Climate Change & Beavers - What's the Connection?

Beaver dams retain water and build climate resilience

When the topic of climate change arises, beaver restoration is seldom considered a key tool to address this issue. That needs to change. Beavers build dams and wetlands that boost climate resilience naturally and cost-effectively. Beaver-created wetlands help many endangered species, increase general biodiversity, store and purify water, reduce wildfire damage, speed reforestation after fires, reduce storm flood events, recharge our ground water aquifers, sequester carbon, and more. All these things build climate resilience, and beavers do them for free!

Lush Beaver-Created Wetland

Biologists consider beavers a “Keystone species” meaning their existence is necessary for ecosystems to effectively exist and operate.  As Ben Goldfarb wrote in his book Eager, “A beaver pond is more than a body of water supporting the needs of a group of beavers, but the epicenter of a whole dynamic ecosystem.”

Centuries ago beavers were trapped to near extinction for their valuable fur. They have made a remarkable comeback but at numbers far less than the landscape needs. Even now, tens of thousands are beavers are killed annually when their dams flood our properties, even though effective nonlethal alternatives exist.

Currently, grassroots groups across the country are building climate resilience by restoring beavers, and innovatively resolving human-beaver conflicts. These efforts need to be scaled significantly in the face of climate crisis. Climate change induced hurricanes, wildfires, droughts and more, are already causing the loss of life and extensive financial burdens worldwide. While some progress is being made in reducing our worldwide carbon emissions, as this short TED Talk shows, much more needs to be done.

Inquisitive by D. Slipp

The Beaver Institute, is striving to build a coalition of like-minded organizations and industry professionals to raise awareness and scale effective beaver wetland programs nationally in order to build more climate resilience.

Until we win the carbon emissions battle and reverse climate change, we need to preserve our remaining biodiversity and limit other climate change damage as much as possible. Beaver wetlands and Process Based-Restoration can help.

Beavers Build Climate Resilience. Time is short. Let’s Roll!

Beavers Build Climate Resilience

MEDIA: Wildfires are getting WORSE – Fighting the Dixie Fire, The New York Times

The Beaver Institute is spearheading an effort to raise the awareness of policymakers and others how beaver wetland restoration can make significant contributions fighting climate change. One recent outreach effort included the letter linked below. Here is some feedback we received:

“I agree that beavers play a critical role in creating healthy wetland ecosystems… I appreciate you and your organization’s ongoing commitment to habitat restoration to combat climate change.”   Nada Wolff Culver, Deputy Director, Policy and Programs, U.S. Dept. of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management

“I want you to know that my colleagues and I are working day in and day out to protect the safety of the American people, to rise to the climate challenge,…”  Pete Buttigieg, U.S. Secretary of Transportation

Climate Change Beaver Coalition Letter - May 2021

Please contact us to add your name and organization to our growing coalition. The larger our advocacy group the more likely beaver wetland restoration efforts will be included in new government policies. Please join us today. Together we will make a difference!

Contact us Today to Join the Coalition!

View our Expanding List of Partners!

Partner Organizations & Professionals

Anabranch Solutions, Utah State University (UT) Dr. Joseph Wheaton, Principal, Co-Owner, Eco-Morphologist

Beaver and Wildlife Solutions (CT) Diane Honer

The Beaver Coalition (OR) Jakob Shockey, Executive Director; Rob Walton, Policy Director

Beaver Deceivers, LLC (VT) Skip Lisle

Beaver Solutions, LLC (MA) John Egan

Beaver Trust (Great Britain) James Wallace, Chief Executive

Beaver Works (OR) Reese Mercer, Program Director

Best Way Wildlife Control (NH) Chuck Crowe

Biodiversity First! (CA) Cooper Lienhart

Bonneville Environmental Foundation (OR) Jean-Paul Zagarola, Sr. Project Engineer

Cows and Fish – Alberta Riparian Habitat Management Society (Alberta) Norine Ambrose, Executive Director; Amy McLeod, Provincial Riparian Specialist

Eco-Kare (Ontario) Kari Gunson, Principal Ecologist

EcoMetrics, LLC (CO) Mark Beardsley

Ecotone, Inc. (MD) Scott McGill, Owner; Garrett Krug; Arturo Garcia

Emily Fairfax, Ph.D. (CA) California State University Channel Islands, Assistant Professor of Environmental Science and Resource Management

Friends of the Pokeberry Creek Beavers and Wetlands (NC) Luna Mountainsea

The Fur-Bearers (British Columbia) Lesley Fox, Executive Director

Grand Canyon Trust (UT) Mike Popejoy, Utah Public Lands Director

Hudson Valley Beaver Strategies, LLC (NY) Dan Aitchison

Humane Solutions (British Columbia) Joe Abercrombie, President

J. Boone Kauffman, Ph.D., (OR) Professor, Senior Research, Fisheries and Wildlife, Oregon State University

Jeff Baldwin, Ph.D. Geography Geography, Environment, and Planning, Sonoma State University (CA)

Leave It To Beavers Contracting, LLC (IA) Christian Sorflaten

Marek Landscaping, LLC (WI) Michael Marek

Methow Beaver Project (WA) Kent Woodruff, Founder; Alexa Whipple, Project Director

Midwest Beaver Mitigation (IL) Jeff Boland-Prom

Miistakis Institute (Alberta) Danah Duke, Executive Director; Holly Kinas, Conservation Analyst

Milwaukee Riverkeeper (WI) Bob Boucher, Founder

National Wildlife Federation (MT) Sarah Bates, Acting Regional Director and Director Western Water

Natural Resource Economics (OR) Ernie Niemi, President

Occidental Arts and Ecology Center (CA) Kate Lundquist, Director, Water Institute; Brock Dolman, Co-Founder

Project Eleven Hundred (UT) Mary O’Brien, Director

Rapidan Institute, Center for Natural Capital (VA) Jeff Waldon, Director

Robert L. Beschta, Ph.D. (OR) Professor Emeritus, Forest Ecosystems and Society, Oregon State University

Scott River Watershed Council (CA) Betsy Stapleton, Board Chair

Sierra Wildlife Coalition (CA) Sherry Guzzi, Co-Founder

SLO Beaver Brigade (CA) Audrey Taub, Founder

South Umpqua Rural Community Partnership (OR) Stanley Petrowski, Director; Leonard and Lois Houston

Suzanne Fouty, Ph.D. (OR) Hydrologist/Soils Specialist (retired USFS)

Swift Water Design (CA) Kevin Swift, Owner

Trap Free Montana (MT) KC York

Vanisle Wetlands (British Columbia) Christopher Holtslag

Wyoming Untrapped (WY)  Lisa Robertson

Youth Environmental Action Summit (MD) Elise Trelegan

Beaver Benefits in the Media

Beavers Are Nature's Firefighters. Why Is California Killing Them?

Creating Miracles in the Desert: Restoring Dixie Creek

Climate and Beaver Summits

BeaverCON, March 2022

Beavers: A Dam Good Climate Solution? June 2021

California Beaver Summit, April 2021 (website features Day 1 & Day 2 video links)

Natures Firefighters: The Role of Beavers in Wildfire Mitigation and Recovery, April 2021

Colorado Beaver Summit, October 2021

Articles Related to Climate Change Beaver Research