A beaver peers out of a Hancock live trap after being captured by Molly Alves, a biologist with the Tulalip Tribe in Washington. On a bright day in a suburban Seattle backyard, a very confused beaver peers out of a wire trap. His crime? Flooding a creek behind a home and causing property damage, an increasingly common occurrence in the region. Confused, the rodent squints and watches as Molly Alves, a biologist with the Tulalip Tribe , slowly wades up to him, picks him up—trap and all—and loads him into the back of her white pickup. Alves is now set to perform an environmental switcheroo: She’s going to take the beaver out of the urban environment of western Washington and move him eastward to remote headwaters in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. She’s hoping that there, the beaver will create dams that turn the wild landscape back into a maze of wetlands that benefit wildlife from mosquitoes to brown bears, and to fish — including endangered salmon. Alves helped launch the Tulalip Beaver Project in 2014 with the aim of using beavers to boost declining salmon numbers. Since the low-cost project began, scientists have relocated more than 200 “nuisance” […]


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