Archive for the ‘Beavers and Birds’ Category

“To Beaver or Not to Beaver”

Posted by heidi08 On March - 28 - 2017ADD COMMENTS

One of the advantages of having ‘beaver buddies’ all over the world is that there is almost always someone on hand to help me get the things I cannot reach. Like this, intriguing headline that requires a paid subscription or a passport to unravel. Fortunately for me, Chris Brooke of the Save the Free Beavers of the Tay FB group leaped to the rescue:

CaptureBeaver fever proves giant rodents are not a dam nuisance

CaptureIt is a wonder that anyone wants to reintroduce beavers almost 400 years after they were hunted to extinction. They sound like a farmer’s nightmare, creating soggy fields, rotten trees and pools of standing water, and infuriate anglers, as their dams are believed to hinder fish migration.

Yet a study into their effect on flooding on a farm in Devon has led to “beaver fever”, a clamour for more, not fewer, of the huge rodents and similar trials across England.

Beavers’ dams control the flow of water after rain and act as natural filters of chemical fertilisers that run off fields. In summer they also stop streams drying up, according to researchers at Exeter University, while coppicing trees creates a patchwork of different habitats that has increased the range of plants and wild animals.

Ooh I’m liking the way this is going. Time for coffee and a comfortable chair while I explore further. Mind you, this is the largest selling ‘respectable paper’ in ALL of the UK, so I think there are going to be folks paying attention. Including all the magistrates, farmers and anglers.

Richard Brazier, who led the initial research, has been asked to carry out six feasibility studies for beaver projects in Dorset, Gloucestershire, Devon and Cornwall. “The science suggests it would benefit society to have beavers in the landscape,” he said.

Naturalists in Wales have applied for permits to release ten pairs in Carmathanshire, while beavers in Scotland have been granted native species status after similar trials in Argyll.

In Devon, the beavers built 13 dams on a 180m stretch of stream inside an enclosure. Water flowing out had 30 per cent less nitrogen than water flowing in, almost 70 per cent less sediment and 80 percent less phosphates.

“Fertiliser getting washed out of soils is a huge problem worldwide,” Professor Brazier said. “It leads to algal blooms that starve the water of oxygen, which leads to fish deaths. It’s one of the reasons we have to treat our drinking water.”

If the difficult beavers of South America are the nagging critical aunt of the beaver world who’s petty complaints you just can’t escape, the epic “TO BEAVER OR NOT TO BEAVER” struggle of the UK is that glowing fountain of praise from your indulgent grandmother. I love hearing them argue about this over and over again because they are repeating the pro’s with a megaphone on an international scale. I don’t want them to ever stop, because who will take their place?

The government has promised £2.5 billion for improved flood defences, including £15 million for natural flood management such as planting trees and adding bends to rivers which have been artificially straightened.

“Most of the money is being spent on concrete,” said Chris Jones, a farmer, who is planning to release beavers upstream of Ladock, in Cornwall, a village that was flooded twice in 2012. “We need our land to store more water, so we don’t have these massive pulses of water after every heavy rainfall.”

Not everybody is a fan of the animals, which can grow to 25kg. A spokesman for the Angling Trust criticised “adding more barriers to fish migration”, while the NFU opposes beaver reintroductions because of “damage to farmland … and the risks of them spreading disease”.

Mark Elliott, of Devon Wildlife Trust, said that farmers’ “biggest concern is that beavers will become a protected species. If they are going to be accepted by landowners, there have to be clear mechanisms for managing the conflicts [between the two].”

Really Mark? Is that really your ‘biggest concern’? That beavers will be protected? Wouldn’t a bigger concern be that there wouldn’t be beavers at all? Or that all your rivers will dry up and that global warming will make it too arid to have them there anyway? Or that Theresa May will turn out to be exactly like Trump. How could the protection of beavers be your BIGGEST concern?

