Are you sitting down?

   Posted by heidi08 On March - 24 - 2013

Look at the new project of the Grand Canyon Trust! It allows donors to sponsor dams for a mere 50 dollars! And look at its clever name! Give a Dam!

Recognizing the extraordinary feats and benefits of beaver, the State of Utah has a great plan to help people accommodate beaver where possible and to live-trap and translocate beaver to good sites when they’re setting up in irrigation ditches or other places that are difficult for us and them. You can help Grand Canyon Trust implement this plan and welcome beaver back to Utah.

A dog is often called “man’s best friend.” But beaver just may be Utahns’ best wild friend. Beaver create wetlands for ducks, frogs, fish, and small mammals. They also expand streamside willows and cottonwood for birds, deer, and a host of other animals. They reconnect stream beds with their floodplain, slow the force of floods, extend late-season stream flow, and subirrigate the valleys below their dams.

For $50, the Grand Canyon Trust will help you adopt an active beaver dam! We’ll provide you with information on beaver — and directions to a dam near you. You can help beaver thrive in Utah by going to that dam a time or two each year. Let us know how the beaver are doing, perhaps take photos of their ponds and dams, and telling us about fish, birds, or any other wildlife you see.

You’ll be a member of the Grand Canyon Trust’s network of Dam Watchers.  Beaver would thank you if they could.

Well, people always get our name wrong anyway, it drives me CRAZY. So now when they look up the wrong name expecting to find us they’ll find something good instead! (And imitation IS the sincerest form of flattery.) Maybe some day they’ll be hundreds of organizations like “Not A Dam” and “Deserve A Dam” and “Cost a Dam”. That would be cool.

And the fact that they made 1945 dollars already, well, 50 dollars a pop is proportionally way cheaper to contribute to take care of a dam than working every single day for six unforgiving years of your life – so maybe they’re onto something.

Bruce Thompson was the one who tipped me off about this program. He’s the conservation education specialist from Wyoming that created the crossword puzzle we were struggling over last week. Mine wasn’t RIGHT but it was FIRST and that apparently counts for something in this life. This is what arrived yesterday in the mail.

First a charming note card telling me what I’d won. Just in case you’re wondering, that’s a beaver dropping specifically chosen. I imagine there are other kinds.  I want a set of these more than I have ever wanted a set of note cards in my life. In fact, I have a biologist niece getting married this summer and I bet she would love these as thank you cards for the wedding gifts!

But wait there’s more.  Two adorable bandanas, one with to-scale animal tracks and one with illustrations of actual to scale animal droppings.  So you can be hiking, and pull off your scarf to check what you find. How cool is that?


Pangraphics Scat Scarf and Track Scarf


Here’s a close up of my favorite part: Don’t worry, I know I have to donate it to the silent auction. (Sigh) In the mean time, thank you Bruce!

Bruce sent this info when I said folks might be interested in some droppings of their own.

“Oh, good, I can do some shameless marketing…The “Dropping You A Note” cards are from the “Literary Movement” Collection of greeting cards that I am about to begin field testing. (I also have a “Just Keeping Track” version in the collection, featuring footprints instead of scat.) A boxed set of 12 cards (6 species, including beaver) will eventually retail for $15, but I can let a limited number of interested BMF fans try ‘em for half price, plus shipping, if they’re willing to give me feedback. Best to contact me via mailforbruce (@aol.com) for details.

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