Archive for the ‘City Reports’ Category

MMM Beavers!

Posted by heidi08 On October - 7 - 2015ADD COMMENTS


Congratulations for having the strange fortune reading our three thousandth post! Where has the time gone? Three presents today, one for each of the thousand posts about beavers that we have endured. I’ll save the most fun for last, but let’s start with an awesome new article from Cattleman’s magazine in Canada.

In praise of water, and beavers

Steve Kenyon

Do you know who is responsible for most of the biodiversity in this country?  Long before we were ever here, it was our friendly, hard-working beaver, that’s who!  This country was built by the beaver long before the fur trade depleted their numbers. To make a home, he backs up water, causing his environment to flourish in biodiversity because all life needs water. Plants, animals, fungi, insects and birds all rely on water and thanks to the beaver, they can all thrive within abundant riparian areas.

Each ecosystem relies on the other and it all starts with water. It aggravates me when we decide that the beaver stands in the way of industry. First off, the beaver were here first. Secondly, his job is more important than ours. He created the environment that allows agriculture to prosper. Thirdly, water is a very valuable resource. If he provides more for you, you should be thanking him.

How’s that for awesome proof that we’re slowly changing hearts and minds around the hemisphere and beyond? Thanks for this truly visionary article delivered to the best possible audience. Go read the whole thing and leave Steve a comment in praise of his writing.

Rusty Cohn from Napa sent me this AWESOME photo of a kit the other day and I new it belonged in our celebrations.


Tulocay beaver kit: Rusty Cohn


Finally, the beavers of the world told me to thank you for reading about them by giving you a good laugh. Back when Martinez decided to paint over the mural beaver our pettiness got national press. The best was a morning radio show in Chicago. I don’t think anything could be funnier, and believe me I listened a LOT when I was making the cartoon. Enjoy, remember this cautionary tail warning against truly bad decisions at the civic level and celebrate beavers!

Sonoma Bound

Posted by heidi08 On September - 20 - 2015Comments Off on Sonoma Bound

Yesterday we met with Suzi Eszterhas and 5 children that were beaver regulars and did a beaver art project in Susanna Street park for possible inclusion in the Ranger Rick story. The pictures will give you some idea of how cute it looked from the outside, but you’d actually need to be there to hear how delightful it was in person. These children had been to many, many festivals and literally knew everything there was to know about beavers.

Suzi projectOne child had brought her recent copy of Ranger Rick for Suzi to sign, since it was the issue with her incredible cheetah photos. Many of then named their beavers (B0, Violet and Jojo are some I remember.) And one girl fed hers acorns, fennel and a branch. The bags were very popular and Suzi especially liked the fork paws. If you want to make your own the patterns are here.

beaver army
There’s a nice article on Napatopia this morning. I especially like the way it talks to public officials who never mention flooding or money. Life is so different on the Napa side of the creek…

Napa waterways attracting wild critters

Since moving to Napa four years go, Rusty Cohn has gotten into the habit of taking a daily walk along Soscol Avenue. About two years ago, he noticed that a pond had been created in Tulucay Creek next to the Hawthorn Wyndham Suites hotel.Observing the area more closely, he was amazed to see what looked like a beaver dam.

There was a moment of disbelief. Beavers in residence along Napa’s Auto Row?

The Resource Conservation District estimates that there are 10 to 15 beaver dams and at least 100 individuals in Napa County waterways, including the new arrivals in downtown and along Soscol. Beaver dams create mini ecosystems, according to Knapczyk. They, in turn, draw other wildlife like fish, birds, and the popular river otters, although the otter population in Napa is very small.

See  those last three lines in bold text? Can you make the whole article like this next time? Go read the whole thing, and see how perilously little credit beavers get for this sudden biodiversity. We’ll work on it. In the meantime I wish we had many, many more articles pondering the benefits of wildlife in urban settings.

If you have thoughts or questions, you should come ask them yourself here. Because Martinez and Napa beavers will be shoulder to shoulder teaching how and why to coexist. See you there?