Okay, I’ll give Mark a break. Maybe that was a misquote or taken out of context. Maybe you’re having an off day or your cat is in the vet. It’s mostly a wonderful article. And I’m still very happy about it.  We all should be!



Posted by heidi08 On March - 26 - 2017ADD COMMENTS

Finally! The article about our beaver tenure came out! Of course it arrived the moment after I posted yesterday, but it’s perfect for our only-good-news-Sunday. It’s also a well written article  by Martinez resident Sam Richards. (Turns out he lives next-door to the house where I grew up – because Martinez!)  It is accompanied by Susan Pollard’s wonderful photos and I don’t sound as horrible as I was worried might happen, but I’m never happy when Luigi talks about feeding beavers with a stick. If you want to see the video where I look positively slagged you are going to have to click on the link to find it yourself. I manage one good line at the end, anyway.

A decade of beavers (mostly) in Martinez

MARTINEZ — It started in 2007, when downtown Martinez citizens noticed Alhambra Creek was flowing slow, and that trees along the banks had been gnawed down to little points. The furry, buoyant culprits were elusive at first, but their first dam of sticks, leaves and mud near Marina Vista Avenue told the, er, tail.

After winning an early fight over their very lives, given concerns about downtown flooding, the beavers went from cause celebre to cause for adoration. There were (and are) “Martinez Beavers” T-shirts and bumper stickers, and the 10th annual Beaver Festival will take place in August.

“Who had even heard of beavers in town before?” said Heidi Perryman, president of the nonprofit Worth a Dam group. Someone she met literally walking down the street told her that beavers lived a few blocks from her Martinez home.

“It’s actually pretty common, it turns out, but I didn’t know it then,” said Perryman, whose preservation efforts have helped give the local beavers a dash of national notoriety, and even some international interest, given the recently rejuvenated efforts to reintroduce Eurasian beavers in England, where they had been extinct since the 1500s, killed for their pelts (and as an acceptable edible substitute for fish during Lent).

“It’s been both a feel-good and a do-good story for Martinez,” said City Councilman Mark Ross, an early champion of the beavers. The rodents themselves have, by and large, done well in the creek; the creek’s ecology has indeed improved, say environmentalists who credit the beavers; and Martinez has become known for something beyond Joe DiMaggio, John Muir and the Shell oil refinery.

A feel good story for Martinez! Thank you for that quote Mr. Ross, I think I’ll put it in my city grant application. It’s nice to see the story remembered in such detail. I sent the reporter a copy of our newsletter which prompted him to think about it. Like pretty much everyone, he had no idea ten years had passed already.

At Luigi’s Deli, about a block from Alhambra Creek, a wall is packed with photos of people owner Luigi Daberdaku has met over the years. Most of them, he said, came downtown to find the beavers.

It didn’t take long for the beavers to win his and others’ hearts. Daberdaku fed them apple pieces — on a long stick. “I saw what the teeth did to the trees; what could they do to my hand?”

At a November 2007 meeting at Alhambra High School, David Frey of Pleasant Hill, a maritme consultant, suggested Martinez city engineers build a diversion around the beaver dam so the beavers don’t have to be relocated. The “beaver deceiver” built the next year accomplished just that. Dan Rosenstrauch/Staff archives

Daberdaku didn’t support downtown property owners who initially wanted the beavers gone. Neither did most who spoke at a rowdy November 2007 City Council meeting at Alhambra High School, where everything from moving the beavers to embracing their tourism potential to renaming the high school sports teams from the Bulldogs to the Beavers was discussed. Many invoked the name of a famous environmentalist son: “What would John Muir do?” One woman said, “We don’t want to be known as a refinery town that kills beavers, right?”

Former Martinez mayor Harriett Burt said learning the science of the beavers changed her mind. “It raised awareness about the creek environment in general,” she said recently, “and it’s been a good thing.”

