Welcome to the ‘Hood

   Posted by heidi08 On July - 17 - 2014Comments Off

I give up. It’s impossible to prioritize or organize today’s beaver news into  one well-rounded serving. I’m just going to have to lump them together like a very disorganized (but tasty) potluck. Enjoy. Of course I’ll start with what’s most important:

City installs pond system to offset beaver activity

So as part of the city’s Beaver Management Program, two pond leveling devices were installed on July 9 in two beaver dams located near the Augustana Campus by 48th St.

 Two 20 feet long High Density Polyethylene, or HDPE, pipes were installed through the dams to allow water to flow through the ponds. The pipes are placed at a level that will allow water to balance out between the ponds. Each end of the pipe has a cage made from hog fencing to ensure blockage will not occur.

 The devices are the first of their kind to be installed in Camrose.

 “Essentially, it is a piping system that acts like a syphon,” said Glynnis Hood, associate professor in environmental science at the University of Alberta – Augustana Campus, who is spearheading the project.

 “Anytime the water gets above the level of where the pipe is placed in the dam, the syphon system starts to work and keeps the water at a consistent level rather than having the pond flood above its banks,” Hood said.

Hurray for Glynnis and her merry band of [burly] students! Hurray for Camrose and flow devices in Alberta! And Hurray for beavers who will stabilize that stream and improve conditions for fish and birds.

Hood added that her research shows the leveling system will result in significant time and monetary savings because there is less need for ongoing maintenance compared to traditional methods such as a dam removal or beaver trapping.

 Each pond levelling system cost approximately $600 in materials and about $200 for labor.

 Hood said, “It seems like a large initial cost but what we’ve found is that very low maintenance is required thereafter and it makes up for the rental of a backhoe which is about $200 to $300 an hour, not to mention the staffing that goes into it.”

 The new pond leveling system will also allow the ecosystem to thrive as there will be fewer interruptions to the area in the form of dam removals.

 Hood said, “The beavers can stay. They tend to just pack more material on top of the pipe and that actually helps our installation because it protects the pipe even more. These devices are designed to keep the pond intact, albeit at a lower level than beavers probably want them to be.”

Dr. Hood is one of the brightest stars in the beaver firmament. Every time I read about her successful persuasions with science I get a glorious feeling that one day we might actually cross the finish line. In the meantime, we still have some laps to do in our Martinez relay. Audubon enjoyed a very successful field trip last night and we have a festival to plan.

Debossed charms in silverThe brochure is finished (Thanks Amelia!) and the  charms are done (Thanks Mike!). I had a great interview with the CC Times tuesday and we are in Patch today.

Beaver Festival VII Coming Soon to Martinez

The Seventh Annual Beaver Festival in historic downtown Martinez is set for August 2, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Beaver Park, at the corner of Marina Vista and Castro Streets.

Bring the family to this free, unique Bay Area landmark event.

 The Beaver Festival features live music, wildlife exhibits from seven counties, children’s activities and beaver tours.

 Learn how and why every city should co-exist with beavers. The first 100 children earn a Wildbryde charm necklace.

 Everyone will find something special at this one-of-a-kind celebration of local nature and its most famous grassroots civic success story! To learn more about Worth A Dam (MartinezBeavers.org), follow this link.

Thanks Patch! Oh and just in case you wondered about DEFRA, England is still woefully stupid, but their feet are getting closer to the fire. The story was on British TV last night and  in Indian newspapers this morning.

But, don’t worry, the English aren’t always foolish. This, for example, was a brilliant decision.

London Celebrates The Monty Python Reunion By Putting A 50-Foot Dead Parrot In Potters Field Park

Go read the article, it’s that fun.

Oh and today just needs this, I can tell.

Three New Obstacles to DEFRA’s Plan

   Posted by heidi08 On July - 16 - 2014Comments Off


Wild beaver kits born in Devon’s River Otter

 A wild beaver which is due to be taken into captivity has given birth to three young. Two adult beavers, one juvenile and the three young, known as kits, are now believed to be living on the River Otter in Devon.

 The government had said the beavers would be rehomed, as they could be carrying a disease.

 But wildlife campaigners said they hoped to get permission for them to stay. Sightings of the animals in the River Otter were believed to be the first of their kind for centuries.

 What great timing! This whole escapade has a perfectly timed campaign-air to it. First make international news everywhere by getting a farmer to film beavers for the first time in centuries and then – just when DEFRA has argued that they need to be taken to the zoo, release video of the new KITS. Which will go viral very quickly. I can’t embed it but click on the photo to go to the BBC site and see for yourself.

I feel like this could mean something – not for DEFRA obviously because they’re soulless badger killers, but for the public campaign to tie DEFRA’s hands.  If I were an English beaver supporter I’d put this footage EVERYWHERE and install 5 more cameras to get more adorable glimpses into beaver life.

I think at the moment the scoreboard looks like this.


Seems DEFRA hasn’t forgotten it’s sinister lines yet…

The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs said the animals could be carrying a disease “not currently present in the UK”.

 ”We are taking precautionary action by testing the beavers,” a spokesman said.

 ”This will be done with their welfare in mind.”

 He added the department would wait until the kits were a suitable age before testing them.