They’re still number one!

Posted by heidi08 On September - 5 - 20152 COMMENTS

Yesterday Robin got a clump of depredation permit records from her PRA for Placer County 2015. (Fridays are always document dump days.) I went through and spread-sheeted their gory details. 14 permits good for the death of 307 beavers. Not much improvement  after our meeting with them last November. Property owners still excused their behavior saying useless things like they tried ripping out dams or “hazing”  first but since that surprisingly didn’t work they needed to trap.

But there was one big difference.

One of the most unique things about Placer County that struck us in our initial review was the number of permits they issued for an “unlimited number of beavers”. They were the only place in the state that did it. In our 2 year review there were  51 permits issued for unlimited beaver. Meaning however many you kill that’s fine with us. One of things we talked about at the powow meeting was how unique this was, and how unnecessary. I also wrote it in my letter to the head of fish and wildlife and tried to rattle as many cages as I could.

Flash forward to spring and the discovery of the piebald beaver in Winters. I contacted the folks we had talked to in Placer and they directed me to the representative for Winters. Jason Holley, who was a nice guy and willing to chat by phone. Fresh from the horrors I mentioned something about unlimited trapping and he corrected me and said they weren’t allowed to do that. Since I had just reviewed 51 times where they had done just that  I challenged his assertion and he defended by saying that there had JUST BEEN A BIG MEETING and they weren’t allowed to do that anymore.

Then he stopped for a moment and seemed to calculate things. “Maybe it was you?” he wondered.

Which of course was a lovely thought but not one I believed for a moment until yesterday when I saw this. I spoke to Jason in early April so their big meeting would have happened late March.CaptureMarch 19 was the last permit issued for an unlimited number of beavers all the way through last month. Which I have to think is a kind of victory, however small. It means that sometimes when you poke hard enough you make a dent. Something about my yammering must have at least drawn attention to their time-saving procedure of issuing permits without borders. Someone said just ‘stop it’ and they apparently did.

They are still authorizing the kill of many more beavers than they could possibly have, though. With two permits good for 50 beavers and one for a staggering 99. 99? Is placer county a beaver factory? To explain, the 99 was issued to all county parks in Placer, of which there are 66. I went through and checked how many were had water. Around 27 contained a lake, a stream or a river. Remember, the upper left half of Lake Tahoe is in Placer county.

Griff Creek, the death camp featured in yesterday’s article where pointless beaver slaughter  near a daycare started the Sierra Wildlife Coalition, is a Placer county park. Small world.

So all the county parks were issue a single permit good for any problem that might arise over the coming year, with authorization to kill 99 beavers or around 3.8 per water-containing park. That sure seems like a sneaky time-saving device to me.  This kind of mass issue didn’t show up in our last review, I wonder if it’s a new invention? It’s sort of like getting a depredation permit for Contra Costa County, and any beaver that shows up from Antioch to San Ramon can be dispatched without the burden of paperwork.

One thing it made me realize is that all those little aspen-lined clear mountain streams pouring into Tahoe are actually a death trap for beavers, I mean people assume Martinez is a terrible place for a beaver to be, and think the beavers in the sierras are lucky- but that just isn’t true. Any beaver showing in any county park in the entire green section of this map can now be reliably dispatched without even the minor inconvenience of getting a permit – because a kill-beaver wildlcard has already been issued and can be used everywhere it’s needed.


The California Beaver Coalition

Posted by heidi08 On September - 4 - 20151 COMMENT

Great news from our beaver friends! I love opening the paper to read an article about beaver advocacy that isn’t in Martinez. We just need 100’s more of these. It’s a big state.

Sherri Hasenfas

Sheri Hartstein Sierra Wildlife Coalition

Beaver population thriving at Lake Tahoe thanks to local volunteers

TAHOE-TRUCKEE, Calif. — Beavers at Lake Tahoe are faring better than they were just a few years ago, thanks to the efforts of Sherry Guzzi and her posse of volunteers, collectively known as the Sierra Wildlife Coalition.

