Reflections on summer, embracing autumn
It’s been a busy and productive summer here at the Beaver Institute. Our 2nd biennial BeaverCON held outside Baltimore, MD in June was a rousing success with 45 presenters and 200 attendees. All the presentations from the conference are now available for free on our YouTube page. We’ve also created a handful of docu-poems on our YouTube to visualize and communicate the bountiful benefits of beavers throughout multiple ecosystems, from midwestern ponds to wooded lakes and streams to urban riparian zones.
This fall we are launching six National Beaver Working Groups in the areas of Science & Research, Policy & Legal, Education, Beaver Management Practices, Fundraising, and Communications. Beaver Institute is facilitating these working groups in the hopes that they will buoy the momentum, knowledge-sharing, and participation that occurs at BeaverCON to year-round engagement. We will keep our constituents (you!) up to speed on the activities of these groups, as well as opportunities to participate.
One of Beaver Institute’s major goals in the coming year is to expand our BeaverCorps program to 100 members in 49 states (as Hawaii doesn’t have any beavers on the surf). We are admitting two new trainees a month and aim to increase this throughout 2023 to ensure that there is a beaver professional within driving distance of any human-beaver conflict that may occur.
BeaverCorps is the first and only professional, non-lethal beaver management course in the United States. Through the program participants learn about beaver behavior and ecology, how to build and install water control devices to resolve problems related to beaver dam flooding, and how to start their professional beaver businesses. Participants then apply this knowledge to a series of real-life situations, receiving 1:1 mentoring throughout the installation of four successful water control devices. If you or anyone you know is interested in joining, visit this link for more information.
In August our Founder Mike Callahan attended the National Association of Wetland Managers (NAWM) Annual Meeting and presented on cost-share programs, BeaverCorps, and our Beaver BioBank programs. We are grateful to NAWM for igniting within us the passion and direction to kickstart our National Beaver Working Groups and look forward to potential collaborations with them down the road.
As the new Executive Director of the Beaver Institute – just now hitting my six month mark with the organization – I’ve been actively increasing our organizational capacity through dynamic and diverse forms of communication, professionalizing and developing our board of directors, submitting grant proposals left and right, and deepening our national partnerships. I’ve particularly cherished getting to know folks in the beaver & wetland restoration community across the country, so please never hesitate to reach out to set up a time to talk (firstname.lastname@example.org). I’m all about expanding the imaginarium of possibility with beavers and the ecosystems they create and manage at the forefront of creative thinking.
PS: As ever, our work and advocacy is only possible through the support of donors. Please consider chipping in for the sake of the beaver!