Archive for the ‘Environmental’ Category

Rolig bäver skämt!

Posted by heidi08 On December - 6 - 2016ADD COMMENTS

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!

calvin-and-hobbes-laughIt 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.

captureThe1 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 thcapturee 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!

calvin-and-hobbes-laughCertainly 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.

Surrounded by riches and treasures

Posted by heidi08 On December - 5 - 2016ADD COMMENTS

It’s Monday, you have tons of Christmas wrapping and decorating to do, so you need this. Really.

cutest-kit-ever

Back when famed wildlife photographer was photographing our ill-fated baby beavers, she would Suzi at workhave to leave occasionally to go to Washington where Sarvey rehab facility had a very small baby beaver that she needed to include with the photos for the beaver story for Ranger Rick. I remember because in the beginning she talked about filming him in a ghillie suit because he shouldn’t learn to trust humans. The timing is right and I think this little guy was it.

Never A Dull Bling

I work at Sarvey Wildlife Care Center, a rescue and rehab facility for wildlife.

In May 2015, this baby beaver was discovered by some campers.  He was without his mother and too young to survive on his own, so the campers brought him to us.  We actually already had a female beaver with us who was rehabbing from an animal attack, and the two beavers were eventually put together.  The older female became a surrogate to the baby male. The two beavers spent a year with us.  This past spring they were both released, together, in a secluded area with lots of access to trees, water, and natural habitat.

Beavers play a crucial role in biodiversity.  Many species rely on beaver-created habitat, and a lot of these species who rely on beavers are threatened or endangered.  This year, the baby American beaver was made Patient of the Year at Sarvey. Ornaments and cards were made to celebrate this particular animal.

BENEFITS OF BEAVER PONDS

  • Decrease damaging floods
  • Recharge drinking water aquifers
  • Remove pollutants from surface and ground water
  • Drought protection
  • Decreased erosion

Sarvey does excellent rehab work and has earned a reputation throughout the world for their wildlife care. Aside from having the very cutest kit photo I have ever seen, they understand why beavers matter, which isn’t always the case. If you want to send them some love donate here because they deserve it.

Now there’s something that I’m even more excited to talk about. It’s an article in the very respected magazine Natural History that a beaver buddy alerted me to yesterday. The article is by Katy Spence and she obviously  spent some quality time with our beaver friends in Alberta with Dr. Glynnis Hood and Lorne Fitch of Cows and Fish. You can’t believe how great this article is. Guess what the title is. Go ahead, guess.

hydroDing! Ding! Ding! That’s the title I have been waiting for a decade to read! Somebody give Katy a Worth A Dam t shirt! Unfortunately the very impressive article isn’t online and doesn’t want to be shared with the likes of people who haven’t purchased a subscription, so it required stealth to obtain and sharing it with you requires stealth as well. I figured I’d put the cute baby photo on the top and all the copyright police would walk on by saying ohh, just some cute animal loving website; nothing to see here, move along.

Are they gone? Shhh. It starts with the account of Pierre Buldoc, who wanted to use beaver on is private land.

Sometimes called “nature’s engineers,” the North American beaver (Castor canadensis) is one of the few mammals — including humans — that substantially alters the landscape to suit its own needs. In fact, ecologists consider beavers to be a keystone species because their presence or absence will drastically change an ecosystem. With increasingly extreme weather events, ever-growing human populations, and declining freshwater sources, some beaver advocates believe the animals offer a vital, natural solution for retaining water in ponds and mitigating floods in other riparian ecosystems.

When Bolduc first proposed reintroducing beavers to the landscape, his neighbors — not to mention county officials — were not happy. Beavers had previously clogged a nearby culvert, which, in turn, often washed out the road. They were a nuisance, so the county removed them. Property values, crops, and roads in many rural areas have suffered damage from beaver construction sites. Sometimes, the territorial rodents will cut a favorite tree or even kill curious pets.

Yet, the rodents have had a tremendous impact on Bolduc’s pond. After approaching each of his neighbors individually about the beavers to convince them to try his reintroduction experiment, they eventually agreed. He even suggested an alternate solution for the county road: beaver-proof culverts. Unlike standard culverts, which run parallel to the water, these culverts are perpendicular — letting water rise into them like a straw in a glass. If the water gets high enough, it will drain through a connected horizontal pipe that runs underneath the road, preventing floods. Even when the beavers’ dam breached in May 2016 and drained hundreds of thousands of gallons of water, the culvert prevented a flood.