 As is the case with many people who become passionate defenders of wildlife, Sherry’s involvement began with the death of a beaver family that had become dear to her and countless other residents and visitors to Kings Beach during the fall of 2010.

This family of four beavers, two adults and two young, had built themselves a lodge in Griff Creek, which runs near Highway 267 in Kings Beach, before flowing beneath the road and into Lake Tahoe.

Obviously, we can’t allow homes, roads or businesses to be flooded so what is to be done? Sadly, in this instance, authorities decided to remove the lodge and kill the beavers.

Even more sadly, this particular dam did not threaten any structures, as the dam was only one foot high and any resulting overflow would have gone into the nearby culvert.

 The killing of the beavers did not sit well with the humans who had become enamored with the animals from watching their daily activities.

 Sherry, along with co-founder Mary Long, created the Sierra Wildlife Coalition with the purpose of sierrawildlifeserving as champions of wildlife, and particularly beavers.

Ooooh I love a good creation story! I remember the Griff creek beavers especially because Worth A Dam donated our first beaver management scholarship towards fixing the problem and our own Lory went to Tahoe to educate support. Ahh memories. Seems like yesterday.


Sherry and Ted Guzzi in their native habitat.

Go read the whole thing which ends with a touching poem by Mary’s daughter. SWC under Sherry’s leadership has done outstanding beaver work, with Ted installing flow devices, teams exhibiting and educating at events, and all making sure beaver decisions are made with the right information. Sherry just gave her first beaver presentation for the public at Taylor Creek the day before the beaver festival! It was extremely well received and she still managed to drive down and exhibit in Martinez the next morning. Now that’s dedication!

It’s not only in Tahoe where beaver friends are at work. Nearby in Napa they’re busy too.

‘Wild Napa’ lecture series to focus on beavers

The “Wild Napa” lecture series continues this month with a special presentation on beavers. Hosted by the Napa County Resource Conservation District, the event will be held next Wednesday, Sept. 9.

 Coverbrockkateed will be the history and ecology of beavers and how they are helping urban and rural communities across the state to restore watersheds, recover endangered species, and increase climate change resiliency. Brock Doman and Kate Lundquist of the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center will share their research to re-evaluate the historic range of beaver in California, and discuss how you can contribute to the Bring Bakateworkingck the Beaver campaign.

Optional guided tour of the active beaver dams on Napa Creek. To join this tour, meet behind the Firefighter’s Museum at 1201 Main St.

Following the tour, the talk will start at 7 p.m. at The Black and White Collective (enter through Napa Bookmine at 964 Pearl St.). Attendance is free and no registration is needed.

Napa is in for a treat. And Napa beavers should get ready to  have their virtues extolled. I think Rusty and Robin will be there for sure. And Cheryl said she was planning to try and attend. It’s a great opportunity to spread the word and learn about beavers from the folks that are working closely with Fish and Wildlife to nudge our beaver policies forward. Just in case you can’t make it, here’s a nice introduction to Brock, who has a dynamic, biologic and stream oriented speaking style that you just can’t mistake.

Subscribe in iTunes!

Trust us – We know best

Posted by heidi08 On September - 1 - 2015Comments Off on Trust us – We know best

This piebald beaver can be found on occasion in the Putah Creek Nature Park in Winters, in a part of the park untouched by the ongoing restoration project. Alejandro Garcia Rojas/Courtesy photo

Creek project puts pressure on wildlife

As the Putah Creek Nature Park in Winters gears up to finish a decade-long restoration project, locals are voicing concerns over wildlife that call the last stretch of undeveloped land home.

In 2006, the City of Winters initiated a four-phase project to bring life back to the Putah Creek Nature Park. Since then, the project removed a damaged percolation dam and narrowed the channel along 7 out of 8 acres of the park. As the project moves into the final phase, however, locals are voicing concern over the last, untouched stretch of the park which is home to species of beaver and otter.