Good Harriet! And Bad Luigi! I remember the night we caught him feeding apples with a stick and told him to stop. I hoped that was the only time. But that’s what happens when an entire city raises beavers. Not everyone is a good parent. The reporter even talked to Skip, which I’m sure amused him.

800px-Skip_Lisle_Preparing_to_install_flow_device_on_Alhambra_CreekBut the beavers’ real stay of execution may have been the “beaver deceiver,” a water bypass pipe under a dam, installed by Vermonter Skip Lisle in 2008. Designed to fool beavers into thinking they’re successfully damming a waterway, the pipe “secretly” carries water under the dam to prevent flooding.

Lisle still marvels at his Martinez assignment. “I was building a beaver deceiver, and there were throngs of people there, media, and helicopters overhead. It was unique.”

Perryman and the Worth a Dam group have kept beavers in the public eye, even when they were absent from Alhambra Creek. Beavers’ images adorn downtown murals at one creek crossing, and on a “tile bridge” downstream with children’s depictions of the beavers. The Martinez Beaver Festival, an intimate gathering at its 2008 beginning, now draws hundreds to the small patch near the Amtrak station that some call “Beaver Park.” For two years, a group from Oakland led by a city environmental stewardship analyst took the train to Martinez for lessons on how beavers renew urban streams.

Worth a Dam has also inspired other beaver champions. Caitlin McCombs found that group’s work while looking for help saving beavers near her home in Mountain House, near Tracy. McCoCAITLINmbs then started the MH Beavers preservation group.

“I never knew before that beavers serve as a vital keystone, and that they promote an overall healthier environment,” said McCombs.

Caitlin! What a wonderful quote! We are so proud to have been part of your V.I.B.E. (Very Important Beaver Education). She won’t be joining us for earth day this year because she has a conference to attend for college, and we will miss her. But I feel that we helped her raise the awareness in Mountain House and she will think differently about beavers for her entire life. That makes me entirely happy.

By October 2015, the beavers were no longer deceived by the black pipe and built new dams downstream before leaving altogether soon after that. Some of the 24 Martinez kits had died, and others moved on. The original mother beaver, with a new younger mate, left, too.

But Perryman and others were overjoyed when, on March 5, a beaver was seen in the creek near downtown. It’s been seen at least twice since, and photographed at least once.

Does this mean they’re back? With three verified sightings, Perryman says yes.

Then again, were they ever really “gone?” While registering for a marathon recently, Councilman Ross said he was from Martinez. “The guy … said to me, ‘How are those beavers?’ Everywhere you go, the legacy of the beavers remains.”

Beaver legacy! That’s what we have. Of course., I’d rather have the actual beavers, but hey, it’s way more than most cities ever get.  Thank you Sam for another fine reminder the beavers promote a city’s good nature. And thank the beavers for being such great sports for a decade even though the city installed a wall of metal through their lodge. What a crazy, beautiful way to spend a decade of your life!

CaptureTime for some lovely donations to the silent auction. This week’s treasures come from Litographs in Cambridge Massachusetts. They are a remarkable business I happen to love because they turn favorite literature into wearable art. Literally. The entire text of a beloved book becomes a shirt, card, poster, tote or scarf. Catcher in the Rye, Scarlet Letter, Jane Eyre, Hamlet, The Princess Bride, classic or contemporary.

We founded Litographs because we had a vision of bringing our favorite literature off the page, onto your walls, and into your wardrobe. We believe in sharing the power of books with more people.

This is the entire text of Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick” which they generously gave beautifully matted and ready for framing.

moby dickLong ago I had a conversation with owner Danny Fein about possibly working with the now-public-domain text “In Beaver World” by Enos Mills. While he wasn’t sure this was a project they would tackle any time soon, he personally made this for our event. Look closely because that is the entire book. Thank you Danny and friends at Litographs! For this beautiful addition to our silent auction.


