Hope Springs Eternal

   Posted by heidi08 On November - 27 - 2015ADD COMMENTS

“I think I could turn and live with the animals, they are so placid and self contained; I stand and look at them long and long.
… Not one is dissatisfied— not one is demented with the ania of owning things; 

Not one kneels to another, nor his kind that lived thousands of years ago; Not one is responsible or industrious over the whole earth.”

Hope Buyukmihci


Too bad baby beavers aren’t cute or anything.

Heidi Perryman

The Unexpected Wildlife Refuge in New Jersey has a new director,Veronica L. Van Hof.  I’m sure the beavers  and Worth A Dam will  miss Sarah Summerville and wish her fair travels, while we welcome Veronica to the beaver ‘hood,

Mourning Moon

   Posted by heidi08 On November - 26 - 2015ADD COMMENTS

Nice article in the Gazette about the mural project and I’m hopeful that will help push it forward. Technically we didn’t get any kind of actual approval, but a little positive press can’t hurt our odds.

Beaver mural gains approval

A mural dedicated to Martinez’s creek, nature, and beavers is coming to fruition. Heidi Perryman of Worth-a-Dam proposed a mural to be created on cement surface of one of the bridges that crosses Alhambra Creek on Marina Vista Boulevard at a recent Parks, Recreation, Marina and Cultural Commission (PRMCC) meeting.

The bridge located between both dams would host the mural on the street side surface, facing north towards Amtrak. Perryman hopes that the mural “will help people remember their valuable role in Martinez history.”

Mario Alfaro, the muralist who worked on Main Street Bridges of John Muir and Joe DiMaggio, has been in contact with Perryman. His cost would be around $6,000 total, which Perryman proposed be split between the City of Martinez and Worth a Dam evenly.

“We want to remind people of the living creek that runs right through the heart of Martinez, and that we can work together to solve problems,” said Perryman to the Commission.

Perryman mentioned that it is still unknown what caused the death of many Beavers earlier this year.

The odd thing I read last night, as the beaver moon was rising over the trees, was that it is also called “The Mourning Moon” – being a time to take stock of losses over the year, mourn them, and let things go.

When the ‘mourning moon’ rises, let things go

(CNN)A full moon in November, the last before the winter solstice, has different names and traditions, but they all carry a meaning that signals a time for a change.

Depending on the culture or heritage, the full moon in November has been called “snow moon,” “fog moon” and “moon of storms” — but “mourning moon” and “beaver moon” are the most widely recognized.

In pagan traditions, the rise of the “mourning moon” symbolizes a time to reflect on the year and make personal changes by letting go of the past. If there is a bad habit, fears or emotions that are weighing you down, send them off as the moon rises Wednesday evening.

And I thought, I guess that makes it for us a “beaver mourning” moon. Makes sense to me.



21 beavers shot in Scotland

   Posted by heidi08 On November - 25 - 2015ADD COMMENTS

This story is so upsetting. Two days ago I saw a comment on a scottish facebook page saying that farmers were shooting beavers. I wrote Paul Ramsay to find out what I could. He quickly wrote back that there had been several incidents and one farmer in particular bragging that he had “Shot 10”.

They were uncertain whether to go to the papers or not, because they feared a negative story could promote a backlash, resulting in more beavers dying..

Looks like the cats outta the bodybag.

Farmers shooting invading Tayside beavers

But it has now emerged that the bodies of 21 beavers have been discovered with gunshot wounds since the end of 2012.

Farmers and other landowners are suspected of being responsible for the slaughter and have been urged by conservationists 

to adopt non-lethal methods to control the species.

The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) has examined the bodies of 23 beavers in the Tayside area and concluded that two died in road accide

nts and the rest were shot dead.

At present, a licence is not needed to shoot beavers as they have no legal protection in the UK. However, possessing and moving a dead beaver is not legal without a licence.

Why on earth should we be surprised at this story? Just because beavers were extinct for 400 years, and scraped their way back from the bistory pile, doesn’t mean a farmer won’t shoot them now. I mean, they happily shoot rabbits, foxes, and badgers. So why wouldn’t they shoot beavers?

