So yesterday morning, former Martinez resident LB sent me this story from an elementary school right outside Seattle trying to get rid of its beaver. Apparently the state with the smartest beaver management in the nation has a few large pockets of ignorance.
On an elementary school campus? With kids who love the beavers and parents who care? In Washington? So LB and I wrote the principal and media spokesperson for the district, and I posted about it on facebook. Mind you, this is in Kings county which had one of the only websites about flow devices when we were looking for answers back in 2007. Shouldn’t they, of all places, know better?
I learned that in addition to being worried that ‘the beaver” would attack the students, one of the concerns was about the Lake Forest Park Stewardship Foundation which had just worked with students to hatch and release salmon eggs in the creek, and wouldn’t the beaver dam ruin everything?
No kidding. 12 miles from Michael Pollock’s office.
So I made sure everyone had a crash course in beavers and salmon and sent the salmon film and flow device information, and I added the LFPSF to the list of people I included in the little impromptu seminar. I sent along the kids power point presentation that I made for teachers to use in Contra Costa County and encouraged them to look at teacher materials on our website. And when I posted about this on the beaver management page several bold people actually CALLED the school to ask what the heck they were thinking-including an elementary school science teacher in WA who said he would love beavers on his campus to use in education!
And guess what? By midday the school had backed down and the traps were removed. Let me say that again. By midday the school had backed down and the traps were removed. The principal said he was happy to know about flow devices. And this morning the director of LFPSF wrote to thank me for the all the information and said he was thrilled that when the reporters called this morning they knew much more than they did before about beavers and salmon and how to prevent flooding.
I think that makes yesterday the single most successful day we’ve ever seen on this website. I am so grateful so many people spoke up and they agreed to do the right thing. I have to admit I felt a little powerful yesterday. As if I had finally been doing this work long enough to make a difference.
But that’s kind of silly. Honestly, I guess if you can’t save beavers near an elementary school just outside Seattle, you’re probably in the wrong line of work.
(H/T to RC from Napa for the ZUBR comercial. Which, in case you didn’t guess already, is polish for Bison.)