 While this portion of the creek wasn’t visible before the new, wider pathway was put in during the earlier phases of the project, Hemenway says she’s worried that this final phase will drive away wildlife.

 “We keep being told ‘(the beavers) will be back eventually.’ Well when is that?” Hemenway said, of the city’s response to her concerns.

 “What we’re seeing now are unforeseen benefits from past phases of the project,” Brydolf said.

 Beavers and otters weren’t found prior to the initial channel realignment phase that took place in 2011. Locals such as Caro and Brydolf were hoping the project would be reevaluated in light of the wildlife that have settled in the crook of the creek. Yet at the beginning of the month, they received notice that construction efforts would be pushed forward to the end of June, two months earlier than previously anticipated.

Winters is getting mighty uppity about their creek, and rightfully so. Not only do they have tons of new wildlife, they have a very rare beaver that is making waves from Colorado to Conneticut and beyond.  People are beginning to understand that the “great plan” being implemented for Putah creek might not be all that great. I can’t think why. The city manager is obviously brilliant and very sensitive to the needs of wildlife.

City Manager Donlevy said a main reason for otters and beaver in the area is the improved fish populations.

 Yes, it’s true, John. There’s nothing beavers like better after a hard day at the dam office than a nice fat trout. (I always suspected that herbivore nonsense was a smokescreen.) I’m sure you know best. It’s reassuring to realize how solidly you understand the needs of  wildlife and creeks in undertaking a significant job like this. No wonder you can’t wait to finish. Sigh.


It’s September and this new design was needed. This should hasten fall along, don’t you think?

beaver drop


Excellent Forum for ’em!

Posted by heidi08 On August - 25 - 2015Comments Off on Excellent Forum for ’em!

bb15th Annual Fish and Wildlife Committee Fall Forum

The CCCFWC is who gave the grant this year for our wildlife button activity (The K.E.Y.S.T.O.N.E. Project –Kids Explore! Youth Science Training on Natural Ecosystems). Because I’m never happier than when I think up a good acronym. We haven’t actually received the check yet, I had to send in receipts and a summary after the festival, but I’m sure it’s coming because they just invited me to do a poster session for their Fall Festival, to show off to fish and game  and other folks how cool the event was.

It’s on a night I have to be at the office so I can’t attend, Cheryl says she’ll see if she can go. In the meantime I’ve been working on the poster and thought I’d share it with you. I’m attaching the summary too. I can’t decide between this and an actual 3D collage with our beaver tail and buttons, but I’m thinking an actual graphic that shows them all would be easier for them to manage.


A little bit about the day….

120 Children completed the tail activity, and 60 finished all buttons and the post test. 98% of completed tests show they learned how beavers help other species and parents verbally reported they had a wonderful time doing it. All exhibitors completed the post test too and reports were very positive, with 98% reporting they also learned something by doing it .

I’m attaching some photos of the children with their finished tails and taking the post test with their parents so you can see it was enjoyed!

Thank you again for your support of this wonderful day of learning!

Heidi Perryman, Ph.D.
President & Founder
Worth A Dam

The children’s post tests were my very favorite part of the day. I loved them standing thoughtfully and circling the right answers at my booth. Most of the exhibitors were also very positive about the activity, but one charmer actually wrote in a comment that we should provide the exhibitors water because it was hot that day.  The feedback was anonymous which worked in their favor because otherwise it would have been too much to resist grabbing them by their lapels and saying, “Let me make sure I understand. So in addition to our organizing the event, paying for the insurance, the park, the restrooms, the music, the solar panel, the brochures, the advertising, and renting a U-haul to set everything up for you at 6 am this morning, you’d like us to bring you waters for you because you can’t  plan possibly ahead?”.

Don’t worry. I left that part off the poster.