As climate change increases the risk of extreme weather events, some scientists are eyeing beavers as a tool for maintaining volatile watersheds. In 2008, Glynnis Hood, an environmental scientist at the University of Alberta-Augustana who specializes in wetland ecology and the impact of beavers, published a paper describing beavers’ unprecedented ability to mitigate drought. She and her team analyzed fifty-four years of drought data from Elk Island National Park in Alberta and found that where beaver dams were present, there was more water-up to nine times that of a pond or water source without beavers. Because beaver ponds are so much deeper than other ponds, water lasts longer, even in times of drought.

Hood has continued to examine the nuanced effect beavers have on a landscape, as well as how humans respond to them. She’s completing a study that compares costs of different beaver management efforts. The study will contribute to a larger project, called Leave it to Beavers, which aims to reduce human-beaver conflict. The Alberta-based, inter-agency effort uses citizen science to gather information about the long-term effects beavers can have on a landscape. The project is composed of several agencies, including the Alberta Riparian Habitat Management Society, a non-government agency informally known as “Cows and Fish.” Cows and Fish works with landowners and stakeholders to clarify how water flows through different landscapes, especially agricultural areas.

A riparian specialist for Cows and Fish, Lome Fitch, is trying to spark discussions about living with beavers. He offers a voluntary workshop on how beavers affect the landscape and how humans can peacefully coexist with them. He isn’t interested in pushing people to accept beavers, necessarily. He’s simply holding the door open. “You don’t bring people to the middle,” Fitch said. “You just start them thinking about where their position is and, hopefully, use that and expand their information sources. Maybe they’ll continue to migrate towards the middle.”

Fitch developed a ten-step list of goals, the first of which is building tolerance. Perhaps the most formidable step will be to change government policy in Alberta. The province has no clear policy concerning beavers, leaving confusion over what is permitted and what is not when it comes to relocation and rehabilitation.

The article goes into a full description of flow devices and how they work, and talks about how Glynnis and her students are using them effectively and teaching others how to use them. It even talks about how polarizing beavers are, Rachel Haddock of the Miitakis Institute calls them the ‘Wolves of the watershed’ because people either love them or hate them. Ahh! Sounds familiar!

Then it ends on this POWERFUL note.

If people are willing to compromise with beavers now, the result could be a new narrative in which humans and wildlife co-engineer a healthier, more resilient landscape. The big unknown is whether or not we can move past old assumptions.

That sure is the big unknown alright. But wowowow! What a fantastically public place to put this out there. We can only hope it gets read and circulated in all the right places. Lets hope someone leaves it on the governor’s desk right away. And decorates the halls of congress with it. And forces everyone waiting in line trying to get a depredation permit to read it. And if, btw,  you work somewhere someone needs to read it email me, and we’ll see what we can do.

 

Umwelt und Bieber

Posted by heidi08 On December - 4 - 2016ADD COMMENTS

captureThis is a really fun article written by grad student Kathleen Onorevole for UNC-CH Marine Sciences Graduate Student Blog. She writes very intelligently about a dissertation being dramatically changed by some stubborn beaver activity in Huntley Meadows in VA. (Where our good friend Ann Cameron Siegal has been photographing for years.)

What this author doesn’t suspect is that dissertations were also changed by beaver activity for Dr. Glynnis Hood (who was trying to research drought when beaver ponds kept ruining her data), Dr. Suzanne Fouty (who had a nice hydrology study arranged which beavers ruined),  Dr. Michael Pollock (whose salmon research was ‘falsely’ inflated by beavers and recently for Dr. Arthur Gold who was just trying to research Nitrogen when beavers kept moving in and messing up his study.

I’m not an grad student, so I don’t know the fancy German word for it. I just say: beavers change things. It’s what they do.

Maybe Kathleen thinks this has never happened before. We could show her many times where smart researchers either hop on the beaver train, or get off the tracks. Right? This is a fun article and I plan on quoting her heavily! You should go read the whole thing, though. It’s well worth it.

