Archive for the ‘City Reports’ 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!


Because why not Blame the Beaver?

Posted by heidi08 On March - 24 - 2017ADD COMMENTS

Oh those crazy beavers with their penchant for sinkholes and collapsed roads! When are they going to stop harassing us with their rodent ways and let us live peacefully. On ALLIGATOR lake.Capture

Beavers the culprit in 30A road collapse

“We’ve always had problems with beavers where we don’t have a bridge,” said Chance Powell, an engineer for Walton County

One of the great mysteries early Thursday morning was solved after it was determined that beavers were the most likely culprit for the sinkhole that has closed Walton County Road 30A near County Road 283.

Beavers? Beavers!

The Walton County Sheriff’s Office received a call just after 5 a.m. Thursday about a sinkhole on 30A at Alligator Lake.

According to County Commissioner Tony Anderson, who was present as county crews began to fill the extensive hole, a GMC pickup was crossing the section of road when the asphalt began to cave in. The vehicle made it across, but the pickup was damaged and the man driving it was taken to Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast with minor injuries, said Walton County Public Works Manager Wilmer Stafford.

“The water that flows under the road became too heavy on one side and caused it to fall in,” said Stafford, who also was at the scene later in the morning.

 The section of CR 30A surrounding the collapse site has been closed until the road can be repaired.

On the surface, the hole appears to be about 4 feet wide and takes up three-quarters of the road in front of Alligator Lake. But officials calculate that crew must deal with a much larger area of damage under the road.

But wait, how do the beavers make the sink hole exactly? Are you saying they tunneled under the asphalt to get away from the alligators, or chew holes in the road with their huge incisors, or that maybe the road was stuffed with willow and they ate it? The article is a little vague on the actual mechanics of destruction.  But I’m sure they’re telling the truth, right? People would never blame a rodent for something just to explain away a problem that their carelessness caused in the first place.

I guess it will stay a mystery, like how beavers live near ALLIGATOR lake in the first place.


Come to think of it, maybe they can sign up for the flow device WEBINAR coming soon from our friends at Furbearer Defenders and Cows and Fish. It will be taught by Adrien Nelson and Norine Ambrose and you are ALL invited. It’s a bargain at 5 dollars. Make sure to save your space now.

Learn how to successfully implement flow devices for beaver management in your community with our upcoming webinar, Beaver Flow Devices for Managers.

On April 6, 2017 at 3:30 pm EDT / 1:30 pm MDT / 12:30 pm PDT, Adrian Nelson of The Fur-Bearers, and Norine Ambrose from Cows and Fish will co-host this engaging webinar that will focus on the “whys” and “wheres” of implementing these devices. Managers and supervisors from a range of backgrounds will learn to better understand the applicability of these devices, as well as analyze sites requiring beaver management, and address which type of flow devices are most appropriate. 

Adrian will walk through the different types of devices, and how to make each one successful, as well as various obstacles and needs that may need to be addressed before deployment. The presentation will also touch briefly on ordering and supplies to ensure teams have the right materials for success.

Norine will tell participants of her first-hand experience in learning about and installing these devices in Alberta, and let participants know about the broader beaver collaborative work on education, social science, and management Cows and Fish is involved with the Miistakis Institute, local partners, and support from The Fur-Bearers.

Participants will come away with a better understanding of flow devices, but more importantly why they are useful to successfully co-exist with beavers. A question and answer period will follow.

I actually didn’t know these good folks knew each other, so I might watch just to learn more about their interaction. We will definitely learn things!

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!


Baker City Goodies

Posted by heidi08 On March - 6 - 2017Comments Off on Baker City Goodies

Baker City Oregon is in the upper right hand corner of the state on the Powder river, which flows into the Snake river. Like Martinez it was settled early when the Short line railroad made it a stop, and is the county seat. By 1900 it was THE stop between Salt Lake City and Portland. It’s Main street looks eerily similar to ours. It even had a large Catholic population and has Cathedral because of it. Let’s think of them as a ‘sister city’.

Baker has a smaller population now than Martinez, and hasn’t sprawled like we did. Probably because it’s bordered by the Wallowa mountains that don’t take kindly to freeways. As luck would have it, that means it isn’t too far from famed USFS District Hysuzannedrologist Dr. Suzanne Fouty. Who happened to get very interested because there were some urban beaver sightings reported in this historic town.

