EDITOR’S NOTE: This press release has been updated from a version published September 26, 2021 to include a recording of the webinar.
AMES, Iowa — The Iowa Learning Farms conservation webinar recorded Sep. 29 at noon features Dean Eisenhauer, Emeritus Professor, Biological Systems Engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Eisenhauer is recognized for his study of the hydrologic impacts of land use and water management practices in agricultural regions, water flow in the vadose zone, engineering of vegetative buffers for riparian and upland ecosystems, and water measurement technology in irrigation. Since retirement in 2015, he continues to actively follow these and other related topics.
In the webinar, “Beaver Dams in Incised Channels in Eastern Nebraska: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly,” Eisenhauer discusses the impact beavers can have on stream and wetland ecosystems. He highlights the potential for significant channel aggradation, or deposition of material by a river or stream, and promising indications of stabilization in lower order degraded stream channels provided by some beaver dams.
“Beavers are a keystone species in wetland ecosystems, and while their dam-building activity is not always welcomed when it causes flooding of cropland or plugging of human-made drainage systems, the dams can help stabilize incised lower order stream channels and help reduce erosion,” said Eisenhauer. “Stream channel incision is a significant problem in eastern Nebraska where widening channels result in land loss as well as risk to adjacent infrastructure such as roads and pipelines. Beaver dams may not be the total solution, but they can be one beneficial tool to prevent future problems.”
About Iowa Learning Farms:
Established in 2004, Iowa Learning Farms is building a Culture of Conservation by encouraging adoption of conservation practices. Farmers, researchers and ILF team members are working together to identify and implement the best management practices that improve water quality and soil health while remaining profitable. Partners of Iowa Learning Farms include the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Iowa Department of Natural Resources, EPA Section 319 Grant Program and GROWMARK, Inc.
— Iowa Learning Farms
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