The past year has seen Beaver Institute grow significantly, due to the great need and opportunities for ecosystem repair in nearly every corner of North America. As wildfires rage, droughts subsist, and species decline in the U.S. and Canada, the presence of beavers can help.
Beaver Institute’s vision is to equip the communities most in need with the tools and techniques to coexist with beavers and repair local ecosystems for the benefit of all living things. As BI’s founder Mike Callahan often intones: The enormity of climate change can make people feel helpless, but supporting beavers in their communities is something anyone can do to have a direct positive impact.
Over the past six months, Beaver Institute has been busy channelizing, creating nodes of enhanced communication through our new website and targeted outreach and engagement. Through our communications and partnership-building we are building a network of community, knowledge-sharing, and best practices. But there’s still much to do and many folks missing from the table and the conversation. It is our priority to identify, embrace and buttress an ever-expanding and disparate community all working toward climate resilience and wetland restoration alongside beavers.
Programs and National Expansion
Thanks to the William Penn Foundation, we’ve launched a beta-Help Desk for their grantees conducting restoration work in the Delaware River Watershed. Utilizing this experience, Beaver Institute will build a National Help Desk with the ability to provide tools and resources, connect to boots-on-the-ground aid, and financial support toward human-beaver coexistence. Paired with the expansion and further professionalization of BeaverCorps (now a certified course through The Wildlife Society), we are poised to make significant impacts on communities nationally. BeaverCorps is currently restructuring under the leadership of Program Director Loren Taylor with new course tracks geared specifically to state, tribal and federal agencies, as well as to educators, advocates, and policy-makers.
Our six National Beaver Working Groups (NBWG), born out of BeaverCON 2022, have been incredibly active in their first year, thanks largely to Dr. Bonnie Gulas-Wroblewski’s facilitation. We are grateful to the cadre of astounding chairs and members volunteering their time, talent, and vision to the effort. On July 17 we will host a NBWG Open House, where chairs of each working group will share updates and activities, as well as take questions from attendees. I hope you can attend!
Finally, we are excited to launch public programming this summer with the series Beavers Uncovered, a webinar experience on underexplored topics in beaver land. From urban beavers, to toxic waste beavers, to arctic beavers, and beyond, borne out of the National Beaver Communications Working Group, this series intends to educate, entertain, and expand beaver-human consciousness. Our first webinar, “Beavers on the Edge”, will premiere on Wednesday, June 21 @ 12pm ET – I hope you can make it!
The future be dammed
The presence of beavers benefits an entire ecosystem, providing living creatures with safety and the opportunity to flourish. Beaver Institute emulates this interdependence in our relations with all living things. Looking to beavers, we intend that our activities and actions create dams of knowledge, serving as a bridge for those who need it, as well as channelizing intentional networks and communities to empower and support the collective goal: the protection of beavers for the benefit of all.
Thank you for being a part of this movement, this living, breathing entity. We are grateful to have you alongside us in this crucial and urgent work. If you ever have any questions or ideas you’d like to share, never hesitate to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org; your stories and experiences are part of the tapestry.