Birds and Beavers

   Posted by heidi08 On July - 15 - 2014Comments Off

Tomorrow night our own Cheryl and Jon will lead a Golden Gate Audubon “Birds and Beavers” walk. It’s a wonderful way to show off the great relationship between these species, and encourage folks to come back for the beaver festival!

I’m trying to limit my hopes to three things:

  1. They get to see baby-head.
  2. A lovely night heron, egret, kingfisher and and/or green heron
  3. They remember to mention THIS article!

coppice color F

Birds & Beavers in Martinez — FAMILY BIRD WALK
Wednesday July 16, 7 p.m.
Anthony DeCicco, adecicco@goldengateaudubon.org

 This is part of a series of GGAS Summer 2014 bird walks geared to families with children or to more experienced young “junior birders,” and led by our expert Eco-Education staff. Join us as we look for wetland birds near the Martinez Regional Shoreline — such as Green Herons and Belted Kingfishers — on our way to visit the famous beaver dens along Alhambra Creek. We hope to see the beaver kits born this year! Advance RSVP required. For details and directions, please see goldengateaudubon.org/kidsbirdwalks.

Good luck team beaver! And if all this talk of Audubon and research is too lofty for a Tuesday morning, here’s something to appeal more broadly.

VIDEO: here’s Rob Ford as a muppet beaver

For the past little while, Rob Ford–based comedy has been a story of diminishing returns. Late-night hosts have had their fun with the mayor, leaving the wreckage of his term for lesser satirists to pick over. But there’s something about this clip from No, You Shut Up, a Jim Henson Company talk show that airs on American cable TV, that makes us remember what it was like before all this “crack scandal” stuff became as irritating and omnipresent as refrigerator hum. This time, Ford is a muppet beaver being interviewed by comedian Paul F. Tompkins. The beaver’s Ford impression is actually quite good. And that’s all you need to know.

Kits will be kits

   Posted by heidi08 On July - 14 - 20142 COMMENTS

Baby-head made an appearance last night around 8. He came all the way down to the secondary where 4 other beavers were busily mudding repairs on the day’s high tide.

Just in case you can’t see the size difference right a way, here’s a nice side by side comparison of the new kit with a yearling from last year.

My favorite part was when the newbie crossed the secondary into uncharted territory in search of Mom and her apple. Apparently sometimes even mother beavers say “NO”. Or maybe “Get away boy, you bother me” is more accurate.

Love how the baby tries one side, then the other side, then straight for her and she actually swims OVER him to protect her treasure. (00:45)

Oh, and just in case you always wondered. Beavers recycle.

Something for everyone

   Posted by heidi08 On July - 13 - 2014Comments Off

There are around 130 items this year in our biggest ever silent auction at the Beaver Festival. They are from nearly every state and more countries than I can even spell. The list of tickets and admissions is impressive and could keep any family happily busy until next festival! I’m relying on you to become enraptured with our fascinating items and bid generously to support both your own desires and our festival. Thank you soooo much to everyone who donated! And to everyone who’s going to donate.

CaptureJewelry householdhousehold2  paintings_photos books childrenBid sheets are done. Now there’s just display to worry about. And Lory and Marlene’s good cheer. Let’s all bring them an iced coffee, okay?

preparing silent auction

This just in…

   Posted by heidi08 On July - 12 - 2014Comments Off


Marc is far too talented for his own good. The Oakland-based artist has already created an irresistible name for himself. He has donated generously to the silent auction for the second year in a row. Thanks Marc!

But just in case you’re more interested in the the actual stars than this rising star, this came in yesterday as well:
Capture4 (count them FOUR) passes so your family  can reach for the stars and shoot for the moon.  Let’s make a whole army of scientists that also happen to care about beavers!beaver army


Call the WAAmbulance! More beavers hurting fish.

   Posted by heidi08 On July - 11 - 20141 COMMENT

Hermosa Creek restoration to help native cutthroat trout

The Five Rivers chapter of Trout Unlimited is soliciting volunteers to help with a cutthroat trout restoration project Saturday on Hermosa Creek behind Purgatory.

The work involves restoring disturbed areas around the fish barrier built last fall on the East Fork of Hermosa Creek. Volunteers also will breach beaver dams and perhaps install “beaver deceiver” devices to stabilize flows.

 While cutthroat thrive on the upper end of the East Fork, non-native species have taken hold in the lower end and in other Hermosa Creek tributaries.

 Beaver dams harbor refuges for non-native species.

Let’s pretend, for the sake of argument, that you’re actually right. And that beaver dams make big hidey holes for non-native species. Let’s pretend we could go INSIDE those holes, under the water, and look around to see the bad bass and wrong kind of trout lurking next to all that woody debris. Terrible.

What’s that? Right beside them? Oh that would be the NATIVE SPECIES which also are sheltered in a beaver pond. In fact they are MORE adapted to the area because they evolved with beaver for millions of years and understand conditions and passages. One might even say the ponds are a REFUGE for them. Certainly during the dry summers. And the frozen winters. And all the days in between.

But why use logic. Just rip out the beaver dams. I’m sure that will make everything better. Well it will make everything drier. That’s good for cutthroat trout, right?