A New Idea for Beaver Coexistence – Beaver BioBanks!

Posted In: Education, Research

In over 23 years of promoting beaver coexistence, I have gladly witnessed a steady rise of interest in beavers. I am particularly gratified to see this interest accelerating over the last five years. We are making progress.

That being said, most of the general public and most policymakers are not yet aware of the ecological value of beavers. Even fewer are aware that beaver-created wetlands reduce damage from climate change. So, despite worsening climate issues, beavers are still commonly killed, and their ecosystems destroyed, even though cost-effective, nonlethal alternatives exist. So despite our progress, we clearly still have a long way to go before beaver coexistence is the norm.

Beaver coexistence is a good idea, but like any good idea, it needs good marketing to gain widespread acceptance. Commercial advertising and political ads prove that frequent and consistent messaging effectively changes human behavior. Creating an idea that sticks is every marketer’s dream.

Dr. Emily Fairfax’s stop-motion wildfire beaver video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAM94B73bzE ) and the iconic Smoky the Beaver mascot are excellent examples of images that the public can readily embrace.

Our beaver community needs to build upon this excellent messaging, and we have a unique opportunity to do so. Climate change issues in addition to wildfires, are increasingly capturing the public’s attention, but most people feel powerless to do much about it. Encouraging them to help us help beavers, offers them a tangible way to make a difference.

They need to understand beaver wetlands reduce climate damage in many ways, including:

  • Saving life-giving surface and ground water in dry regions
  • Safeguarding genetic diversity and endangered species, such as salmon
  • Depositing and spreading water to dampen wildfire spread
  • Preserving life in safe-havens to aid wildfire recovery
  • Reducing downstream flood damage after large storms

Beaver-created wetlands are oases teeming with life on our increasingly climate-stressed planet. They slow down climate-induced damage and “bank” biological riches. Since beaver-created wetlands preserve and protect precious, biological assets, we think they should be called “Beaver BioBanks”.

The concept of a Beaver BioBank incorporates the many different beaver-climate benefits listed above into a single idea. The Beaver BioBank concept is easily marketable to generate media interest, encourage public support, motivate funders and inform policymakers. So, we encourage you to start using the term Beaver BioBanks as a way to explain to others the great portfolio of climate-resilience benefits that beaver wetlands offer. Frequent and consistent messaging like this can accelerate our progress.

After the holidays, the Beaver Institute will begin contacting many like-missioned organizations to partner with to develop this concept into a national program. Areas of focus to increase beaver wetland acreage nationally will include:

  1. Train more BeaverCorps professionals across North America to promote coexistence with beavers, our keystone species and climate ally.
  2. Offer landowner grant incentives for flow device installations and Low-Tech Process-Based Restoration projects, modeled on our successful Connecticut Beaver Initiative.
  3. Solicit media attention to educate others about the climate and other benefits of beaver-created wetlands.
  4. Provide “Beaver Advocacy Kits” for download to help beaver advocates draft and implement beaver coexistence policies with their policymakers.
  5. Engage partner organizations nationwide on these tasks.

Creating a “National Beaver BioBank Program” will be jumpstarted by our annual fundraiser. Thanks to two generous supporters, every dollar donated will be matched up to $10,000.00! Help us make this new program a reality and Click Here to support our effort.

Your financial support for Beaver Biobanks will directly promote nonlethal beaver coexistence, establish new beaver wetlands, train new BeaverCorps wetland professionals, and build climate resilience at the same time. Help us build partnerships and open a “Branch Office” near you!

On behalf of beavers and the Beaver Institute, thank you for your continued support! If you like this idea, please share this link: https://www.beaverinstitute.org/blog/ on your social media platforms. If your organization would like to learn more, please contact me at: mike@beaverinstitute.org.


Mike Callahan, President