Apologies in advance for using google translate but my Swedish is -er- rusty. Yesterday I received an email for the owner of an ecotour company in Sweden asking me what the best beaver tours were in the west. Could I recommend some for his itinerary through the western states? I politely explained that I had friends dotted around that could show him local colonies but as far as I knew there were NO professional tours in the US. He was surprised and said that there were at least 20 in Sweden!
It took a while to catch our breaths again after the hearty chuckle to think that of the day when California (about the same size as Sweden) sported 20 professional beaver tours. (That would be like four in the bay area alone!) I, of course, went to check out his website.
The tour runs 5 hours and costs around 150 dollars per person. It is lead by strapping young wildlife guides who know what to look for and are wonderfully fluent. The tour includes an outdoor meal by the lake and advice on how to get the best photographs. Their website says that beavers are seen most nights and often feed near the boat.
Just like a visit to the footbridge in Martinez except fewer homeless and 150 dollars a head.
Marcus thought it odd that there were no tour programs and suggested he might be able to help us start one? Just our luck because we’re such fools in Martinez we’ve been giving free tours to 500 people a year at the festival and on call when we could have been making top dollar! (500 x 150 x 10) adds up to nearly a million dollars!
Certainly we know in Martinez that folks are interested in Beavers and appreciate the chance to see them or see evidence of them. Jon could tell you how eagerly folks listen to his many tours and crowd for a chance to see a chewed tree or dam. Maybe there is a future for us in beaver tourism? Ahh Marcus, you have made us dream of the possible and reach for the stars! Thanks for that!
Speaking of glimpses of rare wildlife I was particularly moved by this short celebration of reintroducing fishers on Mt. Rainier tribal land this Saturday. Fishers were all trapped out like beavers for their rich fur and hadn’t been seen in hundreds of years. We know from our beaver mileage that sometimes the easiest way to get around the feds and bring back a species is to just do it on sovereign land where federal rules have no jurisdiction. Then wait for the successful animals to reintroduce themselves over the borders.