When Animals Take Over (Restoration Projects)

beaver face ann

Beaver at Huntley meadows: Ann Siegal

Most productivity gurus say that when you hit a wall, you should switch tasks.  This is how I ended up reading a paper about beavers who managed to hijack a wetland restoration for their benefit.  So congratulations!  You’re in the right place to learn some fancy philosophy terms and think about wetlands from a whooole new perspective.

The wetland in question is Huntley Meadows Park, a Fairfax County Park in Alexandria, VA, just south of DC.  The 1500-acre park is surrounded by a busy metropolitan area and bordered by I-95, but you wouldn’t know it from the photos.  .  In the early 1990s, restoration plans began, prompted by a decrease in rare bird sightings coupled with the realization that intervention was necessary to maintain a functional wetland.  This is where the beavers come in.

This was news to me, I knew something about the history of Huntley Meadows and have even met the former beaver director there, who’s now the director of Laguna de Santa Rosa. But I didn’t know that a dissertation was done on HM by Dr. Gwendolin McCrea. And I didn’t know this term, which fascinates me:

 The second idea is umwelt, an animal’s view of the external world.  Umwelt strikes me as the framework that makes stories like Watership Down possible: animals are assumed to have narratives of sort as they respond to and navigate the world on their own terms, unaware of human motivations.

Suffice it to say that the beaver umwelt vision of the park was different than the park planners with their charts and research. They wanted a path to go here and the wetlands here, and you know what beavers wanted.

beaver back ann

Beaver from the back: Ann Siegal

Maybe the solution is to kill all the beavers?  Nope, park visitors like them and would not be happy.  Huntley Meadows also couldn’t outsource them to other local wetlands, who already had their own beaver communities.    This brought up a catch-22: the beavers had been partially responsible for people’s attraction to the park, but the wetland couldn’t persist with the beavers present.  The solution, it turned out, was to “manage beaver behavior without managing the beavers themselves.”  A team from Clemson University developed a pipe system that dispersed water flow, lessening the environmental stimulus that would normally prompt beavers to create dams.  As McCrea explains, the pipes accounted for the beavers’ umwelt– and exploited it.  One problem solved!  The beavers could continue to live in Huntley Meadows, building fewer dams and therefore not damning the wetland.

Yes, so they installed a flow device. And it altered the beaver effect enough that the park could exist and the beavers exist. I guess in Virginia it is worth a dissertation, but sheesh, it happens all the time. It even happened in Martinez.  That’s no reason to start using German words to describe it.

So humans were the power brokers in that scenario, but the tables were about to turn.  When planners were designing observation trails, they identified a key value of the dispositif: visitors loved watching the beavers putter around, meaning that the beavers had to be visible for those people to continue visiting.  This led to restoration elements designed just for the beavers, including a dam [SHE MEANS LODGE]  that encroached on the boardwalk and a stand of trees that was fenced on a rotating basis.  In McCrea’s words, the accommodations “enroll[ed] the beavers themselves as an element of the governing dispositif directed toward the creation of environmental subjects.”  Translation: the beavers were calling the shots now.

I have to say I like the idea of protecting a stand of trees on a rotating basis so that the public can see the chewing but the park can keep some trees.  I like the idea that people’s interest in beavers shaped public planning, and ahem, can we think of where else that happened?

The author is not totally sold on the idea of not killing all the beavers but she thinks it’s interesting. She ends with a reference to the dissertation.  Do you think we’re in the reference section? Bob Kobres is their anyway you can find me a copy?

McCrea, Gwendolin. 2016. Castor canadensis and urban wetland governance- Fairfax County, VA case study. Urban Forestry and Urban Greening 19: 306-314.

Final thoughts? The stated point of Huntley Meadows was to promote biodiversity. And the planners were worried that the beavers were going to ruin that. Ahem.

pyramid

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Giving to Beavers

Posted by heidi08 On November - 30 - 2016Comments Off on Giving to Beavers

Yesterday was giving Tuesday, and Worth A Dam received another donation from Jeanette Johnson’s PGE grant, which was awesome. Also in addition to listing various hospice, housing and rescue charities,  beavers were mentioned in the fine article describing all the local charities you can donate too in the upper parts of the state.

North State Giving Tuesday profiles: Know your local nonprofits for Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday is an opportunity for locals to show their support for the nonprofits in their area, and this year’s event is happening on Nov. 29.

