Association of State Wetland Managers - Protecting the Nation's Wetlands.

The Compleat Wetlander: Herons and Beaver—Made for Each Other!

cwlogoBy Jeanne Christie, Executive Director, ASWM

There is perhaps no more iconic symbol of the wetlands and waterways of the nation than the Great Blue Heron.  This beautiful bird is found year round throughout much of the lower 48 states.  Loved by some and reviled by others for its dedication to building dams, beaver are also found throughout the lower 48 states as well as Canada and Alaska. It’s therefore not surprising that they coexist and, in fact, that a pond created by beaver can create the perfect habitat of standing dead trees (also called snags) for a heronry.  There is such a place about five miles from the Association of State Wetland Manager’s offices and a visit there in the spring when the herons are on their nests is a special treat. It’s a reminder not only that our work to protect, conserve and manage wetlands is important, but also that nature, including beaver, has a lot to teach us about how to build and sustain wetlands.   Below are some pictures of one of my favorite wetlands. Enjoy!

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