I won’t force you to read this story with a soundtrack, but, (and I can’t stress this enough) you REALLY should.
It took less than three days for the Shoreline School District to capitulate to the moms and kids. The order had gone out to trap a beaver that had arrived at Brookside Elementary in Lake Forest Park.
On Monday, a sign from a firm called Northwest Nuisance Wildlife Control was placed at the creek bordering the school:
“FOR YOUR SAFETY PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH THE TRAPS.”
Left unsaid was that the trapped beaver likely would have been killed, with a shot to the head, as the state doesn’t encourage relocation. Relocated beavers have a poor chance of surviving.
On Wednesday afternoon, the district backtracked with this mass email:
“The traps are being removed from the area. The District will be researching viable approaches to manage this situation. We appreciate community support and insights we have received this week.”
Ohhh yeah! Martinez knows that victory comes when children carry signs and moms write letters. Hurray for Lake Forest Park and the heroes of Brookside elementary! And one mom in particular:
Meet Jenny Muilenburg, librarian at the University of Washington and mother to kids attending Brookside. On Monday morning, returning from a swim team practice, she saw the sign right across the road from her home. Peering from the edge of the road, she saw the metal traps.
This is how protests begin these days.
You take a smartphone picture of that sign. You post on Facebook. You send out news tips to media outlets. You email, then have a phone conversation with the Lake Forest Park Stewardship Foundation.
Its president, Jean Reid, then pays a personal visit Tuesday to City Hall, which is surprised to hear about the traps. Pressure on the school district mounts.
Muilenburg writes, “Like many schools in the area, the school teaches environmental education, and each year releases salmon into the stream abutting the property … The kids love the beaver …
“Can someone help us figure out why, when local and state governments and nonprofits and volunteers are all working year-round to improve our waterways and greenspaces to encourage wildlife, that a nondestructive, harmless animal that provides a learning opportunity for children and adults alike must be removed?”
By Tuesday, neighborhood kids put up signs by the creek: “We love our beaver.” “Save the beaver!”
Joey Eck, 8, decides the beaver’s name is “Billy.”
Free Willy, Free Billy.
Game. Set. Match.
Someone bring that woman a margarita because she deserves a little treat this weekend. Involving children always makes the difference, and living near the beavers and showing photos to the media doesn’t hurt either! I tracked Jenny down at the university and emailed her a ton of info when the article originally aired. She never wrote back but I’m going to assume it helped.
Now you just might want to click play on that video again for this story. Just sayin’
BEND, Ore. – Exploring along the banks of the Deschutes River is usually a placid, familiar activity for locals and visitors alike. But two men, from Bend and Redmond, ended up seeking rescuers’ help Thursday evening when they climbed to the wrong spot – a beaver dam – got attacked by a protective beaver and fell into the water, authorities said.
The caller told dispatchers that Clayton Mitchell, 23, of Bend, had walked to his property from upriver and said he and his friend, John Bailey, 31, of Redmond, had been attacked by a beaver.
He reported his friend last was seen in the water, trapped amid some submerged logs, said Sgt. Bailey (who the department noted is not related to the Redmond man)
Sgt. Bailey said an investigation found the two men were exploring along the river when they climbed onto a beaver dam when they were “attacked by a beaver protecting his/her dam and both subjects fell into the Deschutes River.”
“Mitchell was able to immediately climb out of the water, but Bailey was caught on some logs by his clothing,” the sergeant said. “Bailey eventually was able to climb out of the water as the first deputy arrived at the location.”
The story was of course picked up by the AP and is running absolutely everywhere, but no one has managed to explain to me whether the hikers were walking on the dam or the lodge, and what exactly constituted the “attack”. I wish I was hired as an attorney for the defense. Near as I can tell these hikers got scared by the beaver approaching, fell into the water and got poked by some sticks from the dam.
Which, as far as I’m concerned, serves them right. Because I hate when humans walk on the dam.