Now headlining: The Beaver!
The past month has been a watershed (!) moment for beavers making a splash (!) in the news. From the New York Times to the LA Times to the Washington Post, beavers are front and center and burrowing (!) into the consciousness of the general public. These recent articles and media attention are the result of multiple individuals and organizations within the field working tirelessly over many years to communicate the benefits of letting beavers be. We are grateful for the many, who go unmentioned, working behind the scenes to advocate for beavers and wetlands.
All this attention is great, folks are increasingly recognizing that “beavers are good” and are “not pests”, but what is the next step in shifting positive public sentiment to the embrace and adoption of beaver-related restoration?
This question has been brought up in many of the National Beaver Working Groups launched last month. Beaver Institute is incredibly excited and honored to facilitate these groups, extending the camaraderie and knowledge-sharing of BeaverCON to a year-round activated community. At our first meetings, each group had wide-ranging discussions and set initial goals and activities. The National Working groups include:
- Science & Research, co-chaired by Brian Clarke (Geomorphic Science Solutions) and Shawn Behling (Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife)
- Policy & Legal, co-chaired by Alexa Whipple (Methow Beaver Project) and Rob Walton (Beaver Coalition)
- Beaver Management Practices, chaired by Michael Callahan (Beaver Institute) and Jakob Shockey (Beaver Coalition)
- Communications, chaired by Adam Burnett (Beaver Institute)
- Education, chaired by Alison Zak (Human-Beaver Coexistence Fund)
- Funding, chaired by Rachel Seigel (Illinois Beaver Alliance)
If you are interested in joining any of these working groups, it’s not too late. And if you’re too busy to take on another commitment – don’t worry – we plan to hold public webinars throughout the year for the groups to share with one another and the public-at-large.
On a personal note, I had the opportunity to visit a private land holder’s property outside Ithaca, NY a few weeks ago and explore multiple healthy, thriving beaver ponds, with a very sweet dog named Bella as a guide. It was inspiring to experience the embrace of letting beavers be, and how healthy and diverse the ecosystem was because of the embrace. I know that there are many pockets of land just like this around the country, folks quietly embracing the presence of beaver to transform the landscape for the benefit of all living things.
Finally, I had the opportunity to speak at length on the podcast On Wildlife about the benefits of beavers, the ecosystems they create and sustain, the relationship between muskrat and beavers, the gentle revolution from fearing nature to embracing and learning from nature, and so much more. Take a listen wherever you get your podcasts!
Never hesitate to reach out (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I look forward to keeping you up-to-date on all we’re up to at the Beaver Institute.