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

The Martinez Beavers

Category: Beavers and Roadways


The Bush administration owes America an apology and a box of chocolates. Not only did it bamboozle us into a never-ending war and destroy our favorite city, it also ruined the way we view policy “Naming” forevermore. Now when we read a bill coming out of the senate called “Lunches for children” for example, we immediately assume it means the bill will STEAL all lunches for children. If we see an initiative called “Respect your elders” we know for a fact that social security is threatened.

I resent that American can’t ‘mean things’ anymore, don’t you?

I know Mike Callahan does, because with this plan he sincerely wants to improve road safety. It sounds like a wonderful idea that will save taxpayers millions of dollars annually. But the Bush administration has ruined the way I read this title. I’m sorry, but it has.

Our new “Safe Roads Initiative”

If every at-risk road culverts in this country were properly protected from beaver damming, then taxpayers, road crews, beavers, biodiversity, water storage and watersheds would all benefit.

To make this vision a reality the Beaver Institute, Inc. is proud to announce our first nationwide program, called the “Safe Roads Initiative”. This program will provide beaver control expertise to any interested Highway Department in the country. As the testimonials and instructional videos at www.beaverinstitute.org/education/youtube-videos/ show, road crews can save significant time, save money, increase road safety, and improve wildlife passage and stewardship with these proven techniques.

Our Safe Roads Initiative was inspired by the highly successful Nion Robert Thieriot beaver management grant program which jump started nonlethal beaver management in a rural area of Massachusetts where problematic beavers were traditionally trapped and killed. See www.mspca.org/beaverfunding.

Whoo hoo! A trapezoidal fence in every culvert! (Not quite as catchy as a “chicken in every pot’ but it has promise.) Congratulations to Mike and the Beaver Institute Gang for finding new ways to solve problems and dream big. If every road was protected from beaver damming then drivers AND beavers would sure be a lot safer.

While we’re on the subject of good ideas, lets give a shout out to this event posted in the community calendar in the Troy New York Record.

Community calendar:

THACHER NATURE CENTER: Busy Beavers, 3:30 p.m. Late fall is when beavers really get busy! They are building up their lodge and storing food for the long winter ahead. Learn about these industrious animals and their adaptations for life in icy waters. A short indoor presentation will be followed by an easy walk to a small, well-establish ed beaver pond to quietly observe for about 20 minutes in hopes of viewing a beaver in action. This program is appropriate for adults and school-aged children. Space is limited, please call 518-872-0800 to register and for meeting place.

Great idea! Now it’s wonderful that you would gather at a beaver pond and teach children what they do, but you’re crazy if you expect to see beavers at 3:30 in the afternoon in December. All that will happen of course is that those kids will get frustrated and impatient and think beavers are boring.

I have a better idea. Why not be beaver ‘detectives” and teach the kids to find beaver clues at the pond to ‘solve’ the case! There will be plenty of chewed branches and other signs of beaver activity and it won’t be frustrating because you won’t be waiting for something that isn’t coming. Plus you’ll be teaching them that a very large part of watching nature is observing its clues and using what you learn to infer what’s happening.

Nature doesn’t come with subtitles.

In downtown Napa Rusty Cohn was a ‘beaver detective’ yesterday and  took this photo of the work that’s been done on that dam recently. He notes “Water level seems to have been raised approx. 2 feet by the dam.

The beavers don’t mind that its small. They know well that the journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step.