Across state lines…

Posted by heidi08 On August - 21 - 2015Comments Off on Across state lines…

Slightly better article from Fargo, I’m still wary of these beaver saving efforts.

Activists to again voice opposition to killing beavers in Fargo parks

FARGO — Residents concerned with a plan to kill beavers along the Red River will gather at a Fargo Park Board meeting next week to show support for using non-lethal methods to curb the rodents, which park officials say have been chewing through valuable trees.

Kathleen Keene, a member of a local group of animal advocates, said killing beavers is not a sustainable solution because the dead beavers will be replaced by new ones coming in.

 The Park Board in April approved an agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to cull beavers, citing thousands of dollars worth of damage to trees, particularly in Lemke and Trefoil parks.

 The USDA’s John Paulson said culling methods include a lethal body-gripping trap and another trap that grabs the beaver and pulls it underwater so it drowns.

Such methods are cruel, Keene said.

 “Just think about if your dog was in a trap like that,” she said. “A beaver’s not much different than any other animal.”

Well, yes. They are cruel. But it’s worse than your dog, Kathleen. Because your dog would drown pretty quickly and it will take a beaver upwards of 15 minutes of suffering to die. Kathleen started the online petition that garnered 58,000 signatures. Remarkable enough that Fargo slowed its grinding wheels of beaver killing.

I’m still a little uneasy with this HS advocate.

Dave Pauli, a senior director for wildlife response at the Humane Society of the U.S., is expected to give a presentation to the Park Board at 11 a.m. on Wednesday at 701 Main Ave. on ways to control beaver populations. Keene said she and like-minded people plan to attend the meeting.

 In an interview, Pauli said non-lethal methods are more sustainable than lethal ones.

 “The Red River is a challenge because no matter what happens to the beavers, there’s gonna be more beavers,” he said. “It’s a flashing vacancy sign if they just remove beavers constantly.”

 Non-lethal methods include protecting trees with fences and special paint, or by regulating noise and water factors. There is also beaver birth control.

To be honest, way back in 2007, we spent a great deal of time on the subcommittee worrying about the issue of birth control. The Humane Society recommended immuno-contraception and that charming harrigan that advised city staff recommended killing the father so that the mother would be forced to wait until her sons grew up to breed. The looming population explosion was much on my mind during those days.

But the truth we found was, population growth was NEVER an issue.

Since beavers leave to seek their own territory at 2 we’ve only had the one family. And in 8 years with 24 beavers born in our creek, our resident population has never exceeded 9. Not to mention that out of 24 live births, we’ve had 12 deaths over the years. That’s 50% mortality not counting mom. Someone tell that to Mr. Pauli before he starts handing out beaver condoms, okay?


Another escaped beaver, this time in Kentucky. Makes me wonder if he saw the story of little Choppa making a break for it. You know, a copy-cat beaver crime?

Henderson wildlife rehabilitators looking for missing beaver

HENDERSON, KY (WFIE) -Wildlife rehabilitators in Henderson are now offering a reward for information about a missing animal.

 Tyler the beaver from Misfit Island Wildlife Rescue Center disappeared.

The couple who runs the rescue say with help from donations, they’re now offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to her return.

 Another $250 will be given for her safe return.

Hmm, who do we know in Kentucky? Ian was on summer vacation, but I’m sure he wouldn’t take a beaver with him back to Cal Arts, right?


Beaver fever: Unique collection may set world record


Bill and Shirley Niese are pictured with a portion of Bill’s beaver-related item collection. More than 700 pieces of the collection will be counted at 11 a.m. Saturday in the Farm and Home Building at the Decatur County Fairgrounds during Greensburg’s annual Power of the Past antique farm machinery show. The Nieses believe the collection is the largest of its kind in the world.

Bill started collecting beavers after his Silver Beaver Award from the boy scouts. They just kept coming.  Now they’re couple is off to the Indianna county fairgrounds for an official counting to see it their collection of beaver items can qualify in the Guinness book of World Records.

To which I say good luck and, um, just 700?