The very slanted article is the best answer I could have thought of to Paul’s question. No matter how responsibly you sit on the story and consider your cautions, its going to break soon enough anyway.

Better to make sure you’re in front of it.

Beaver Moon.

Tonight is a full beaver moon. So when you’re looking up  in ghostly wibderm think of our Scottish friends.

KOLO stealKOLO is sorry for their rape and pillage of Cheryl’s photo and now that the story has aired and they have finished making use of their plunder, they inform me they will take it down.

Thank you for your email and bringing to our attention the uncredited beaver photo that was used as part of KOLO’s newscast last week. We apologize for any confusion and we have deleted the picture from our production file. Again, thank you for your email and we appreciate your viewership.

Scott Magruder
KOLO 8 News Now
Assignment Editor/Web Producer

Thank you so much Scott, for your kind apology for the “CONFUSION”. Copyright law is so confusing, how could you possibly know that a beautiful photo you find on the web is not yours to use in your for profit newscast. I’m sure you don’t have access to lawyers or legal advice yourself. And its mighty white of you to offer to close the barn door now that the horses are gone. Thanks.


Beavers Are Gnawing Problem for Michigan Co-op

Beaver-Damage-21A Michigan co-op had to gnaw on this problem: Beavers knocked out power to a distribution line in advance of fast-approaching winter weather along the Betsie River in northwestern Michigan.

“We had a fairly small outage, but when line crews showed up to make repairs they found that beavers had toppled a tree into one of our lines,” said Rachel Johnson, member services manager for Cherryland Electric Cooperative, based in Grawn.

More than a half-dozen birch trees, including some nearly three feet in diameter, had been felled not far from the co-op’s right of way on Nov. 19. Several others also showed telltale hourglass-shaped gnawing characteristic of beaver damage.

Hmm, okay. This sounds like a beaver problem, hourglass is telltale beaver chewing. But wait there’s more.

Some of the trees were stripped of their bark, something beavers do in late autumn as they store away bark as winter food.

Stripping trees of their bark? In late autumn? To store for food? Just the bark?

Well, I’m not the world’s expert on every single thing that beavers possibly do, and I only lived with them for 9 years, but I have NEVER seen them strip bark from a tree. And store it. How would they store this bark? I mean they couldn’t anchor it like branches in their food cache because bark is so light it would float away. Are you suggesting they have a pantry?

I’ve seen them CHEW trees, and bite off branches which they can then strip the bark from to eat. But I’ve never seen them chew bark off a standing tree, and could not find any information about this fanciful occurrence.  There are many reports about squirrels chewing bark, rabbits, porcupines and even a few horses. Bears scratch off bark, and deer and rub it off when they’re trying to remove antlers.

But not beavers.

I’m not sure if this confusion is from the Co-op, the reporter or both. But they apparently mean well which is not what always happens in Michigan.

Co-op employees made no effort to remove them or disturb their lodge sites beyond the pine trees near the river’s edge, said Johnson. “We’re hoping we can all live together in peace and harmony with the beavers.”


Beaver and Taiga

   Posted by heidi08 On November - 23 - 2015ADD COMMENTS

The Boreal forest (or Taiga) is the largest biomes in the world and our  greatest ally in the seemingly unwinnable war against carbon. It consists of hardwood and deciduous forests occurring between the 50 and 60 latitude belt across Canada, parts of North America, Scandinavia and Finland. The climate where it grows has short wet summers and long cold winters. It is always in danger of being logged out, and every time we lose a little of it the earth itself pays the price.

Guess who helps Taiga do what she needs to do?

Beavers restore dead wood in boreal forests

CaptureDead wood has decreased dramatically in the boreal zone due to intensive forest management. Several species dependent on dead wood have suffered from this decline. Beavers dam water systems, raising floods into surrounding shore forests. The flooding kills the trees due to oxygen deprivation.

Researchers at the University of Helsinki, Finland, compared dead wood quantities and types in southern Finland. The shore forests of beaver sites had significantly larger quantities of dead wood compared to non-beaver sites. Beavers use wood for nutrition and as the building material for their nests and dams. This wood resource is used up by the beavers’ actions within a few years, forcing the beavers to change location. This creates several dead wood hotspots in the area, benefitting a large number of species.

