Cheney Free Press -

Beavers creating flood threat in Ewan


Last updated 5/20/2021 at 10:07am

EWAN — It’s the beavers fault.

Rock Lake Conservation District Manager Andrew Wolfe told Whitman County commissioners Monday that the recent increase in Kamiak Creek flooding is due to beavers that gnaw and topple trees along a 1,200-foot-long grove of willows.

Those trees build sediments and slow the water flow rate, causing the water level to rise, he said.

The district is seeking a permit to remove the willows and replace them with trees that beavers won’t be interested in.

“We hope to find a favorable solution to this to preserve the homes and livelihoods of the people of Ewan,” Wolfe said. “It’s a problem that must be solved.”

Habitat should not be favored over dozens of residents, he said.

The flooding has been the most severe in the last 5-7 years, Wolfe said.

County Public Works Director Mark Storey agreed with “almost all” of Wolfe’s assessment.

“The issue is not so much wetlands, but one of habitat,” Storey said, questioning the need to remove all the willows.

Wolfe said some trees could remain, if they are far enough from the water.

Trees that are permitted to be removed would be replaced by hardwoods, such as blue elderberries or Ponderosa pine.


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