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Day of action focuses on CT undocumented's healthcare needs; 7 jurors seated in first Trump criminal trial; ND looks to ease 'upskill' obstacles for former college students; Black Maternal Health Week ends, health disparities persist.

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Seven jury members were seated in Trump's hush money case. House Speaker Johnson could lose his job over Ukraine aid. And the SCOTUS heard oral arguments in a case that could undo charges for January 6th rioters.

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Fears grow that low-income folks living in USDA housing could be forced out, North Carolina's small and Black-owned farms are helped by new wind and solar revenues, and small towns are eligible for grants to boost civic participation..

The 'Beaver Deceiver' Protects the Taos Watershed, Wetland Habitat

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Wednesday, October 5, 2022   

A wildlife ecosystem can benefit from a beaver dam, but their location can cause headaches for humans when they produce flooding.

In Taos, New Mexico, conservationists think they've found a cohabitation solution. It is technically called a "Castor Master," but is better known as a "Beaver Deceiver," a device designed to allow an ecosystem habitat which can support otter, raccoons, skunk, coyote and a variety of bird species without mucking-up the town's infrastructure.

Stephen Fry, project and policy specialist and collaborative facilitator for the group Amigos Bravos, called the system to be installed today in Fred Baca Park a "win-win" for the Rio Fernando Watershed and a Keystone species previously plentiful in the state.

"And now, whenever beaver seem to appear back on the landscape, most people are concerned and annoyed," Fry noted. "But it's honestly quite easy to live on the landscape with beaver, and we just have to be more intentional and creative about it."

Fry pointed out installation of the "Beaver Deceiver" should prevent the city from needing to use heavy machinery each spring to clear dams and other debris in order to control the water level.

Beaver dams can reduce soil erosion and retain sediment, which absorb and filter pollutants such as heavy metals, pesticides and fertilizers, improving the quality of water downstream used by humans and other species.

Fry explained the project came about after the city of Taos agreed to purchase the materials needed, and volunteers, including youth in the community, agreed to do the installation.

"It's a great example of a simple, simple technology that manages flooding and allows the beaver to stay on the landscape and provide all these great ecosystem services," Fry stressed. "For not only themselves, but other species and humans."

The effort is being led by the Rio Fernando de Taos Collaborative, working with individuals, elected leaders, organizations and government entities to restore the local watershed.

Disclosure: Amigos Bravos contributes to our fund for reporting on Environment, Public Lands/Wilderness, and Water. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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