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Beaver Dam Visible From Space

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the dam-big-job dept.

Canada 286

ygslash writes "The Hoover Dam no longer holds the title of the world's widest dam. Satellite photos of northern Alberta, Canada, show that several families of beavers have apparently joined forces to build a dam 850 meters wide, more than twice as wide as the Hoover Dam."

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286 comments

Bigger is Better (4, Funny)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 3 years ago | (#32105498)

....And you Canadians always give us Yanks crap about thinking bigger is better....sheesh.

Re:Bigger is Better (4, Funny)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#32105894)

I don't really think wideness is a quality to be encouraged in beaver circles. Hopefully at least they've kept it trim.

Re:Bigger is Better (4, Funny)

davester666 (731373) | more than 3 years ago | (#32105982)

Everything's bigger up here. Texas is just where Canadian's try things out before commissioning the full-size model...

Re:Bigger is Better (4, Funny)

siloko (1133863) | more than 3 years ago | (#32106234)

The real story of course is slashdot linking to a Fox News science and technology skit. Like the author even knows what a Beaver is, let alone where Canada resides . . .

Re:Bigger is Better (4, Funny)

Arthur Grumbine (1086397) | more than 3 years ago | (#32106474)

...let alone where Canada resides . . .

Give me a break! Everyone knows that Canada bought a house in Minnesota so that she could get quality health care on-demand. Whether or not she's technically a "resident" is up for debate...

Not Widest (2, Informative)

Roger W Moore (538166) | more than 3 years ago | (#32106400)

....And you Canadians always give us Yanks crap about thinking bigger is better....sheesh.

Perhaps they were trying to emulate this [wikipedia.org] which is an 18km long dam also in Northern Alberta. All they need now is to fill their pond with toxic sludge....

850 meters? One word for you.... (2, Funny)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 3 years ago | (#32105502)

DAMN!

Re:850 meters? One word for you.... (5, Funny)

kimvette (919543) | more than 3 years ago | (#32105606)

obligatory

STATE OF MICHIGAN
Reply to: GRAND RAPIDS DISTRICT OFFICE STATE OFFICE BUILDING 6TH FLOOR
350 OTTAWA NW GRAND RAPIDS MI 49503-2341
JOHN ENGLER, Governor
DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY
HOLLISTER BUILDING, PO BOX 30473, LANSING MI 48909-7973
INTERNET: http://www.deq.state.mi/ [state.mi]
RUSSELL J. HARDING, Director

December 17, 1997

CERTIFIED

Mr. Ryan DeVries 2088 Dagget Pierson, MI 49339

Dear Mr. DeVries:

SUBJECT: DEQ File No. 97-59-0023-1 T11N, R10W, Sec. 20, Montcalm County

It has come to the attention of the Department of Environmental Quality that there has been recent unauthorized activity on the above referenced parcel of property. You have been certified as the legal landowner and/or contractor who did the following unauthorized activity:

Construction and maintenance of two wood debris dams across the outlet stream of Spring Pond. A permit must be issued prior to the start of this type of activity. A review of the Department's files show that no permits have been issued.

Therefore, the Department has determined that this activity is in violation of Part 301, Inland Lakes and Streams, of the Natural Resource and Environmental Protection Act, Act 451 of the Public Acts of 1994, being sections 324.30101 to 324.30113 of the Michigan Compiled Laws annotated. The Department has been informed that one or both of the dams partially failed during a recent rain event, causing debris dams and flooding at downstream locations. We find that dams of this nature are inherently hazardous and cannot be permitted. The Department therefore orders you to cease and desist all unauthorized activities at this location, and to restore the stream to a free-flow condition by removing all wood and brush forming the dams from the strewn channel. All restoration work shall be completed no later than January 31, 1998. Please notify this office when the restoration has been completed so that a follow-up site inspection may be scheduled by our staff. Failure to comply with this request, or any further unauthorized activity on the site, may result in this case being referred for elevated enforcement action. We anticipate and would appreciate your full cooperation in this matter.

Please feel free to contact me at this office if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

David L. Price
District Representative Land and Water Management Division

Dear Mr. Price:
Re: DEQ File No. 97-59-0023; T11N, R10W, Sec 20; Montcalm County

Your certified letter dated 12/17/97 has been handed to me to respond to. You sent out a great deal of carbon copies to a lot of people, but you neglected to include their addresses. You will, therefore, have to send them a copy of my response.

