Because the beaver isn't just an animal; it's an ecosystem!

The Martinez Beavers

Woodpecker Solidarity

Share the beaver gospel!

“The enemy of my enemy is my friend”… is said to be an old Arabian proverb. Wikipedia tells me there is a similar Chinese version which reads “It is good to strike the serpents head with your enemy’s hand”. All this to say that sometimes unusual allies find common ground, which is certainly not news to beaver supporters.

Case in point? When I went on my recent Safari West tour (which you and a loved one can bid on for your VERY OWN at the auction) I learned that the Rhino is actually doing much better in its struggle to avoid extinction because of a little medical wonder called “Viagra”. Apparently the odds of treating an erection problem are much better with modern medicine than with ground up rhino horn, which makes sense.

The past few days have seen alot of woodpecker traffic to the blog, and this morning Gary Bogue gave a huge nod in our direction. Woodgnawers and Woodpeckers are not such strange bedfellows: they are both fun to watch and can have some irritating habits. Apparently they can both also encourage alarmingly stupid thinking in the human species as well.

Our SFEP friend, Lisa Owens Viani, is starting a letter writing campaign about the woodpecker issue, and encourages you to write the hapless Public Affairs woman who was appointed to deal with this debacle.  Here’s mine. She says that APHIS hates bad publicity, so your voice is going to matter. Send your letters or emails to

Gail Keirn, Public Affairs Specialist, U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services, National Wildlife Research Center, 4101 LaPorte Avenue, Fort Collins, Colorado  80521-2154. Phone: 970.266.6007. Fax: 970.266.6010.

If you have a few moments leftover and live in the East Bay, she suggests you contact Barbara Lee’s office at (510) 763-0370 or if you’re out this way George Miller (925) 602-1880. Sometimes an advocacy organization gets so large and successful it forgets how to be furious. This issue has certainly shaken Audubon right down to the angry grass roots. Civic cooperation can function as a kind of sleeping pill. I even saw it on a very small scale with the beavers. When the city was dressed up in its cooperative clothes it was so hard to know when to push and when just be grateful for the crumbs. Facing truly outrageous decisions like USDA has helped Rossmoor implement makes things simpler.