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

The Martinez Beavers

Beaver festival and beyond

Share the beaver gospel!

The bulk of auction items found there way home yesterday, on the Monday after the festival which is unhead of. I have a few stragglers to complete today, but I’m thinking the whole thing will be done by Wednesday. I can’t tell you how delightful that feels! I guess one of the advantages of having no Peddler’s faire to share foot traffic with is that everyone stayed at the festival and claimed their prizes. Hurray!

To my great delight yesterday I finally had time to open the filming that some friendly moms did of their children doing the jjournal activity. I had asked a few to shoot video because I might think about making a film later on of the process itself. It was wonderful to have a moles-eye view (do moles have eyes? Maybe a gopher’s- eye) of what went on at each  booth. But I was especially delighted with this moment, which I had to share. That’s Dave Kwinter on the bag pipe btw.

Outside the festival bubble, in the larger beaver world there was a nice report of community upset by the loss of water caused partially by removing a beaver dam that caught my attention. I just love it when people point out that draining a pond will rapidly reduce property value.

Fayette’s David Pond losing water, alarming property owners who want action

Shorefront property owners are working with owners of the pond’s impoundment to seek a solution amid concern that reduced water level could affect wildlife, recreation and ecology and depress property values.

FAYETTE — The lower water level of David Pond this year has spurred those with waterfront property and waterfront access there to organize in search of a solution.

They say recent damage to a rock pile impoundment at the north end of the pond caused the water level to take a significant drop, and they cite concerns about the effect on “wildlife, recreation, ecology, and declining property values and the resulting losses to the town tax base,” in a website posting by Elizabeth Hicks.

Hicks is one of eight people on a steering committee looking for a solution. “We don’t know how stable the current situation is,” she said. “We would like to move on it very quickly.”

When Hicks and others brought their concerns to the Fayette Board of Selectmen, she said, they received sympathy but were told the board could do little because the impoundment was in neighboring Chesterville, which is in Franklin County.

“It’s been a little, ongoing dam war,” Cayer said. “What happens is the landowners are responsible, so we have to do some kind of remediation out there, but we’re not sure yet what that’s going to be.”

She said some people built up the dam to raise the water level and someone else came out and dismantled it, as well as part of a beaver dam, to lower the water.

This article is a wonderful reminder that removal of a beaver dam has consequences for the entire community, including the wildlife using the water behind it.  It sounds like some of the residents want their pond back and some of them don’t. I’m curious what will happen. Obviously the beaver dam wasn’t the only thing dismantled, but I’m sure there was also some trapping involved. It’s certainly the wrong time of year to be ripping out ponds. It will take a long time to get that water back now.


Speaking of ponds and times of year, Rusty Cohn of Napa has been enjoying the golden time of year at Tulocay Creek by visiting several times a week. This is the precious look at Mom and the new kit he got last night. Double click on any photo for a larger view and get ready to say it with me now.