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

The Martinez Beavers

Three for the road

Share the beaver gospel!

Voices of what appears to be reason other than mine are always a delight on this website. Enjoy this excellent piece from Dick Sherman  writing on the Danvers situation. Remember this is an area in Massachusetts very near Salem which had some beavers in its pond that were flooding their backyards, so they hired a trapper. And he killed several and then they complained the water was too stagnant. Oh and the trapper said he was prohibited from removing a dead beaver by regulations so they buried it but the turtles dug it up. Sound familiar? Maybe this will ring a bell.


Well,apparently if you have a lot of sense in Danvers, you move to New Hampshire.

Let the natural process continue

My name is Dick Sherman, I grew up in Danvers as did my wife, (now in our 70s and live in N.H.). For 15 years, we lived directly on College Pond in the St. John’s Prep area on Spring Street. I can tell you about the beavers, Beaver Brook and College Pond.

In my opinion, the town is making a mistake by killing beavers and trying to control that watershed area as suggested by the residents. The area in question by Glendale Road and behind Glen Magna is a natural (God put it there a long time ago) watershed area. It feeds to Beaver Brook, which on the surface goes under Maple Street and then into College Pond.

 The water table (aquifer) itself is under Maple Street. College Pond was and is a magnificent treasure, which as you know, is recognized now by the town as a conservation overlook area.

 I sense from your article that the nearby residents, which once again pollute the Beaver Brook and College Pond as opposed to letting nature help out. Now you have now beavers, algae, and high water in the area. Did you not know that when you purchased, that you were in a “flood zone” and watershed area? Certainly, you did not know how beneficial it is to the ecology and to Danvers residents now and then.

Ahh thanks for writing this, Dick, but let me be honest. You must have driven your neighbors insane back on Maple Street. These people want lawns and potted plants, not actual nature. Come to think of it, you might still be driving them insane now. Maybe that’s why they ran your response in its entirety. It’s too long for a letter to the editor and too short for an op-ed. But they put in every gloriously impractical word. Maybe they wanted to watch the “fireworks”.

I especially liked this part of your letter.

This area incidentally (Spring and Summer streets) was the same and exact area that the “witches” were found as the result of eating bad rye and perhaps drinking from College Pond.

Could it be genetic?

Anyway, the residents of Danvers, in my opinion, do not “value” and protect their resources. I am not just talking about the beavers here. You should be fishing in College Pond now, or enjoying it’s former beauty, but it has been hidden away for many hundreds of years. So you develop the lands and give away this asset as opposed to protecting it for subsequent generations.

 Well now isn’t that refreshing! Thanks for an excellent letter Mr. Sherman and I hope it makes a few people think differently about their watershed. And thanks for the excuse to rerun my graphic. Which has made me very happy.


 Some additional news this morning. I’m late in sharing this with you which is definitely worth the listen. It’s a lovely interview with Jenny Papka of Native Bird Connections about avian vocalizations. You will remember that Native Birds joined us for the last 6 beaver festivals even our very first when we barely had 5 exhibits to rub together. It is no secret to say we are very, very fond of them. Here’s just one reason why:

jenny festival IV

Click to Listen

6 amazing minutes of radio. Great job Jenny. We are so proud of you. And why isn’t Big Picture Science looking into beaver vocalizations? That would be REALLY interesting!


Final grim read from our friend Beth of the National Wildlife Federation. She lives very near the Yosemite Fire and has some amazing observations about the massive blaze engulfing it. Read this and you might want to share.

 How Much of Yosemite Will Burn in a Fire Fueled By Climate Change?

 Known as the Rim Fire, to date it has burned almost 160,000 acres (roughly the size of Chicago) with about 22,000 of those acres in Yosemite. Not surprisingly, given its immense size and threats to a cherished national park, the fire has prompted a media blitz, headlining everywhere from CNN to the BBC to Al Jazeera.

 Yet almost universally missing from the media coverage, as usual? That climate change is making wildfires more frequent and more intense. As they have in past years, reporters won’t connect the dots in their main stories, treating the science that’s staring us in the face as a side story.

NPS fire crew enters the Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias to establish defensible space protecting the big trees if the Rim fire advances. (Photo USFS)

I found this picture very affecting.  Go read the whole thoughtfully horrifying thing. It’s your park.

(And your climate.)