Recently beaver friend RE did a public records act request for all the beaver depredation permits issued in the last 20 months. She received 254 permits which specified the authorized deaths of 954 beavers plus 131 unlimited permits. No one knows how many were actually killed, because obviously that’s not important enough to report, but that’s how many permission slips were given for their death.
A girl like me would think, that’s enough right? I mean that’s like 47 beavers a month not even counting the unlimited “all you can eat” permits. But that girl would be wrong. Because it turns out that this is only SOME of the permits that were available electronically. There were plenty that are only submitted by paper and to see those she’s just been told she needs to go in person to a dark file cabinet in Sacramento.
“There are essentially two systems, the paper system and the WIR system. Some of our staff use one, some use the other. I was under the impression that we’ve almost entirely switched to electronic, but that does not appear to be the case.”
RE will be allowed to scan or copy them if she brings her own equipment. But there’s no indication they’ll be categorized by species let alone by year. She has to prearrange the date at their convenience and I’m sure they’re hoping that she just goes away. I’m reminded of the precious opening paragraphs of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
“But Mr Dent, the plans have been available in the local planning office for the last nine months.”
”Oh yes, well as soon as I heard I went straight round to see them, yesterday afternoon. You hadn’t exactly gone out of your way to call attention to them, had you? I mean, like actually telling anybody or anything.”
”But the plans were on display …”
”On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them.”
”That’s the display department.”
”With a flashlight.”
”Ah, well the lights had probably gone.”
”So had the stairs.”
”But look, you found the notice didn’t you?”
”Yes,” said Arthur, “yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard’.”
(Ahhh Douglas Adams you were so brilliant.)
I’m thinking RE will need a research assistant or two. Cheryl says she’s interested and willing which means she can bring her iPhone and do this:
At the other end of the spectrum Brock and Kate from the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center will be giving a beaver talk next week in Santa Rosa which I encourage you to attend.
Learn about beavers, a vital part of our local ecosystems with Brock Dolman and Kate Lundquist of the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center at a free lecture on Friday, September 5th at Pepperwood. The lecture begins at 7pm, preceded by an open house and light refreshments starting at 6:30pm. No advance registration is required. For directions please visit www.pepperwoodpreserve.org.
Dolman and Lundquist will share the historical plight of this “keystone” species, which was once on the verge of extinction, as well as insights about its remarkable biology and many ecological benefits. Learn how beaver can help both urban and rural communities across California restore watersheds, recover endangered species such as salmon, and increase climate change resiliency. Dolman and Lundquist will share recent findings from their beaver research and explain how you can be a part of the Bring Back the Beaver campaign.
Hooray for Brock and Kate! And congratulations on spreading the beaver gospel in Santa Rosa! I never heard of Pepperwood before, and am very intrigued by its mission. Curious about the sentence “both urban and rural communities across California”. I wonder who they’re talking about when they say URBAN?
Well the attendees are in LUCK because when they’re super excited to hear about beavers on Friday, they can come on Saturday and see beavers in person!
12. “Worth A Dam – Beaver Safari in Martinez” 6:00PM – 7:30PM Martinez
Visit the active beaver family in Martinez with the guides who know them best. You will almost certainly see the beavers – as well as turtles, herons and maybe an otter or two. The gentle stroll through an urban creek is ADA accessible and some of the best beaver viewing in the State. Get ready for a dam good time.
One last bit of beaver news is that I finished our grant for the “Keystone species children’s art Canvas” this week and went it off with our blessings. I included a sheet to explain what a keystone species was and thought you’d like to see it.