Kanuga Bog Pond Leveler Installation, February 2014
What to do when beavers threaten your conservation efforts?

Western North Carolina’s Kanuga Conference Center is home to a Southern Appalachian Mountain bog - one of North America’s rarest habitats. Bogs often home to rare plants and animals, provide important habitat for migratory birds and game species, improve water quality by filtering sediment and contaminants, and store floodwaters which helps decrease downstream flooding. They’re places we very much want to conserve.

Kanuga’s bog has seen the recent arrival of beavers. On one hand, they’re cutting down shrubs, which is a positive step as it allows more sunlight to fall on the plants managers want to thrive. On the other hand, their dams are making water levels so high they’re turning the bogs into ponds – eliminating habitat for the plants and animals that need the bog to live.

A solution? Install pond levelers –pipes through the beaver dams that help drain the pooled water down to a desired level and minimize the ability of beavers to detect stream flow – tricking them into thinking their dams are intact.

Recently staff from Kanuga Conferences, Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy the N.C. Natural Heritage Program, The Nature Conservancy, and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service joined a team of Haywood Community College students to install two pond levelers at the Kanuga Bog.
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