healthy soil in a person's hands

Episode 292. Don’t Leave It to Beavers: Dam It Yourself

Here’s a fun fact. Before European settlement, as much as 10% of the continental U.S. was influenced by the presence of beaver dams. Although beavers have been displaced from much of their historic range, land managers don’t have to be high and dry in their absence. More and more people are rehydrating their land by mimicking beavers to catch and hold more water.  

In this episode of Voices from the Field, Aaron Clausen of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Montana rancher Amber Smith chat with NCAT Regenerative Grazing Specialist Linda Poole about constructing do-it-yourself beaver dams, called beaver dam analogues.  

Built mostly by hand with carefully placed sticks and rocks, these low-tech, affordable structures help landowners safely catch and hold more water on their land during runoff. The conversation also includes a bit about Aaron’s work with WWF’s RSVP (Ranching Sustainability and Viability Program) and Amber Smith’s leadership of the nonprofit Women in Ranching.




Contact Linda Poole at  

Please complete a brief survey  to let us know your thoughts about the content of this podcast.  

You can get in touch with NCAT/ATTRA specialists and find access to our trusted, practical sustainable-agriculture publications, webinars, videos, and other resources at ATTRA.NCAT.ORG.