First of all, Mr. Ryan DeVries is not the legal landowner and/or contractor at 2088 Dagget, Pierson, Michigan -- I am the legal owner and a couple of beavers are in the (State unauthorized) process of constructing and maintaining two wood "debris" dams across the outlet stream of my Spring Pond. While I did not pay for, nor authorize, their dam project, I think they would be highly offended you call their skillful use of natural building materials "debris." I would like to challenge you to attempt to emulate their dam project any dam time and/or any dam place you choose. I believe I can safely state there is no dam way you could ever match their dam skills, their dam resourcefulness, their dam ingenuity, their dam persistence, their dam determination and/or their dam work ethic.

As to your dam request the beavers first must fill out a dam permit prior to the start of this type of dam activity, my first dam question to you is: are you trying to discriminate against my Spring Pond Beavers or do you require all dam beavers throughout this State to conform to said dam request? If you are not discriminating against these particular beavers, please send me completed copies of all those other applicable beaver dam permits. Perhaps we will see if there really is a dam violation of Part 301, Inland Lakes and Streams, of the Natural Resource and Environmental Protection Act, Act 451 of the Public Acts of 1994, being sections 324.30101 to 324.30113 of the Michigan Compiled Laws annotated.

My first concern is -- aren't the dam beavers entitled to dam legal representation? The Spring Pond Beavers are financially destitute and are unable to pay for said dam representation -- so the State will have to provide them with a dam lawyer. The Department's dam concern
that either one or both of the dams failed during a recent rain event causing dam flooding is proof we should leave the dam Spring Pond Beavers alone rather than harassing them and calling them dam names. If you want the dam stream "restored" to a dam free-flow condition -- contact the dam beavers -- but if you are going to arrest them (they obviously did not pay any dam attention to your dam letter-being unable to read English) -- be sure you read them their dam Miranda rights first.

As for me, I am not going to cause more dam flooding or dam debris jams by interfering with these dam builders. If you want to hurt these dam beavers -- be aware I am sending a copy of your dam letter and this response to PETA. If your dam Department seriously finds all dams of this nature inherently hazardous and truly will not permit their existence in this dam State -- I seriously hope you are not selectively enforcing this dam policy, or once again both I and the Spring Pond Beavers will scream prejudice!

In my humble opinion, the Spring Pond Beavers have a right to build their dam unauthorized dams as long as the sky is blue, the grass is green, and water flows downstream. They have more dam right than I to live and enjoy Spring Pond. So, as far as I and the beavers are concerned, this dam case can be referred for more dam elevated enforcement action now. Why wait until 1/31/98? The Spring Pond Beavers may be under the dam ice then, and there will be no dam way for you or your dam staff to contact/harass them then. In conclusion, I would like to bring to your attention a real environmental quality (health) problem: bears are actually defecating in our woods. I definitely believe you should be persecuting the defecating bears and leave the dam beavers alone. If you are going to investigate the beaver dam, watch your step! (The bears are not careful where they dump!) Being unable to comply with your dam request, and being unable to contact you on your dam answering machine, I am sending this response to your dam office.

Sincerely,
Stephen L. Tvedten

Re:850 meters? One word for you.... (3, Funny)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 3 years ago | (#32106000)

"rule number 1 of slashdot: ANY thread can be twisted into a bash of microsoft. no exceptions."

Well, if you insist.

This is another case of egregious anti-competitive collusion - the furry animal (but not quite sweaty) version of Microsoft. Nuke'em from the orbit.

Check your assumptions (5, Funny)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#32105508)

Actually, just one beaver family built the dam. They then sold timeshares to all the other beaver families now living there.

I like beavers (4, Insightful)

SoupGuru (723634) | more than 3 years ago | (#32105538)

Putting aside the obvious jokes for a second, I always liked the fact that beavers are like humans because they modify their environment to suit their needs like we do.

Re:I like beavers (4, Insightful)

Supurcell (834022) | more than 3 years ago | (#32105598)

It's not like they're the only ones either. Birds, ants, spiders, gofers, and a whole lot more build structures to live more comfortably in. Humans need to stop thinking they are so special.

Re:I like beavers (4, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#32105840)

Humans are special.

We make steel, make building from concrete and glass. We've been to the moon and sent device outside our solars system.

We can build damns, can beavers build space ships?

Human beings kick ass.

Although the original poster was being a little slow in the head. I mean, ALL creatures modify their environment. You have to in order to reproduce and eat.

Re:I like beavers (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32106044)

You only think we've been to the moon..

