The Rossmoor Nature Association (RNA) is hosting an informative lecture and slide show on Wednesday November 14th at 3:00 p.m. in the Peacock Hall at Gateway. The speaker for this fascinating program about urban beavers will be Dr. Heidi Perryman a noted local beaver advocate and founder of the “Worth A Dam” educational organization. As improbable as it might seem, beavers are living comfortably in downtown Martinez—however, their presence there has not been without heated controversy.
Heidi Perryman, Ph.D., is a child psychologist with a private practice in Lafayette. She is also a board member of the John Muir Association at the National Historic Site in Martinez and became an accidental beaver advocate when she started filming the Martinez beavers in 2006. She started the organization “Worth A Dam” to manage their continued care and educate others about their value in the watershed. She has been particularly interested in the way that the beavers’ struggle has connected residents more closely to their environment, to their city government and to each other.
In addition to a very popular annual beaver festival, Worth A Dam does several community outreach and educational programs a year, including fieldtrips and class room visits. Dr. Perryman has also collaborated with beaver management expert Michael Callahan of Massachusetts to help release an instructional DVD teaching how to live with beavers (featuring footage of the Martinez Beavers). Most recently she worked with an historian, archeologist and biologist to publish groundbreaking research on the western fur trade and the original prevalence of beavers in California – a subject that has been surprisingly misunderstood for a nearly a century.
The beaver (Castor canadensis) is the largest rodent in North America and the only land mammal with a broad flat tail. Beavers and their ingenious dams help to create wetlands, store and filter water, augment fish populations, raise the number of migratory and songbirds, and have a dramatic positive impact on wildlife. Dr. Perryman feels that working to help people understand and coexist with this single species will continue to have a dramatic trickle-down impact on the environment in general. The Peacock Hall’s doors will open at 2:30 p.m. and the program will begin at 3:00. The length of the presentation will be approximately 60 min. with time for questions afterward. Visitors are always welcome to attend any of the RNA’s activities. For information about the Rossmoor Nature Association’s program series, contact Penny Ittner at 891-4980 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Related attachment (1st week): Beaver1bw Caption: “The North American Beaver”.