Posted by heidi08 On October - 18 - 2017ADD COMMENTS

Today is the day I’m letting you know that it’s time to sign up for your Compassionate Conservation webinars with Fur-Bearer Defenders. They’re free, easily attended from your computer and packed full of useful information. It is truly remarkable that FBD makes these webinars available world wide. They cover truly relevant topics like predators, presenter language and avoiding compassion fatigue, And oh, will you look at that! One of them will be about beavers and taught by yours truly!

Pragmatic Compassion: Teaching Martinez that Beavers were ‘Worth A Dam’

In 2007, Martinez California USA was surprised to find beavers living in the city creek. Officials were worried their dam would cause flooding and recommended trapping. Heidi Perryman worked to convince the city to install a flow device instead and started the beaver advocacy group Worth A Dam. Now she teaches other cities how and why to co-exist with the important ecosystem engineer.

Heidi is a child psychologist who became an accidental beaver advocate when a family of beavers moved into the creek near her home. Now she lectures about beavers nationwide and maintains the website martinezbeavers.org which provides resources to make this work easier for others to do.

Click Here To Register

Okay, I’ll be the first to admit it’s not exactly a catchy title, but I really wanted to work the word “PRAGMATIC” into all that compassion, so it’s what we ended up with. Even though I’ve talked about our beavers a thousand times before this is different because a) I can’t use video and b) I want to emphasize the advocate’s role in saving wildlife. So it’s been an interesting challenge putting it together and re-including all the behind the scene things I usually leave out of my talk.

It would be SO nice to see familiar faces there, so sign up if you can, (assuming the formidable technology involved works and it actually happens) next tuesday at 1 pm!

More surprises? It turns out an Oregon Fish and Wildlife refuge is eagerly awaiting beavers too!

Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge marks 25 with fanfare

Skeins of Canada geese overhead may be a common autumn sight at the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge, but it felt nothing less than extraordinary on Saturday, Oct. 14, as the community gathered to celebrate the refuge’s 25-year anniversary.

In the Riparian Room of the refuge’s visitor center, refuge staff, volunteers, Friends of the Refuge members and visitors gathered to share the story of the refuge’s beginnings and its goals for the future.

As part of the anniversary celebration, visitors were invited to meander through the wetland along the site of the refuge’s next big project. Starting next summer and finishing in 2019, the refuge will restore Chicken Creek, which currently flows in a straight path to the Tualatin River through an agricultural ditch, to its historic channel through the floodplain. By replanting trees and shrubs along the bank, the refuge hopes to attract American beaver, an animal architect that will in turn enrich the area for many other species.

What do you know? Planting trees to encourage beavers at a refuge, while here in Northern California at the Malhleur refuge in the delta we know they’re actively killing them. Sheesh. Baby steps, right? Let’s all appreciate wisdom when we see it. Thanks Oregon!

70% is a lot

   Posted by heidi08 On October - 17 - 2017ADD COMMENTS

It is with the greatest possible joy that I’m re-posting this update from the Safari West facebook page yesterday afternoon.

5a44ce66-6dec-4731-a401-1fa9aea56242UPDATE: Monday 10/16, 3:15pm

It is with a tremendous sense of relief that I report that the Tubbs fire is now 70% contained. While members of our staff remain evacuated and at risk, I hope we may be close to seeing the end of this disaster.

At the Safari West Wildlife Preserve, our keepers and their animal charges are returning to their old routines while around them our maintenance staff work to rebuild what was damaged. It will be some time before we’re back to where we were, but we have high hopes for the future.

Although conditions remain in flux, at this point our expected reopenings are as follows:
-Safari tours are expected to resume on November 12th.
-The Safari West test camp will reopen in March of 2018.
*These dates are subject to change. Please visit www.safariwest.com for our most up to date projections.

I want to thank all of you for following along with us throughout the course of this crisis. Your ongoing support means the world to all of us who work at Safari West and believe in the importance of its conservation mission. We will continue to push forward with our efforts even as we do what we can to help our friends, neighbors, and community. This last week has been a changing point for all of us in the North Bay. We have suffered much together but we will also recover together. Thank you for all that you have done to help us and to help one another. I hope that we’ll soon be able to welcome all of you back to Safari West.

I never ever thought they’d be able to survive this conflagration. After Peter’s dark night where he stayed behind to save the animals while his home burned to the ground, I thought the fire would just finish them. I am so relieved and full of hope and love for them.

these-tilesSafari West donated to our very second beaver festival and payed for the ceramic markers that let kids do the creek tiles that now hang on our Escobar Bridge. They supported us every year since with financial backing, gifts to the silent auction, and amazing volunteers. Martinez was colored by Safari West, and we will remember every one of those gifts.