Spoiled for Beaver Choice

Posted by heidi08 On March - 23 - 2017Comments Off on Spoiled for Beaver Choice

Some days there is so little beaver news that I am left sorting through my ragged thoughts and trying to find something new to say about them. This week has been a beaver explosion, so I can barely keep up. First there is the smart new beaver page out offered by Esther Lev of the Wetlands Conservancy and some graduate students who accepted the beaver challenge. You will have fun browsing the projects. Use the link to visit the site which connects to each project. I’ll let them describe the ‘zine’ themselves.

During the 2017 Winter Term, eight graduate students from the Master of Urban and Regional Planning, Master of Fine Arts, and Master of Environmental Science and Management programs at Portland State University engaged in a study of beavers in the Pacific Northwest.  The question was whether better understanding the beaver could help us understand more about the culture, identity, and character of the Pacific Northwest, particularly for those of us engaged in planning and other activities with and for communities in the region.

The project had two components.  First, each student identified a topic associated with beavers, and developed a research paper that explored that topic.  All of those papers are posted here for your use and enjoyment.  During the term we read Frances Backhouse’s Once they were Hats, her very informative and engaging book about beavers in North America.  Thanks to Esther Lev, Wetlands Conservancy Executive Director, and Sara Vickerman Gage, we were able to spend a morning discussing the book with Frances Backhouse.  We gratefully acknowledge the importance of both Frances’ work and her presence in the class with us.  If you are interested in and/or care about beavers, do read her book!

Second, each student used their paper as the point of departure for creating pages for a class “zine” about beavers.  A zine is a short, self-published, and mostly hand-crafted magazine.  Usually combining words and images, the zine form attempts to both transmit information to and engage the imagination of the reader.  Preliminary research in Portland revealed hardly any zines about or featuring beavers.  We aimed to fill that void, at least in part.

3 screenTWC is who had me talk in Portland last year and is responsible for the art show “Beaver Tales” that is in its second venue. They are doing beaver-work wonders. I am thrilled that they’re on the scene and that all these students will remember beavers in their masters training.

A second exciting development came from our beaver friends in the Czech University of Life Sciences. They recently completed the English translation of their ‘living with beavers’ guidebook. There is a lot of great info on management and history, so I would take some good time to browse. There’s a great discussion of tree protection and flow devices, as well as some pretty creative solutions for preventing bank burrows. Enjoy!


Cree “Beaver Bird”

Posted by heidi08 On March - 18 - 2017Comments Off on Cree “Beaver Bird”

Gentlemen may prefer blonds, but we prefer beaver ponds…

Beaver Bird: The Adaptable Hooded Merganser

Mergansers are expert divers. Swimming serenely, they suddenly disappear, leaving barely a ripple, and can remain submerged for up to two minutes. All birds have a nictitating membrane, a transparent extra eyelid; for mergansers, this serves as a diving mask that allows them to keep their eyes open underwater where they swim gracefully with webbed feet. Using wings to steer, they appear to fly through a liquid sky.

“They’re a cool bird to watch,” said Dr. Kevin McGowan at Cornell University’s Lab of Ornithology, “popping up in little ponds—very similar to wood duck nesting habitat. In fact, they often share the same pond, but hooded mergansers dive underwater to find their food, while wood ducks feed on the surface.”

“Between the 1980 and 2000 Breeding Bird Atlas surveys in New York,” said McGowan, “the occurrence of hooded mergansers more than doubled. They like beaver ponds, and there are more beavers now than there have been for a long time. Their breeding range has also moved south, probably due to reforestation over the past 100 years, which has improved their habitat.” The occurrence of breeding hooded mergansers nearly tripled in Vermont between 1981-2007, according to findings of the first and second Vermont Breeding Bird Atlas, edited by the Vermont Center for Ecostudies.

National Audubon predicts that, as the climate warms, hooded mergansers will significantly expand their winter ranges northward and live year-round where they are currently found just during the breeding season. Researchers in Manitoba discovered that, in 2001 hooded mergansers were returning to their breeding grounds 32 days earlier than they had been returning in 1939.

