Methow Salmon Foundation

Climate Change Challenge: less water, worse droughts

Grant Award: $237,160; Year Awarded: 2014

Wildfires are remaking north central Washington’s watersheds at an unprecedented scale providing a visible preview of the potential of climate change. In addition, hydrologists are predicting more rain, less snow, and steady snowpack loss in the mountains of the Northwest in the years ahead. However, stand-replacing fires are also opening areas for beaver re-colonization. Willows and aspens re-sprout vigorously, and dead trees no longer demand water for growth. This project will seed beavers into fire-impacted areas to create wetland “sponges,” storing precipitation in these watersheds that previously would have been held as snow.