Today, the Siskiyou Daily News is running descriptions of Siskiyou County’s nonprofits in their own words so you know what they are all about. Giving Tuesday profiles also ran in the Friday edition of the Daily News.

Scott River Watershed Council

Originally established in 1992, the Scott River Watershed Council became a nonprofit in 2011. We cooperatively seek solutions to enhance local resources and facilitate community collaboration on watershed issues.

SRWC provides leadership to support science-based restoration in Scott Valley. SRWC brings research, education and discussion on natural resource issues to the community, and implements restoration projects based on community and ecosystem needs.

“Where there are beavers, there is water,” says a local rancher. Water has never been more important. Using beavers and Beaver Dam Analogues (BDA) are some of the innovative restoration techniques that Scott River Watershed Council have been utilizing to try and bridge the competing needs for water of wildlife, fish and humans.

California’s first BDAs went in 2014 and ever since then, the interest in this type of restoration tool has been fierce. SRWC needs funds to continue to provide the science to move this technique through the onerous permitting and regulatory process. There has never been a more important time to support efforts, such as this, that will truly help mass areas such as California and beyond.

It is important that California, the West Coast and any region adjusting to climate change, to have tools that will help mitigate the effects, and hopefully ease the negative ramifications. Many, including SRWC, believe beavers and/or BDAs can contribute significant beneficial factors.

A BDA is a added to a stream to function like a beaver dam in the hopes that an actual beaver will be encouraged to try a real dam on site and take over the operatioin. Large trees and other snags help beavers get better footing in flashy streams that haven’t had beaver speed bumps for a century. We are happy not only that their wonderful organization might get financial support, but also that it gets publicity and talked about as a legitimate goal for restoring creeks.

Beaver Good News!

Posted by heidi08 On November - 29 - 2016Comments Off on Beaver Good News!

The rule is, if you’re 20 miles from Mike Callahan and have own a telephone machine, you better at least try co-existing with beavers, or have a dam good explanation why you didn’t. But this story is a delight to read above and beyond the standards.

Buddies with beavers: Quonquont Farm in Whately enjoys its hard-working neighbors

llison Bell, left, and wife Leslie Harris, right, explain how a “beaver deceiver” on Quonquont Farm works on Thursday. Recorder Staff/Andy Castillo

WHATELY — The farmers who own Quonquont Farm and the beavers that live there have a special and rare friendly relationship.

But it wasn’t always like that: “They’ve made a lot of converts,” says Allison Bell, the manager of the almost 100-year-old farm. Bell, who has authored a few books on New England mountain summits for the Appalachian Mountain Club, helps run the farm along with wife, Leslie Harris, and co-owner Ann Barker.

Bell is standing at the headwaters of Dingle Brook, the edge of a small beaver pond — one of several on the farm’s 140 acres — a stone’s throw from a farm store and a few hundred yards from a converted barn used for special events like weddings. Across a narrow path, an apple orchard — Quonquont Farm’s primary crop — stretches up and over a small rise into a sky streaked in pastel hues. It’s a beautiful late-fall evening.

Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016. Recorder Staff/Andy Castillo A beaver on Quonquont Farm in Whately Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016. Recorder Staff/Andy Castillo

Around four years ago, the beavers moved in to stay. Within a short time, they’d dammed up the spring-fed brook, which flows through the property, and created a pond, threatening a blueberry patch. At first, Bell says the farmers panicked; however, after installing a “beaver deceiver” — a drainage system installed by Mike Callahan, who owns Southampton-based Beaver Solutions — water levels receded. The system was funded by a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant and keeps the beaver pond to a specified size.

“It’s been quiet here for a while, but the beavers have made some renovations,” she says, pointing out a mud dam along the shore, noting that the water level has risen about half a foot over the summer — despite the drought. “You can see signs of them. They’re very active, taking down our willows for us. They’re volunteers.”

We love Allison AND this story. Even the names sound like a quaint new england novel about persistant love in the face of overwhelming odds. Quonquont farm in Whately decorated with amber apple orchards in the fall sun. I’m so glad you’re getting this right!

orks on Thursday. Recorder Staff/Andy Castillo Evidence of beavers on Quonquont Farm in Whately, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016. Recorder Staff/Andy Castillo

Over the years, she’s become a subject-matter expert, studying the beavers’ habits with wildlife cameras, which are installed throughout the waterway-network, and researching their behavior norms.

