City vs. beavers on Longfellow Creek

That’s a photo sent recently by John, showing a beaver along Longfellow Creek, which parallels much of Delridge Way. In some areas along the creek, beavers are just part of the ecosystem – but Seattle Public Utilities says their work is posing a potential problem in one area, and is pursuing this project, announced in a recent Land Use Information Bulletin (note that the same notice covers the West Seattle proposal and a similar one elsewhere in the city):

Beavers have recently constructed dams immediately upstream of the pedestrian footbridge over Longfellow Creek … and dams in SPU’s Meadowbrook Pond Stormwater Detention and Flood Control Facility in the Meadowbrook neighborhood.

The dams may lead to localized flooding of nearby residential properties during the rainy season. This proposal would deploy beaver dam management interventions at the dams at both sites. Specifically, the proposed work would install four pond levelers by notching the dams and then installing exclusion fences. The fencing would extend 16-feet upstream from the top of the dam. Notching assists in
preventing beavers from detecting stream flow through the dam and the fencing prevents them from effectively plugging the notch.

These interventions are intended to control water levels and flows in Longfellow and Thornton creeks and are preferred alternatives to relocating the beavers or removing or breaching an established beaver dam that maintains hydrology of a nearby wetland or pond. The proposed design provides unimpeded fish passage while preventing beavers from constructing effective dams at the pedestrian \ bridge at the Longfellow Creek site and in Meadowbrook Pond at the Thornton Creek site.

The Project includes the following major work elements:

1. Creating a notch in the beaver dam
2. Installation of metal t-posts and welded-wire fencing with a mesh size of 4 inches by 6 inches to create a box in the notch of the beaver dam.
3. Extend the wire fencing box 16-feet upstream from the beaver dam.

This is in/near the 2500 block of SW Graham [map], according to the city notice. What the city published, specifically, is a Determination of Non-Significance, meaning it doesn’t believe a formal environmental-impact study is needed for this. Here’s the full-length “checklist” document, below and here:

You can comment by June 3rd by emailing Kevin Buckley at SPU,; you can also formally appeal the Determination of Non-Significance, deadline June 10th, as explained in the notice.

17 Replies to "City vs. beavers on Longfellow Creek"

  • Kris May 28, 2021 (6:06 pm)

    Delighted to see these beavers and that they won’t be relocated .

    • Lisab May 28, 2021 (6:57 pm)

      Me too!

    • Also John May 29, 2021 (7:14 am)

      Me also!

  • Patrick Hunter May 28, 2021 (6:56 pm)

    I have a solution to this problem

    • Betsy May 28, 2021 (10:54 pm)

      I can assure you that these rodents are at least 3x the size of your cat.

  • Leave it to Beavers May 28, 2021 (7:18 pm)

    Darn it: There goes Mother Nature at it again. Way to go beavers! 

  • Tracey May 28, 2021 (8:55 pm)

    Perhaps it would be more cost effective to provide the beavers with access to housing and food assistance programs.

  • Mj May 28, 2021 (10:31 pm)

    Patrick cute cat, but no match for a Beaver!

  • Jerry May 28, 2021 (11:50 pm)

    In all of those words, there is no clear indication of how much the current level of the pond at longfellow creek will be decreased.  There are at least 50 mallard ducks and at least one pair of wood ducks that currently live on that pond.

  • Kelsey May 28, 2021 (11:52 pm)

    We are worried about beavers but not the growing encampment on 26th and Juneau where I saw someone pouring multiple containers of liquid from gas containers today.. Called 911 as I’m so concerned our green space is getting ruined and no idea what was in those containers. What more can we do to keep Longfellow Creek safe and healthy? 

  • Jeannie May 29, 2021 (12:14 am)

    Geez – a 22-page document about beavers?

    • Bill May 29, 2021 (12:53 am)

      Your tax money at work!  If the beavers weren’t in Longfellow creek – there would be a 22 page document detailing why they needed to be imported and a request for mega bucks to do more studies on exactly how to accomplish re-locating beavers to Longfellow creek and exactly which species of beaver!

  • anonyme May 29, 2021 (6:44 am)

    I find it amazing and encouraging that we have beavers in this urban environment and support preserving their habitat as much as possible.  I only hope that bringing attention to their existence does not invite the kind of cruel, negative attention so unique to the human species.

  • wseaturtle May 29, 2021 (8:33 am)

    Leave it to Seattle to write a 22 page doc. Here’s my revision(no charge). …Cut notch in beaver dam at Longfellow creek. 

  • BusyB May 29, 2021 (11:33 am)

    It would be interesting to see the budget for this  dam  intervention?

  • D May 29, 2021 (11:59 am)

    After 400 days Seattle Public Utilities will down select to  Kraemer North America to cut the notch and install the fence.  Of course the beavers won’t be allowed to use the creek or the damn until 2022.  

  • Steve June 4, 2021 (9:30 am)

    Is this gonna be another winter is coming thing? I still haven’t seen any Beavers. 

Sorry, comment time is over.