invasive, it significantly shifted the pH and nutrient balance of the water. So it stands to reason if you have an earthwork or (horror!) concrete dam, obviously you are going to have very different water chemistry they will not foster amphibian and other life.

I'vee of the ethics of permaculture is "All life has value." We must strive for solutions that are functional parts of our ecosystem out we will not survive.


Earthen ponds can and do support amphibians. For instance, salamanders live in Joel Salatin’s earthen ponds.
 
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