“They’re just the most industrious creatures,” says Harris, who’s touring the “beaver’s domain” along with Bell. “People say ‘busy as beavers’ and they’re not kidding around.”

Suddenly, a small brown head pokes out of the water near the lodge. It’s the oldest: a one-eyed, large beaver that swims with a slight list on the right side and that has a particular taste for apples. Soon, a few others emerge, drifting like wet logs near the middle of the pond.

Usually, the beavers are most active at night; today, however, Bell says they’re curious about the activity on the shore. Bell discovered the beaver’s love for apples because of a well-worn path that led out of one of the ponds to a wild apple tree a few summers ago.

Since then, she’s observed the beavers scurrying out of the water, grabbing a fallen apple, and scurrying back.

“Otherwise, I wouldn’t have known they have a sweet tooth,” she says, pointing out where the path was — leading from the brook, which the beavers dug out into a deep canal.

apple-pastaA decade of extensive research in Martinez has suggested to me ALL beavers have a penchant for apples, its just that some beavers are more inclined to risk their necks for it than others. As you can see beavers are particularly fond of apple peelings.

“We come down every evening and watch them,” Bell says while watching the old beaver come out onto the dam and gnaw on a twig, adding, “it provides a really interesting look into their lives.”

Yes it does! And our own, if you think about it. Your musings really make me think there might be an Allison beaver book in your future, or at least a cup of coffee with author Patti Smith (Beavers of Popple’s Pond) and a discussion of what it’s like to watch beavers.

Now if only Ian Timothy has some friends near this mall in Kentucky, today could be a perfect beaver news day!

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WATB NFU

Posted by heidi08 On November - 27 - 2016Comments Off on WATB NFU

The whiny Scottish farmers have been quick to find the silver lining in Ms. Cunningham’s announcement, which sounds someting like, “Even if we are going to be burdened with beavers, at least we get to kill some of them!”

Robust Management of Beaver Population Essential

Following the long-awaited announcement from Scottish Government about beavers receiving protected status, NFU Scotland insists that proper management of the species is fundamental in order to avoid unacceptable impact on agriculture.

NFU Scotland has made it clear that if the species are to continue to exist in Scotland they must not have an adverse impact on farmland; a view that Scottish Government and a number of other stakeholders share.

In order to ensure that this new species is not having an unacceptable impact there will be a need for monitoring and rapid and pragmatic interventions.“In today’s announcement by the Environment Secretary, she acknowledged the impacts that beavers can have on agriculture, and accepts the need for a fit-for-purpose management regime.

“It is essential that Scottish agriculture is not negatively affected by this decision and its implementation, and NFU Scotland will continue to work with its members who are concerned, and whose land has been impacted by beavers.”

Now, I was surprised as anyone to learn that NFU doesn’t stand for NOT F*CKING UNDERSTANDING, but rather the National Farmer’s Union which apparently read the minister’s fine statement about biodiversity and wetlands and thought it actually said;

I guess Nuance Fails Unbelievably in their guild. The poor tractor drivers are Nearly Fed Up. And will Never Finish Uncelebrating.  But no matter. Beavers are Back, Baby. They will at least be better off than they are now getting shot whenever someone feels like it in the Scottish Wild West. Even if there will be permissible trapping all it really means is that beavers will have the same lousy chance in Scotland as they have anywhere else in this world, so I guess they’ll manage alright. We’re going to let NFU grim spirits dampen our good beaver mood, and besides.

Yesterday was a HISTORIC day for beavers.

meeting enhancedBecause The BEAVERS won the civil war which has not happened since 2007. All those ducks have been greenly sauntering around like they own the place for nearly a decade. It’s high time Orange had something to cheer about. Hey, it occurs to me something else significant happened to beavers in 2007.  I’ll give you a hint. It’s something dam important!

 

Beaver Victorious

Posted by heidi08 On November - 25 - 20162 COMMENTS

thistleYesterday was a RED-LETTER day in beaver fortune, as the ministry of the environment in Scotland finally handed down her judgment on the fate of their beavers. And it was GOOD news!

