Many habitat restoration projects for Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.) have placed wood structures in streams. We observed beaver (Castor canadensis) consistently using 3 wood structures placed in the Bear River as foundations for dams, which provided pool habitat for juvenile salmon. Determining why beaver used some structures and not others could help to increase the efficacy of wood placement through use by beaver. We conducted an exploratory study using model selection procedures based on Akaike's information criteria to assess the hypothesis that there were characteristics of the wood structures and their immediate environment that influenced use by beaver. A literature review and field observations were used to develop 7 logistic regression models and the parameters of those models were estimated with data from 55 in-stream wood structures. One model had overwhelming support (Akaike weight = 0.9801) as the best in the set of 7 examined. Variables in that model described both in-stream characteristics (channel confinement; and distance to log jams, deep pools, and beaver bank dens) and riparian conditions (floodplain width and hillside slope). Structures used by beaver were in unconfined channels, farther from other logjams, closer to deep pools and bank dens, in wider floodplains, and with less steep hillsides. The logistic regression model is a resource selection probability function that may be useful in designing wood placement projects if restoration ecologists and managers wish to enlist the services of beaver.
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