My man Kim and I were scouting around Port Townsend for a good place to go watch the football game because the place we were staying had no television. We wandered into a tavern a little before noon and there were four people at the bar and a narrow row of empty tables behind. A tall gray-haired bartender nodded while Kim and I walked to a couple empty stools. One thing led to another and the guy next to me started talking about the beaver dams in his irrigation canals.

Now most people remedy this problem by killing the beaver and destroying the dams and lodges, sometimes with explosives. I’d seen just such an episode on one of the cable shows. So I started talking with this guy, and this is what he told me.

Instead of blowing up the dam, he went out and cut down a foot or two into the center of the structure and put in a 12-inch pipe. The beaver came back and made their repairs but did not try to block the pipe. He even had video on his phone showing the beavers and their dam and putting the PVC in place and then going back to show the results, with water gushing through the pipe. He got his water moving again, and got to keep his beaver.