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In this line of work, projects don’t start with a bang. They end with one. With a booming explosion on Tuesday morning, a portion of stream at the headwaters of Big Haymeadow Creek in Langlade County again flowed freely, a beaver dam blasted out of the way. Jeremy Irish, an assistant district supervisor with the USDA’s Wildlife Services program, triggered the blast, undoing some of this year’s construction by beavers in the area. In the process, he cleared another portion of one of northern Wisconsin’s best trout streams. Hundreds of miles of northern Wisconsin’s best trout streams flow freely, providing excellent fish habitat and great fishing. But if beavers, and they dams they create, had their way, the landscape would be much different. Often, it’s humans like Irish who have to help strike the balance, doing it using fuses, detonations, and explosions. Beavers improve their own habitat by creating dams and ponds, Irish said, but hurt other animals in the process. “Beaver are a very

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