Suzanne contacted me this weekend because she wants to use my talk to help teachers get on board with a student project that would let the children “adopt” the beavers, learn about them and sand paint trees etc. We had a nice conversation about her wish to get folks as interested and excited about the beavers as they were in Martinez.  I can’t think of a more magical combination for success than an interested hydrologist, some enthusiastic teachers and an army of child guardians. Can you? Then I found this article and realized the whole thing was already a done deal – with a sympathetic press to boot.


Beavers in Baker City

Homeowners along Powder River are learning to protect their trees from the nocturnal animals. Larry Pearson sacrificed a healthy quaking aspen last summer to their insatiable incisors, but he bears no real grudge against beavers.

“Personally I like seeing them around,” said Pearson, who has livedfor 33 years in a home beside the Powder River in north Baker City. Well, not exactly “seeing.” Pearson has seen several beavers outside the city limits, but he’s not yet spotted one of the rotund rodents near his home on Grandview Drive.

That’s to be expected, given that beavers are largely nocturnal. “I can tell when they’ve been in my yard, though,” Pearson said. Even when the animals don’t leave blatant evidence – it’s pretty hard not to notice when a 14-inch-diameter aspen in your backyard has been gnawed down – Pearson said he can usually find the muddy patch in his grass where the beavers climbed from the river’s bank.

Fortunately, protecting trees from beavers is no great ordeal, Pearson said.

“You have to put wire fencing around virtually everything,” he said.

A homeowner whose tree was chopped down by an unexpected beaver and his first comment to the press is “wire wrap it!” Have I fallen asleep? Am I dreaming? IMAGINE if the Contra Costa Times or the Gazette had a section about how to protect trees from beavers. Whoa, I’m getting dizzy, I need to sit down.

That’s what the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) recommends as well, in its “Living With Wildlife” pamphlet, which is available online at

Actually, landowners have a few options with beaver-proofing, said Brian Ratliff, a wildlife biologist at the ODFW office in Baker City. Wrapping tree trunks with metal flashing is effective, he said.You can also use welded wire fencing, hardware cloth, or multiple layers of chicken wire.

Regardless of the material, you should wrap the tree to a height of at least 4 feet, Ratliff said.

“When beavers stand on their tails they can reach pretty high,” he said. If you choose chicken wire or fencing, you should leave a 6- to 12-inch space between the cage and the tree trunk, because beavers might try to wedge their teeth through gaps in the wire to get at the tree (this isn’t a problem, obviously, with metal flashing).

You should also reinforce the cage with rebar stakes or other supports, as beavers, which average 40 pounds at adulthood, are capable of collapsing flimsy wire barriers. To protect a large area rather than individual trees, ODFW recommends building a fence, at least 4-feet high, made of welded wire fence or other sturdy material (chicken wire is too flimsy).

I like to think of myself as a generous woman who only wants the best for others. But sometimes, when I read an article like THIS published a full 10 months before Suzanne even got interested and involved, before the school children even circled the wagons, or the town pushed back, I get crazy JEALOUS.

Some people have all the luck!

Baker city, you have started the footrace with a 10-mile lead. Already your papers are sympathetic and your affected citizens are cool-headed. You have interested scientists inches away that will help you move forward. And you of course, have us in your corner. With all the help you could possibly ask for.

I believe, Baker City, if you can’t save these beavers, no one can.

Pearson said he didn’t notice any signs of beaver activity on his property until a few years ago.That coincides with ODFW’s experience, Ratliff said. “In the past two years or so we’ve started to get more reports about beavers, and to see more signs of their presence here in town,” he said.That’s not especially surprising, Ratliff said.

Beavers live along the Powder River both upstream and downstream from Baker City.

“Beavers are very good at migrating both overland and along waterways,” he said. “And the Powder River in Baker City is pretty good habitat for them, minus the fact that it’s through town.”The river’s relatively flat gradient and low velocity are ideal for beavers, Ratliff said. (One reason the animals build the dams for which they are renowned is to slow fast-moving streams; deep ponds protect beavers from predators, and give the animals underwater entrances to their dens in the stream bank.)

Ratliff said it’s not clear why beavers have only recently colonized the river through town in significant numbers. His theory is that the beaver population in the river outside the city limits has grown enough that young beavers are dispersing to less-crowded habitat.