Certain dead wood types have become exceptionally rare in managed forests, e.g. standing dead trees (snags) and deciduous dead wood. Beavers create a wide variety of dead wood types, but they particularly produce standing and deciduous dead wood. The dead wood-dependent species living at beaver sites may differ from those found in managed forests or fire areas.

BP.orgHonestly beavers have been featured in so many Phys.org articles this year I think they need a new section entirely. Don’t you? How much more proof to we need? Wait, don’t answer that.

I’ll see if I can float the idea, but in the meantime, you should amuse yourself with the grisly native story sent to me by Dorrie Langley of the Martinez Arts Association. See if you don’t read it as a hard hitting metaphor for the devastating fur trade. It was collected and published by Russell K Greater.

why 3 why 4 Replace the word ‘eat’ with the word ‘consume’ and it works for me. Trappers definitely stink. And besides it certainly explains this!

The importance of counting beavers

   Posted by heidi08 On November - 22 - 2015Comments Off on The importance of counting beavers

KOLO steal

First a sorry follow up to the Sparks NV beaver story, I heard from Sherry of the Sierra Wildlife Coalition that 5 beavers were reportedly trapped over the weekend. And just for added insult the news station chose to STEAL Cheryl’s lovely photo of happy urban beaver to discuss why urban beavers couldn’t possibly be tolerated. Letters were written.

Speaking of the bumpy path of urban beavers, I was realizing that our chapter would have more weight if we could say something about how common this issue is in the country. There isn’t any data base that would possibly tell us that, but one special place that I happen to know of and have access to. I went through and did a spread sheet of all the beaver stories in or near cities I reported this year on the website. Now mind you, I don’t cover EVERY SINGLE story, but consider this a minimum. Cities all across the country, from Bakersfield CA to Ackron OH, San Marcos TX and Cumberland RI. There have been 107 so far in 38 states, with various complaints including flooding and chewing trees. The vast majority end in depredation, but it was heartening to see that a fair number ended this year in mitigation.

2015 map with wordsCalifornia and Massachusetts are apparently numbers 1 & 2 on the list, although assume some observer bias because one is the state I live in and one is the state Beaver solutions lives in. I’d love to have this data for the past 5 years, so we could spot trends and changes, but I don’t think I’m that patient. Even the states missing this year I know I’ve reported on in the past.

Well, except Hawaii.

This was a lot of work, so now a treat from the Cheyenne Zoo via LK. Heartening to see Ginger doing what she can do, regardless of the odds.

Fascine party!

   Posted by heidi08 On November - 21 - 2015Comments Off on Fascine party!

restoring the creekWorth A Dam got a grand lesson on urban creek stewardship yesterday, from the woman who literally wrote the book on the subject (New books coming out in January). Ann Riley of the SF Waterboard came out for a workshop and planting with some interns from the Watershed Steward Program of the California Conservation Core, and many friends who wanted to learn her techniques. Our eager city engineer showed up as well, and Worth A Dam was there with boots (er, sandals in Jon’s case) on the ground to make it all happen. Check out the grand photos by Ron Bruno.making fascines First off they took a field trip of the standing willow by the corp yard, then did many cuttings of the nearly dormant trees, then fastened the bundles into “FASCINES” that they planted into trenches around and above the beaver habitat. Meanwhile Jon got Cottonwood stakes from a friendly stand on pacheco and they pounded them into the moist soil. trenchThere were nearly 20 helpers in all, and the major work was done by midday, when Riley was headed to lunch with local Flood Control . Theoretically the bank should be stabilized and covered with new growth by March, because things will be dormant and rooting undergound as they should be for a while. It was a good feeling day, and everyone was cheerful and excited about the project. Here’s what it should look like when it grows. Wouldn’t that be tempting if you were a beaver?

In lots of places, school groups are used to fashion the fascines. How would this day be if you were a second grader in Quebec? Never mind the French, this is easy to understand.