Despite its ever-changing environment, the endearing, diminutive waterfowl that is known to the Cree as the “beaver duck” is doing just swimmingly.

The beaver duck! Isn’t that wonderful? All these years I’ve been talking how hooded mergansers showed up in our beaver pond and Napa’s beaver pond, and I thought I was on to something but I wasn’t sure. Now I’m sure.  This makes me happy. The Cree are one of the largest tribes of first nations in North America and extended across the middle band of Canada. The definitely knew their beaver because the Cree was one of the most important nations for the Fur Trade in the Hudson Bay Company of early Canada. When I gave a talk to the waterboard one fish scientist asked whether our mergansers eat themselves out of house and home, because they were such voracious fish eaters.

I’m just glad that these birds and beavers get along.

Mr and Mrs HM

Rusty Cohn

The Sound and the Parry

Posted by heidi08 On March - 13 - 20172 COMMENTS

Parry Sound is in Ontario Canada directly north of New York. It is famous for having the deepest freshwater seaport in the world and various hockey achievements. This morning it has decided to offer a pleasingly accurate beaver article with some very nice photos. Enjoy!

The industrious beaver is not afraid of hard work during the winter

PARRY SOUND SIDEROADS AND SHORELINES — Winter is the time of year when many wild animals living in the Parry Sound area have adapted to escape and wait out the heavy snowfalls and dropping temperatures. Bears hibernate in cosy dens, squirrels have built nests and stashed food away, and frogs have dug into the lake bottoms and drastically reduced their temperature. But the industrious beaver continues to be quite active during winter until the lakes freeze over completely, and even then this animal can be seen busily repairing any damage to its lodge or dam.

Beavers are completely adapted to an aquatic existence and look quite awkward when slowly waddling on land where they are vulnerable to coyotes and other predators. Their front paws contain claws that can easily manipulate twigs to chew the inner bark of branches – their primary food source. In the Parry Sound area, their favourite wood is the aspen tree but they will also eat ferns, mosses, dandelions, dogwood, and aquatic plants, to name a few. 

The resulting dam sets in motion an entire alteration to the ecosystem. Hence, beavers are considered a “keystone species” (one that plays a unique and crucial role in the way an ecosystem functions. Without keystone species, the ecosystem would be dramatically different or cease to exist altogether). The building of dams modifies and creates a dramatic change to the surrounding environment. The backwater flooding from the dam floods the lowland near the creek; trees die creating an opening in the forest canopy; aquatic plants and shrubs soon develop, making a favourable habitat for waterfowl, herons, moose, amphibians, fish, insects, muskrats, otters and a score of bird species. Their activity purifies water and prevents large-scale flooding.

Over a period of time the food source runs out and the beavers move on; the dam breaks and eventually a meadow forms, creating habitat for an entirely new group of species. And thus, the vital chain of evolution around a beaver pond continues.

A few years ago, the television program The Nature of Things featured a show entitled “The Beaver Whisperer” outlining the efforts of a few Canadians who have studied and/or worked with beavers, giving an in-depth account of the beaver.  The Parry Sound area is home to many beavers and if you are lucky enough to see one around twilight, watch and observe the complex behaviour of this fascinating animal. 

Nice to read that Jari Osborne’s great documentary is still making an impact! (Although it was called the Beaver Whisperers as in more than ONE). And nice to see even a brief discussion of beaver benefits from that neck of the woods.  They need all the allies they can get. I’m going to assume, that even though they’re very clever, the beaver in that photo isn’t balancing a aspen log on its back. I’m pretty sure the log is just laying in exactly the right place on the ground behind him. Although that would be quite a feat if it were possible. Think about it, how would the beaver even get the log there in the first place?