Beavers to remain in Scotland

 24/11/16 14:59

Species set to receive protection, but will require careful management.The Scottish Government is minded to allow beavers to remain in Scotland, Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham has announced.

Ms Cunningham has said the species will have to be actively managed, in line with practices in other European countries.

Work has now begun to ensure beavers can be added to Scotland’s list of protected species as soon as possible. It will be the first time a mammal has been officially reintroduced to the UK.

Scottish Ministers have agreed that:

  • Beaver populations in Argyll and Tayside can remain
  • The species will receive legal protection, in accordance with the EU Habitats Directive
  • Beavers will be allowed to expand their range naturally
  • Beavers should be actively managed to minimise adverse impacts on farmers and other land owners
  • It will remain an offence for beavers to be released without a licence, punishable by up to 2 years imprisonment and an unlimited fine

“I have been determined to find a pragmatic approach, which balances the biodiversity benefits of reintroducing beavers with the obvious need to limit difficulties for our farmers.

“I want to put on record my appreciation of the efforts of the Scottish Wildlife Trust, NFU Scotland, the Royal Scottish Zoological Society, and Scottish Land and Estates who have worked in partnership to set out a way forward.

“Beavers promote biodiversity by creating new ponds and wetlands, which in turn provide valuable habitats for a wide range of other species.

“We want to realise these biodiversity benefits while limiting adverse impacts on farmers and other land users. This will require careful management.

Management techniques to prevent beaver damage, such as controlling flow through dams, or protecting valuable trees can be carried out without a licence.

More intensive management techniques, up to and including lethal control, are permitted under the Habitats Regulations for specified purposes and subject to there being no other satisfactory solution, and no adverse effect on the conservation status of the species.

The Scottish Government will provide advice and assistance to farmers in understanding their options and helping them implement mitigation and prevention measures.

The truth is, that if I had sat down and written a wish list of things the Scottish government would decide in determining the fate of the beavers, that is about pretty darn close to what I would have written. Beavers get protected status, check. Both the fancy official trial beavers in Argyll and the scrappy free beavers on the river Tay, check. People can use Mike Callahan’s training to install flow devices without a license, check. And farmers will receive education and assistance to manage problem beavers, check. If lethal means are needed they need to get approval √√√√!

Pinch me I’m dreaming!

Ohhh and guess what else? The beaver as been afforded ‘Native Status’ in the country, which it apparently lost after being absent for 5oo years. To which I’m pretty sure a beaver wold reply,
Mighty white of you, indeed” Ahem.

The good news was 1907433_10153301580531388_4434474127587187905_nblasted on the BBC and Guardian yesterday, and I’m sure several whiny farmers had very unhappy afternoons. But our good friends Paul and Louise Ramsay were thrilled, and their beaver group facebook page rang with congratulations far into the night. Paul ran a photo of a special shirt they’re taking orders for, and you might want one I think.

I, of course, had to mark the occasion with my own beaver braveheart FREEDOM speech, which I’m sure is more amusing to Americans than to Scots.

Honestly, this website has been so attentive to the beaver dilemma in Scotland for so long this victory feels personal. All the way back since the days when we were thrilled about the Argyll beaver trial  to the sad day when they decided they were going to catch all the ‘free beavers and put them in zoos’ to the woeful death of Eric in the Edinbur0 zoo, to the great news they were going to stop trapping while they made their decision, to the story of the first secret beaver conference abroad! I got my only strike on youtube for sharing a fantastic video that ran on Nature Nuts there, and made friends with so many of the heroes in this fight. Including professor Lavelle who wrote me yesterday over the moon with the good news!

I can’t believe all the campaigning, letters to MPs and MSPs ‎has finally paid off! Who knew politicians sometimes listen? I am so excited I will not sleep for the next week. This is the best political news of the year. Well, it would be the best news of any year, but given the disasterous year we’ve had this is even more welcome.

Forward brave beavers of Scotland!

Suilin xo

Dr. J. Suilin Lavelle. 
Lecturer, Philosophy, 
University of Edinburgh.

It was our second beaver festival when the children’s parade placed the clay beavers they had made on the map of Scotland, which I had signed by the minister I met when he visited the  John Muir site. It’s touching to see this now and remember how far we’ve all come.

beavers-back-in-scotland