Re:I like beavers (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 3 years ago | (#32105902)

It's not like they're the only ones either. Birds, ants, spiders, gofers, and a whole lot more build structures to live more comfortably in. Humans need to stop thinking they are so special.

Well I figure if you can consider any kind of animal "special"*, then you certainly have to acknowledge that humans are special too.

Lots of animals dig burrows or construct nests, but few modify their environment to the extent of the beaver, and obviously humans are orders of magnitude beyond that. Opposable thumbs and big brains are pretty neat too. There's no other species on earth quite like homo sapien and there's nothing wrong with acknowledging that.

* And I certainly do find plenty of them to be special. I find the mimicry of the Liar Bird special, along with the amazing plumage of the Painted Bunting, the underbite bill of the Black Skimmer, the speed of the cheetah, the songs of the whale, the courtship rituals of the Bower Bird, a whole range of aspects of cephalopods like intelligence, dexterity, camouflage, and communication abilities, and so on and so on...

Re:I like beavers (1)

sbeckstead (555647) | more than 3 years ago | (#32106286)

There's no other species on earth quite like homo sapien
Eventually there was no other species on earth quite like homo sapien

Fixed that for ya...

Re:I like beavers (1)

corbettw (214229) | more than 3 years ago | (#32105934)

Humans need to stop thinking they are so special.

Posted the (presumably) human using his opposable thumbs a communications method completely beyond the understanding of any other animal on earth.

They really are the only ones. (4, Insightful)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 3 years ago | (#32106008)

The difference is that beavers don't just build a home, they also make radical changes to their natural environment which puts them in an entirely different class. It's comparable to the way we build dams for flood control (except . . the other way around) or plant crops to grow food. The changes they make expand their habitat rather than simply providing shelter.

Re:I like beavers (1)

pclminion (145572) | more than 3 years ago | (#32106016)

Many animals modify their environment, but pretty much only Homo sapiens is capable of modifying the environment in ways that are impossible to achieve through the use of our natural physiology. The Hoover Dam could not have been built by hand. We exceed the animals by the capacity to create tools, and to use those tools to create even more complex tools, and on and on.

There are animals, primates mostly, that have been observed using inanimate objects as tools. That's true tool use, but they do not make improvements to their tools, nor do they fabricate tools using other tools. Only we can do that.

Re:I like beavers (4, Funny)

mysidia (191772) | more than 3 years ago | (#32106032)

Humans need to stop thinking they are so damn special.

There, fixed it for you.

Re:I like beavers (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#32105762)

I like "beavers" too, but I don't quite think my use of the word means the same thing as your use of the word!

Re:I like beavers (1)

vxice (1690200) | more than 3 years ago | (#32105776)

They sure are similar to humans from the article. "They create a habitat with lots of water like a moat around their lodges so they can swim and *drive*, and keep one step ahead of predators such as coyotes and bears."

Re:I like beavers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32105876)

Putting aside the obvious jokes for a second, I always liked the fact that beavers are like humans because they modify their environment to suit their needs like we do.

Being on Slashdot I would assume you like beavers and I would also assume you have not seen one in the wild. Magazines on the subject don't count.

Re:I like beavers (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 3 years ago | (#32106114)

Nice that it's visible from space though... the aliens could see the beaver dam and think: "Wow, there must be some intelligent life on this planet"

Hoover dam? Not so impressive, probably a more primitive species.

Re:I like beavers (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 3 years ago | (#32106136)

Putting aside the obvious jokes for a second...

Nonsense, I'm sure nobody here was thinking about Amy Winehouse's contraception.

Re:I like beavers (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 3 years ago | (#32106228)

Beavers are cool - but they can also be a nuisance. My brother in law has been paid by landowners to clear beaver from various creeks and streams. All legal, and in accordance with state wildlife regulations, mind you. The fur sells well, and the meat grows strong, healthy dogs. I never asked him why he didn't eat the meat himself. I guess it doesn't taste very good. But, yeah, beavers are cool. They do have an odor that I don't like very much. Not a bad odor, just a musky scent that I don't like. I'm just as happy to leave them in the water, where they belong.

Re:I like beavers (1)

SoupGuru (723634) | more than 3 years ago | (#32106232)

Of course, I realize that most animals make a home and hence modify their environment. I was trying to suggest that none of them go quite as far as the beaver. They don't just build a home, they build a neighborhood too.

I also like working for the Department of Redundancy Dept like I do. I like liking.... like...

