Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The River Has a Mind of Its Own (Cont.)

Every spring the Gallatin River Floods. We're looking at the blowoff gate of the Gabriel Ditch which you can't see because it's 3 feet under water and clogged with logs. The idea is that the blowoff gate keeps the field below from flooding by acting as a safety valve. But if it's clogged with logs . . .

The logs float in and stick around. Last year we got some heavy equipment to clear it out. It took a few days

This year we may have some help. Beavers built this new dam a little ways upstream from the blowoff. Our neighbor, third generation rancher Joe Axtell who has watched the Gallatin flood since he was big enough to stand up, says he reckons the flood will run right over the beaver dam. He's probably right.

Last month we cleared out the logs with a winch and by hand, under the supervision of the dog.  We hope it'll work.
We have a few more tricks up our sleeve. But you never know. Come May the Gallatin could slink down the middle of our pasture and carve off a new island for itself. (to be continued) 

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