In any case, Ratliff believes beavers can co-exist, in relative harmony, with people.

For one thing, beavers don’t as a rule stray far from the river; they’re not going to start gnawing at your home’s siding, for instance.When, as in Pearson’s case, beavers do munch on trees on private property, the solution – wrapping or fencing trees – is neither complicated nor especially costly.

“It’s really a neat opportunity to have urban wildlife,” Ratliff said.

Pearson agrees. He would, though, prefer that private property owners have more flexibility in dealing with beavers that cause damage. City ordinances prohibit residents from trapping or shooting beavers. State law prohibits residents from live-trapping beavers and moving them elsewhere.

Okay, now things are going to get REALLY unbelievable. Are you sitting down? I just want you to be ready for the shock, because it could trigger a heart attack or something. Take a deep breath, and think of it as a Disney movie. Sweet and a little too idyllic to believe. Ready?

Tom Fisk, the city’s street supervisor, said workers have had to move several beaver-chewed trees that fell across the Adler Parkway over the past few years.Crews used to haul the trees away, but recently they’ve just sawed the tree into chunks and spread the pieces along the river’s bank.

“We figured if we took away the tree the beavers would just take down another one,” Fisk said.

“It hasn’t been such a big problem that we’re looking at other options,” he said.Protecting trees with fencing, for instance, would hardly be practical, considering the river runs for more than two miles through town.

“There’s a lot of trees,” Fisk said.


What kind of groovy, laid back, reasonable town administrator says ‘well, there’s a lot of trees?’ Here in Martinez we held their feet to the fire for 10 years, were on fricking national news and on TV in the UK and our city manager is STILL ripping out the willow stakes we plant because he doesn’t want to encourage them.

Dear Suzanne, something tells me you’re going to do just FINE on this project. Baker’s going to celebrate beavers, children are going to learn and classrooms are going to thrive. Your creek will be filled with otters, frogs and heron. And heyy, maybe a Baker Beaver Festival is in your future soon?

making an armybeaver army

Happy Mistakes

Posted by heidi08 On March - 2 - 2017Comments Off on Happy Mistakes

One of the artists who donated to the silent auction (Sara Aycock) sent tiny little business cards that were SO adorable I had to go see about designing our own. Turns out they are ‘mini’ cards designed by MOO, about half the size of a regular card. Right now you can design 100 for under 20 and chose a different back design for EVERY ONE. I ordered the cheapest kind just to see if I liked them.

cards So I picked four different designs with three each of Cheryl’s great photos on the back. They arrived yesterday and were AMAZING – but there was a mistake on the logo. I wrote them and they’re reissuing for free. Which means we have 100 adorable unusable business cards to use as an art project. Hmmm…

Now I’ve been trying to think up our Earth day art project and hadn’t yet hit on an inspiration. It’s the beavers 10th anniversary in Martinez and I wanted it to be special. But of course not too complicated for kids and volunteers and not to previewexpensive for us. And nothing we’ve already done before. I already came up with a giant card folks can sign wishing them Happy Anniversary. Wasn’t there something that could be done with these perfect little photos?

LOCKETS!!! Little photos of things you love go in LOCKETS!!! A little locket kids make themselves…and can wear on a string around their necks at the event so everyone can see them. One side could be a photo of our most beloved beavers (beautifully printed on card stock from my failed cards), and the other side should be a photo of something that represents Martinez….since the two are “Married” forever more…..

Beavers and Martinez…hmmm…(You know I considered a photo of the mayor just because I’m troublesome that way)….but I really wanted something more wholesome.

Something that represents Martinez…and it’s for an Earth day celebration at John Muir’s House….and he’s the greatest conservationist and beavers have been called the original conservationists….I think we have  a match made in heaven!16938893_10208977203533577_6242861908722332437_n

earthday locket

We even have all the supplies left over from other art projects! Glue sticks, scissors, card stock, string, and lovely keys to your heart. I’m so excited I’m wearing mine right now. This is the perfect way to say “Happy Anniversary” to our beavers. And its all because of a lucky mistake.

Which the beavers kind of are anyway.



Beavers to the Rescue?

Posted by heidi08 On February - 27 - 2017Comments Off on Beavers to the Rescue?