Was the Hoover Dam EVER the widest? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32105556)

The Hoover Dam isn't even a very wide dam (1234 ft)... It's known for being tall.

Re:Was the Hoover Dam EVER the widest? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32105684)

Yeah, but it's Fox News ... they had to get in their obligatory "America, Fuck Yeah!!"

Re:Was the Hoover Dam EVER the widest? (5, Funny)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 3 years ago | (#32105720)

The original article was from Fox News - I'm just amazed they realised it was a damn, and not a giant vacuum cleaner given the quality of their fact checking.

Re:Was the Hoover Dam EVER the widest? (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 3 years ago | (#32105732)

... and my spelling. I guess I am taking lessons from Fox.

Dam, not damn.

Re:Was the Hoover Dam EVER the widest? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32105832)

No, the original article was in The Sun (UK), the Fox article even links to it.

And Slashdot still sucks for being third in a chain of reposts by staff that apparently only does an absolute minimum of fact checking.

Re:Was the Hoover Dam EVER the widest? (5, Funny)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 3 years ago | (#32105968)

The original article was from Fox News - I'm just amazed they realised it was a damn, and not a giant vacuum cleaner given the quality of their fact checking.

Coming up next, are Saddam's weapons of mass destruction hidden in the beaver sadDAM?!?

Experts say no, we say maybe.

Re:Was the Hoover Dam EVER the widest? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32106488)

Beavers and Hoovers, who knows what happens next..

Re:Was the Hoover Dam EVER the widest? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32106276)

The Hoover Dam isn't even a very wide dam (1234 ft)

It's how I remember my password ("the number of feet across the Hoover Dam").

Hmmm. (-1, Offtopic)

dangitman (862676) | more than 3 years ago | (#32105566)

Is a Beaver Dam anything like the Pirate Bay? Those beavers should probably lawyer up and watch out for the RIAA.

Totally accurate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32105574)

Yeah, the beaver's family is usually the one doing the box blocking.

Was the Hoover Dam ever the worlds widest? (5, Informative)

Seraphim1982 (813899) | more than 3 years ago | (#32105590)

"The Hoover Dam no longer holds the title of the world's widest dam.

Well, given the fact that the Kuybyshev Hydroelectric Station which was built in the 50's is almost 3000m wide, it's been a LONG time since the Hoover Dam was the worlds widest. Given the fact that the Hoover Dam is very narrow for a its overall size, I'd be pretty surprised if it was ever the worlds widest.

Re:Was the Hoover Dam ever the worlds widest? (2, Funny)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 3 years ago | (#32105674)

Yeah, I always thought Hoover was impressive for it's height, not width. And WP says it was the highest dam in the US when built (and is now the 2nd highest). Dunno about worldwide, but really, I don't care exactly, it's a tall dam in any case. Let's see some stupid beaver build a damn over 700 ft tall!

Re:Was the Hoover Dam ever the worlds widest? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32105682)

Now now, you've got to remember this is Fox News we're talking about.

Facts aren't quite as important in the farm leagues of journalism.

Re:Was the Hoover Dam ever the worlds widest? (1)

SETIGuy (33768) | more than 3 years ago | (#32106202)

The problem is that the farm league pays their stars better than the big leagues. And the public likes the farm league better, anyway.

Re:Was the Hoover Dam ever the worlds widest? (4, Funny)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 3 years ago | (#32106182)

Yeah. Plus it's called a dental dam, not a beaver dam regardless of how you use it. Who proofs these articles anyhow?

Re:Was the Hoover Dam ever the worlds widest? (1)

snero3 (610114) | more than 3 years ago | (#32106216)

and here you go ruining the fun with logic and facts ;)

Unaided? (4, Insightful)

Itninja (937614) | more than 3 years ago | (#32105616)

The article doesn't say, but is this the unaided eye (e.g. a guy in he space shuttle could look out the window and see it)? Because I could see my house from modern satellite pictures.

And who lives downstream of this wonder? (5, Funny)

Tiger4 (840741) | more than 3 years ago | (#32105652)

If it ever cuts loose there will be an epic flood. Did the Beaver Inspectors ever get a look at it? After all Size isn't everything. How many logs went into that thing anyway? Was it checked for strength, flexibility under loads, ability to hold back before gushing? This could be pretty important for anyone below it. Canada's National Honour could be at stake!

Re:And who lives downstream of this wonder? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32106074)

did they get an environmental impact statement before they built it?

