Why was the Beaver Institute started?

Over the last 20 years as scientists have learned more about the many valuable environmental benefits of beavers, interest in them has risen dramatically across North America and overseas. There are now many dedicated and passionate professionals advancing man’s knowledge and management of beavers. Nevertheless, most people only hear about beavers when problems occur, so beavers are often misunderstood, under-appreciated, and commonly killed when conflicts with humans occur.

Most people do not know that beavers are a Keystone species responsible for biodiversity, stream restoration, salmon recovery, water storage and purification, mitigating climate change, and many other benefits. They also do not know that there are many successful methods to manage beaver problems non-lethally and that these methods are often the most cost-effective, long-term, humane, and environmentally-friendly solutions for their problems.

Many people have made major contributions to the understanding and progressive management of beavers. Since 1998 my contribution has been to resolve over 1,400 human beaver conflicts with innovative flow devices. I have also created an instructional DVD to teach other people how to do this work. However, I have been frustrated that the use of flow devices has not expanded more rapidly across North America. A change in approach is needed.

The Beaver Institute™ is being formed to be the catalyst for this change on a continental scale. Our mission is to advance beaver management by providing technical and financial assistance to public and private landowners experiencing beaver conflicts, supporting scientific research, training mitigation professionals, and increasing public appreciation of the beaver’s important environmental roles. Our vision is to one day have all beaver-human conflicts resolved in a science-based manner to maximize the many benefits that beavers contribute to the environment.

The Beaver Institute™ is still in its infancy but we have a tremendous vision for transforming man’s relationship with beavers to one of harmonious co-existence. If you haven’t already, please join the Beaver Institute™ today and support our mission.

The next blog will discuss our plans to make this vision a reality.

Mike Callahan, President

The Beaver Institute™ Inc.