I think it’s one of those photo placement victories, like someone photographed pushing the tower of pizzaa over, or a baby holding up the moon. But it had me confused for a while, I admit. Thanks for the mystery!

Napatopia Wins Again!

Posted by heidi08 On March - 12 - 2017Comments Off on Napatopia Wins Again!

Good news on Sundays is an easy policy to follow. Especially when Napa wins the Wetland War once again. Credit Rusty Cohn for bravely visiting Friday afternoon Tulocay creek where the beavers are very slowly rebuilding their damaged dam. Guess what he saw?

Napa wins again

Woodduck in Tulocay Creek by Rusty Cohn

Ahhh this inspires a confession. There are three half-truths I regularly tell about our beavers in Alhambra Creek. The first is that the folks at the meeting all spoke up for beavers. That’s not entirely true, because there were at least 5 ‘nays’ out of the 50 pro-beaver speakers in attendance that night. They were deliberately positioned at the beginning and end of public comment for maximum effect. And they were the definite minority. But they were there.

The second is that Alhambra Creek hadn’t seen mink in 25 years. I actually don’t have a source for that except I surely hadn’t seen it before.  And I’ve lived downtown as an adult for 25 years. And it sounds about right. Although I’ve been saying it for a decade so that’s more like 35 years. Which puts us somewhere in the eighties was wasn’t really known for the greatest creek restoration. But, it conveys the idea that we saw different things when the beavers came. So I had retained it in the canon.

And the third almost-lie I repeat, was told to me by ward 7 manager for East Bay Regional Parks. He has since died but Ted Radke was a big beaver supporter and avid duck hunter – and he told me early on that after the beavers came we saw WOOD DUCK for the first time.

He said it to me at the celebration for the 75 anniversary of EBRP, and he insisted it was true. But I never saw one, before or since, and shortly after he said it hooded mergansers were seen for the first time in their full colors. And they’re striking ducks, so one can easily imagine he got them confused. But it’s a good story because wood duck is the ‘crowning glory of ducks’ and intimately tied to beaver ponds. So I’m inclined to repeat his story as if it were true.

But never mind, because once again NAPATOPIA has beaten us to the punch.

Great photo Rusty, Jon and I both laughed aloud when we saw it. Because we never doubted you’d be first!

Yesterday three bright and beautiful copies of MIT professor Penny Chisholm’s book on the water cycle arrived for the silent auction. She included a note thanking us for saving beavers! They are so brilliantly colored and so well told that they’re sure to be a hit with the parents and children there.  Your very smart grandchildren might deserve a copy now, so go here to get your own. Thank you SO much for your help Dr. Chisholm.

closeNext came a present all the way from Rhode Island, where artist Carrie Wagner of Sepialepus donated a truly breathtaking and whimsical map of our golden state. I had originally seen her map of New York which included beavers, and asked her to think about donating. When she enthusiastically agreed she told me that she used to live in San Francisco and knew just where to add the beavers to her California map. Then she sent this, which is large, beautifully detailed and glorious. I’m including a closeup of the beavers so you can appreciate them fully.


Thank you SO much Carrie for this wonderful donation! I can’t wait to see how folks appreciate this at the festival!

Talking to the beaver opposition

Posted by heidi08 On February - 25 - 2017Comments Off on Talking to the beaver opposition

Adrien Nelson of FBD didn’t make it to the conference this year, because he had work to do in Langley. And reading this you can tell  he does it so well.

Fur-Bearers weigh in on Gloucester beaver trapping

The Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals is urging the Township to use alternative beaver management methods, after a dead beaver was found inside a trap in Gloucester last month.

Rather than trapping beavers — which according to Adrian Nelson, wildlife conflict manager with the Fur-Bearers, has only a 16 per cent success rate — a “long term solution” is using flow devices, such as pond levellers or exclusion fences.

Pond levellers are large pipes that allow water to flow through existing beaver dams, while exclusion fencing prevents beavers from accessing culverts or bridges.