Re:And who lives downstream of this wonder? (3, Funny)

dangitman (862676) | more than 3 years ago | (#32106120)

Stan: It's MY fault. I broke the dam.
Cartman: Aw, man...
Sharon Marsh: ...Stanley...you?
Man: No. Don't you see what this child is saying? We can't spend all our energy placing blame when something bad happens. He's saying...we all broke the dam.
Stan: No. I broke the dam.
Woman: I broke the dam.
Man: I broke the dam.
Man: I broke the dam.
Stan: No. I broke the dam.
Woman: And I broke the dam.
Man: I broke the dam.
Cartman: Hehe...I broke the dam!
Man: I broke the dam.
Woman: I broke the dam.
Stan: [trying to insist] I broke the dam. I ran a boat into the dam and I broke it.
Man: I broke the dam.
Man: I broke the dam.
Man: I broke the dam.
Man: I broke the dam.
Stan: No! I broke the fucking dam!
Man: I broke the dam.
Man: I broke the dam.
Stan: I literally broke the dam!
Man: I broke the dam.
Man: I broke the dam.
Stan: On a boat! That wasn't mine!
Man: I broke the dam.
Man: I broke the dam.
Stan: I kept it secret for two days!
Man: I broke the dam.
Man: I broke the dam.
Stan: The boat caught on fire and it exploded!
Man: I broke the dam.
Man: I broke the dam.
Stan: Aw, fuck it!

Re:And who lives downstream of this wonder? (1)

slinches (1540051) | more than 3 years ago | (#32106246)

Yes, this is a serious issue. I heard about an incident a while back in the area around South Park Colorado. An eight year old kid crashed a boat into a large beaver dam, flooding a nearby town.

FOX news? (2, Insightful)

Karganeth (1017580) | more than 3 years ago | (#32105668)

On my slashdot? It's more likely than you think!

Re:FOX news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32105734)

Sad thing is, TFA is a poor butchering of this Sun article: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/2958779/Beaver-dam-seen-from-space.html

This is interesting (5, Funny)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#32105704)

This is interesting, because this is a story about a huge beaver dyke that can be seen from space.

This just in... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32105826)

Damming evidence of beaver dykes visible with naked eyes from space. Many busy tails took a pounding for this broad accomplishment. Film at 11...

Update: Heather's two mommies have been real busy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32105854)

Quick, how many fingers am I holding-up (raises both hands open-palmed)?

The uprising! (1)

sea4ever (1628181) | more than 3 years ago | (#32105710)

Step 1: Act cute and gnaw on trees so they don't suspect anything
Step 2: Cut off their water supply and hoard it for ourselves with superior building skills
Step 3: ????
Step 4: profit!!!
The beavers are taking over! First it's dams..then it'll be nuclear warheads..

And people have wondered (1)

al0ha (1262684) | more than 3 years ago | (#32105724)

why the Beaver is the Caltech mascot. Go Beavers!

Re:And people have wondered (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32106236)

This reminds me of Oregon State's motto: Go Beaver Nation!

Visible from space? (1)

glwtta (532858) | more than 3 years ago | (#32105768)

Isn't that particular accomplishment not all that impressive these days? You can easily see people from space on Google Maps.

Re:Visible from space? (0, Flamebait)

dangitman (862676) | more than 3 years ago | (#32106158)

You can easily see people from space on Google Maps.

People from space have arrived on Earth? I would have thought that would at least warrant a few newspaper articles.

My car is too... (3, Informative)

rm999 (775449) | more than 3 years ago | (#32105844)

My car is also visible from space, via Google Map's "satellite view".

Does that make my 1995 Chevy special?

Re:My car is too... (1)

Urza9814 (883915) | more than 3 years ago | (#32105940)

From _space_? Really? Last time I checked, most of the higher resolution images on Google maps were from aircraft, not satellites.

Potholes (1)

Required Snark (1702878) | more than 3 years ago | (#32105942)

There are potholes in the roads near my house that are visible from space (on Google).

Re:Potholes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32106324)

Most google imagery is from planes not satellites (unless you're zoomed out far enough).

Re:Okay everyone: Google Maps Link! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32106456)

No "StreetViews"?

Fox thinks pretty highly of those beavers (5, Informative)

NathanBullock (804938) | more than 3 years ago | (#32106258)

I liked the last paragraph of the article "It is thought that several beaver families joined forces to create the massive dam, containing thousands of trees, and took many months to complete it."

Compare that to the article from the CBC "Biologists estimate the dam would have taken at least 20 years to build. It is visible in NASA satellite imagery from 1990."

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