The slopes of the Pasquia Hills area in Northern Saskatchewan have some of the most impressive beaver habitat and beaver densities I have seen so far. Perhaps the title of Canada's Beaver Capital could be appropriate for the beaver community located just to the east of the Pakwaw Lake First Nations Community.
The NASA Geocover 2000 image below gives a good overview of the slopes of the Pasquia Mountains in Saskatchewan. Part of the Saskatchewan river delta is visible on the left side of the image, the plateau forested with dark conifers on uplands and bogs in the top right. In between the stronger slopes incised by streams, most of which have long series of beaver dams and the slightly sloping bottom lands with many former glacial Lake Agassiz beach lines broken by streams and alluvial fans, which have provided exceptional beaver habitat. Or rather beaver have transformed these habitats in large communities Even at this relative low resolution image beaver ponds are visible as very small blue dots. Relief is exaggerated
Canada's National Air Photo Library...Not as much 'in your face' as Google Earth, but more important to Canada because of its up to 90 years of environmental and land use information 'knowledge' base. An important legacy started by WW-1 pilots who in their "flying canoes" created Canada's first reconnaissance resource information base across its remote regions. The black and white images below are available from the National Air Photo Library in Ottawa.
Pakwaw Lake Beaver Community in 1945
The area was flown in 1945 (August 2nd) with black and white photography taken from an altitude of 12'500 ft above sea level and a minus blue filter. The photograph is not of great quality, but shows clearly that beavers at that time were not occupying this area in large quantities.
Some of the following vertical aerial photos are overlain on Google Earth (KMZ) and provide an opportunity to analyse the differences.
1945 Beaver Community near Pakwaw Lake
Very few beaver dams are visible. Some are identified with an Astrix *
The Shoal Lake Community at that time was located in the light grey clearing on the left
Limited beaver activity is visible near the arrows. Glacial lake beach lines are visible as result of the sparser and open tree cover
1945 Pasquia Slopes.
The work of beavers is more prominently visible on the steeper slopes of the Pasquia Hills. Beavers have used the natural relief caused by land slides and old beach lines to manage their ponds.