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

The Martinez Beavers

Let’s have more good news!

Share the beaver gospel!

It’s the day after Christmas which can be a let down for some – so let’s have a round of pick-me-ups. The first is from an well written book review of what was apparently a badly written book.

Book talk: Photos tell beaver tale

There have been hundreds of books written on beavers, and I have read a good many of them. The outstanding characteristic about “Beavers: Where Waters Run” is the excellent photos.

What’s missing from the book by Strong unfortunately is the ecological importance of this keystone species: what exactly the beaver contributes to the lives of many other species. A recent document available on the internet called the “Beaver Restoration Toolbox” is good for this.

The health of fish population are greatly improved by the increasing of aquatic habitat biodiversity, the creating of rearing and overwintering habitat, and the enhancing of growth rates through improved food conditions.

 Their contribution to hydrology includes water storage for late season flow, raising ground water levels, cooling water temperatures (through seepage), increasing nutrient availability, reconnecting flood plains and decreasing sediment delivery.

 Carbon, of which we have increasingly alarming amounts in our fossil fuels driven world, is stored in their pond/wetland environments. The latter create critical amphibian, small mammal, and bird habitat.

Oregon is getting SO smart! The author of this delicious review of what failed to be written is Linda Driskill a volunteer librarian in Grant Oregon. Her name didn’t ring a bell but I figured anyone that smart I must know or (at least know of) so I searched my computer database and realized she had been cc’d in an email from Leonard Houston. Turns out she is responsible for the Keystone Project in Grant, using beavers to create fish, wildlife, raise the water table, well – you know.  She is also the official representative for Grant County Conservationists. I found her grant application online.

9. Statement of Project Goals and Objectives:

  • Restoration of beaver, aquatic ecosystems, fish and wildlife habitat
  • Recharging ground water systems and storage of water for late season release
  • Nutrient cycling (flooding by beaver quadruples the amount of nitrogen available to plants).•
  • Decreasing stream velocity and erosion potential with cleaner and cooler water downstream.
  • Building sediment bars for the reestablishment of willows and riparian hardwoods
  • Providing opportunities for people with different values and beliefs to work together on the common goal of watershed restoration if they agree that beaver can make this contribution.

Good work Linda! You are officially an honorary member of Worth A Dam! Keep it up!

Onto the next best headline of the day….

Beaver Trap Catches Man, Irks Humane Society

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), Predator Defense and other wildlife advocates have long protested what they say are lax trapping laws in Oregon. A Dec. 15 incident in which a man’s leg was broken in a beaver trap, in conjunction with a press release from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife saying “dog owners share in the responsibility to keep their pets safe during trapping seasons,” has strengthened HSUS’s resolve to make ODFW tighten its trapping regulations.

 We will never stop pressing for trapping reforms in Oregon,” Beckstead says. “And we will continue to explore every available option,” including petitioning the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission, going through the state Legislature or via a ballot measure.

 I’m not crazy about the word “Irks” but I love the idea of increased trapping regulation in Oregon. Watch out Massachusetts, you aren’t the only ballerina on the stage anymore. Any day now I’m sure we’ll be reading about how the voters in Oregon were tricked into making responsible decisions. Can California be far behind?

Oh and Santa was VERY goood to me this year. I don’t know how he treated you so I thought I’d share in case you need a last minute gift. I’ve already written to thank the company and encourage a donation. Your purchase would DEFINITELY help! You cannot imagine how delightful it is to see that little face peering up through your morning coffee!