Right before the glorious beaver conference, this article appeared discussing the benefits that beavers provide to manage flooding. It stars Derek Gow who was one of the headliners in Oregon’s first days. It’s pretty hard to argue with solutions that promise to save you laying sandbags. Even the fisherman hate to clean up after flooding, I bet.

Wild beavers could be brought in to stop flooding in the Forest of Dean

Beavers could make a return to the wilds of Gloucestershire for the first time in hund of years to help environmentalists stop a village flooding. The Forestry Commission are considering releasing the large toothed animals into a brook above Lydbrook in the Forest of Dean as part of efforts to protect the village which was badly flooded in 2012.

Trials have shown that beavers can create dams capable of retaining about 1,000 tonnes of water which would otherwise cascade down to villages like Lydbrook which runs along a natural valley leading down from the Forest of Dean to the River Wye.

As well as holding back water, the beavers are also said to increase biodiversity in woodland areas with some claiming their activities can help many rare species thrive.

Forestry Commission chiefs have invited expert Derek Gow to tell residents in Upper Lydbrook and Lydbrook how experts believe putting beavers into Greathough Brook in the Forest could help halt water gushing down the hillsides.

Mr Gow told the Financial Times: “For years, the whole idea of reintroducing beavers has been bogged down by myth and nonsense. It’s not as though we are looking at reintroducing a Tyrannosaurus rex that eats children. “People have the idea that because beavers have huge teeth they chop their way through forests like furry chainsaws, but they’re a creative, not a destructive, force.

“They open up the river banks to many other species: plants, butterflies, beetles, amphibians and fish. These are the building blocks of life, the species that support others.”

“Beavers have been managing water for millions of years; they’re adapted to do a far better job than us,” he said. “We can no longer pay to maintain flood walls and flood defences so beavers are a rational option when it comes to water management and flood control.”

There has been a proliferation of plants, butterflies, dragonflies, frogs birds and Devon Wildlife Trust say the only wild colony allowed in England has encouraged tourists to flock to the area to see them.

Newly elected Lydbrook councillor Sid Phelps supports the idea of putting beavers in the brook which runs down to Lydbrook and said: “They have not been wild in the UK for hundreds of years but I understand that they can support the ecology and wildlife of an area and are very effective at alleviating the fast flow of water which can lead to flash flooding.

“I’m not an expert on hydrology but I’m very interested to hear what the Forestry Commission have to say about what it would mean for Lydbrook.”

Residents have been invited to a meeting at Lydbrook Memorial Hall on March 9 2017 at 6.30pm. Officials at Forestry Commission declined to comment or give details of the scheme saying they wanted to talk to local residents and parish councillors first.

The paper is already  in your favor, Mr. Gow. I suspect the townspeople to be at least open-minded to your suggestions. I, of course, get nervous about promising beavers can slow down floods because, despite what the engineering report told Martinez a decade ago, dams aren’t concrete and they function best when helped by many many other dams dotted along the stream. Which reintroduced beavers won’t have after 500 years. They still washout and need to be rebuilt after the water settles. Which could all take enough time to inconvenience a homeowner.

(In fact one of the talks I eavesdropped on at the conference was by Vanessa Petro from Oregon State University talking about their research on beaver relocations. She observed that “beaver dams were ephemeral” and in dynamic areas like Oregon were shown only to last around 2 years.)

Hmmm 2 years? Alhambra Creek is a pretty flashy stream, and our own primary dam washed out frequently but was rebuilt religiously for 6 years. The secondary dam (which became the primary) was rebuilt for 8 years. I wouldn’t classify either of them as ephemeral.  I asked Vanessa whether her study addressed the washout and rebuild of dams, or just classified all washed dams as ‘ephemeral’.  She said that their data did not cover the history of the dam or its destruction and rebuild, which is what I suspected.

Beaver dams are ‘ephemeral’ in the same way that mowing lawns is ephemeral. The work done has to be repeated over and over for long term effect.

Which still is no guarantee that rebuilt dams will necessarily prevent flooding. But, (to quote the famous-chicken-soup offering-Jewish-mother) “It can’t hurt“. I wish Derek every luck at his upcoming talk, and am so sorry I had to miss him this year.  In the end, it’s kind of like cleaning your room because you are looking for a misplaced 20. There’s no guarantee you’ll find the missing cash, but I really don’t think there’s a bad reason to clean your room or re-introduce beavers.

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.