“This is not new technology; they have been around for over 20 years, they are incredibly successful,” Nelson told Township council at its Feb. 20 evening meeting.

“When they are implemented properly we have a success rate of between 90 and 97 per cent, and that is over a 10-year period.”

The devices cost $400 to $600 in materials and take two people about half a day to install. They require maintenance twice per year, which usually consists of removing debris or garbage build-up. Nelson said the devices are much more cost-effective than repeatedly calling in trappers, or taking apart dams.

The Fur-Bearers also offer free training programs to municipal staff on how to implement and build the systems properly, having successfully worked with Mission, Coquitlam, Bowen Island, Surrey, Richmond, and even the Township of Langley.

Coun. David Davis, who has dealt with beavers on his farm many times, said he is concerned that during a rain event, a pipe through a beaver dam may not be able to handle the water coming through, and flooding would result, causing damage and costing the Township a lot of money. He believes in some cases, the beavers have to be removed.

Adrien is working hard in Langley to remind the city to do the right thing. Which they have done before but suddenly think might not work. And of course the council is making it as difficult as possible for obvious reasons. I feel these opponents have been well matched. And when I saw this letter to the editor I went so far as to say OVER matched. You will understand why.

Connect with Us Opinion Letter: Many humane options exist for managing beavers Melissa Oakes’ children, Ruby, 5, and Finley, 8, joined Earth Rangers along with 100,000 other children across Canada. Their art project involved learning about the beaver, including speaking with a First Nations elder about the hardworking rodent that has lately found itself at the centre of controversy. – Melissa Oakes submitted photo Melissa Oakes’ children, Ruby, 5, and Finley, 8, joined Earth Rangers along with 100,000 other children across Canada. Their art project involved learning about the beaver, including speaking with a First Nations elder about the hardworking rodent that has lately found itself at the centre of controversy.— image credit: Melissa Oakes submitted photo

Letter: Many humane options exist for managing beavers

Editor: I read the recent article in the paper (the Times, Jan. 18) about this wetland and the beavers, and thought I would send you this photo of my children Finley, 8, and Ruby, 5, with the beaver lodge in background and their art.

My children have joined Earth Rangers along with 100,000 other children across Canada and one of their missions was to speak with an elder about living with wildlife and do an art project.

We read about how the beaver represents wisdom. The beaver uses the gifts and knowledge it was given by the Creator to build a healthy and strong community.

In that process, it makes wetland habitat so we call them wetland superheroes.

This land was taken out of the ALR with the agreement that this area would be left as green space. With all the money that the government is putting toward wetland conservation, it would be a shame to lose this wetland and the beavers that made it.

I understand that there are many other management options that people could be using other than constantly killing them.

Well, all I can say is between Melissa, Ruby, Finley and Adrien, the stubborn city council doesn’t stand a chance. Keep it up! It takes a huge amount of protest to earn the right to inconvenience city staff, as we learned first hand in Martinez. They just hate being inconvenienced. Never mind, don’t let that stop you. There’s plenty of more child beaver artists where that came from if you need them. We should know.

One of the talks at the conference I wanted to hear the most was Lorne Fitch of Cows and Fish in Alberta. In fact we thought it was important enough that he be there that Worth A Dam paid his travel expenses and the Leonard Houston hosted him at the hotel. Unfortunately my fearless live recorders had to leave early yesterday to get back to Portland, but Journalist and soon-to-be author, Ben Goldfarb was kind enough to film the talk with his phone. This is an imperfect recording, but you can hear most all of what he has to say and see most of his slides, so I’m enormously grateful for the effort. Lorne represents the very best at involving the community and meeting disbelieving ranchers exactly where they are. If you have stubborn folk you want to persuade about beavers, (and who doesn’t?) he is the speaker you need to hear. I will try to get a copy of his ppt slides when he gets safely home. The first moments of the video are bumpy but it gets better so stick with it.