Who knows, maybe this year at the festival or Earth day we’ll have kids make “Get Well cuz we love you!” cards?



The other side

   Posted by heidi08 On October - 16 - 2017ADD COMMENTS

Things are moving in a good direction in the wine country. Yesterday at the Napa community meeting they stopped talking about the crisis and started talking about recovery. (Which will also be a crisis, but of a different, long-term, unfolding kind.) I hear from the artist who wants to help us this year and she and her husband are safely back at their home home, which survived on the very edge of the burning on the Silverado trail. I can’t imagine what it’s like to return to a home that’s now in a charred ghost town, but I’m so happy they are among the lucky ones. The fire never reached downtown Napa, so I assume Rusty, Robin and our beavers are doing okay.  The whole region will need lots of support and rebuilding for a long time to come.

Meanwhile the beaver campaign in Wales is going strong and they have successfully proposed a five year license that will give the animals a toe-hold in the country. They must be doing well because the big liars have turned out in full force, and are tweeking their arguments to  sound convincing without appearing negative.

Opinions sought over beaver reintroduction in Wales

Members of the public will be asked to have their say on plans to reintroduce beavers into the Welsh countryside. Depending on the level of response and issues raised, a final decision could come before the end of the year. Supporters of the plan believe they will bring environmental and economic benefits, but others remain unconvinced.

Beavers were once native to Britain but were hunted to extinction for their fur in the Middle Ages. The animal has been reintroduced into Scotland and England in recent years and Natural Resources Wales (NRW) is currently considering an application for a licence to release ten pairs of beavers into the River Cowyn in Carmarthenshire.

The application has been submitted by Wildlife Trusts Wales and the Carmarthenshire-based Bevis Trust, which has three families of beavers penned on its land ready to be released. Bevis Trust founder Nick Fox believes the experience of beaver reintroduction elsewhere proves that the animals will bring big benefits to the Welsh countryside.

He told BBC Radio Wales’ Eye on Wales programme: “Beavers have a key role to play in the ecosystem. They build dams in the slower-flowing small rivers – not in big rivers – and those dams act as natural filters for pollutants and sediment.”

Alicia Leow-Dyke, who oversees the Welsh Beaver Project for Wildlife Trusts Wales, argued beavers would help improve biodiversity.

“Many studies have shown that where you have beavers you have a much richer biodiversity, you have a mosaic of different habitats – and that’s possibly something we have lost in the United Kingdom,” she added.

That sounds pretty persuasive. Better bring in the big guns to refute it and smoke up their objections a bit so no one realizes their just stubborn babies who are upset when they don’t get their own way. Go!

But Mark Lloyd, the chief executive of the Angling Trust, is not convinced that now is the right time to be considering such a project.

“There are lots of other really pressing priorities for the water environment that NRW should be focussing on rather than pet projects that are really “nice to have” but it’s not clear what the benefits are,” he said.

That is a concern for botanist Ray Woods, who has visited the River Otter in Devon where beavers are now in residence under licence.

“I asked the question, “What are they eating” and they just said, “Sorry Ray, we don’t know”. What’s been the impact on all these masses of mosses and liverworts and lichens that are absolutely bang full of useful pharmaceuticals?

My jaw is hanging open as I type this. You’re worried that the beavers will eat up the lichens and then you can’t use them for pharmaceuticals? You do know that lichens grow in trees right? And beavers don’t climb trees. Do you think there is ANY possibility on God’s green earth that Ray was honestly ever told “I’m sorry we don’t know” when he asked what are they eating? Literally everyone is eager to answer the questions and start a conversation about beavers. Either that is a baldfaced lie or the only person he actually asked was a janitor on the train en route. And I can guess which one. Grr.

NRW has completed its initial assessment of the licence application and asked for some further information for the Bevis Trust and Wildlife Trusts Wales. Once that has been received there will be a short consultation. Depending on the level of response and issues raised, a final decision could come before the end of the year.

I’m going to guess that they’re leaning in the “Yes” direction and everyone knows it, because those two special lies aren’t the kind you make from a position of strength. They are what you say when you know you’re losing and you want to frame the argument in a new way out of desperation. Keep pushing Wales, you’re on the HOME STRETCH.


il_570xN.1012079680_ncjaYesterday I started making a list of the items I plan to ask for at the silent auction this year. In doing so I came across a lovely image designed by Sarah MacDonald of Into the Wilds. Her original water color was so lovely I couldn’t resist ’embellishing’ it.