pastportYesterday I found out that the Martinez Library pastport project will conclude on the day of the beaver festival. And features a beaver Herald! Of course I immediately made friends with the organizer and arranged to have postcards of our event on display.

On Monday I’m off to Auburn to present on the beaver-salmon connection to our friends at SARSAS again. Apparently I’ve worn down Mary Tappel because she isn’t presenting there as well for the first time since calendars were invented. But there will still be plenty of controversy. On Thursday they got an email from a member opposed to beavers who dramatically said he had seen a 20 inch salmon skewered on the protruding stick of a beaver dam just down stream. Whatever research is being presented by me about beavers, it doesn’t apply to streams in Placer Country, because Gold Country!

Once again Pigpen’s cloud of controversy will follow me wherever I go. Wish me luck!


Back where I come from there are men and women who do nothing but good deeds for beavers all day, they are called… good deed doers! Just look at a sample of their work.

Taylor Creek Visitor Center to host family-friendly nature, bird festivals

The “Wild Tahoe Weekend” kicks off on Saturday, June 24, with the sixth annual Native Species Festival. Field professionals will lead nature walks, and a variety of agencies from around the basin will be hosting educational booths and activities for all ages.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will have live Lahontan cutthroat trout in an aquarium, California State Parks will have stuffed examples of native birds of prey, and Sierra Wildlife Coalition will discuss beavers and coyotes. The Friends of Grover Hot Springs will also be on hand to discuss invasive species.

[Ed’s note] “which the beaver is NOT”. Good work Sherry and Ted! Because sometimes you do good work on the front lines, and sometimes in the back room there’s this from beaver guardian Stan Petowski.

OK seven years of work with a great group of people. Salem, Oregon yesterday the Governor ceremonially signed Senate Bill 3. This law protects approximately 23,000 miles of Oregon river system salmon and lamprey habitat from suction dredge mining. The law was approved by a bipartisan vote in the Oregon House and Senate. Lots of work with savvy people. Thank you all for working with me and teaching me to work with you. Native Fish Society, Mark P. Sherwood and Jake Crawford, thank you so much for carrying so much of the weight.


The Madness of Manitoba

   Posted by heidi08 On June - 23 - 2017ADD COMMENTS

Sometimes there is so much good news about beavers you almost forget what a horrible, stacked deck they face in egregious and uninformed parts of the world. It can feel like beavers have ‘turned a corner’ and no one can legitimately challenge their value again. And then you see articles like this. Manitoba is the Canadian Province right next to Sascatchewan and has obviously learned all their least impressive alarms and tricks over the years.

Dam those beavers

Infestation causes destruction in Interlake.

ASHERN — A certain buck-toothed, flat-tailed national symbol with a waddling gait is wreaking havoc in parts of Manitoba on a scale not seen in a lifetime. Armies of beaver are penetrating deeper and deeper inland in the Interlake and some other parts of Manitoba, flooding farm fields with their dams and destroying municipal infrastructure such as roads.

“It’s just beaver country like stupid,” said Dan Meisner, a councillor with the RM of Grahamdale who is in charge of beaver control. Meisner, who is also a trapper, took out 400 nuisance beavers in one recent spring-summer period alone.

Beaver country like stupid? I really, really believe that, Dan. Exactly like stupid. Because the entire province is surrounded by solutions and you can only see problems. It’s like you’ve been given a vast carpentry set with complex engineering tools thrown in and you’re stumbling around looking for the hammers.

People in the area say there haven’t been beaver in this part of the province since before their grandparents’ day. Meisner remembers finding a stick stripped bare by a beaver and taking it to show-and-tell at school because it was so rare.

The province said it has not received an increase in beaver complaints, but could provide no other data on the beaver population.The province started offering a $15 bounty per beaver three years ago, but RMs regard it as a drop in the bucket. The RM of Grahamdale has tacked on an additional $35 per beaver.

Manitoba also provides up to $750 for removal of a beaver dam, but recommends getting rid of the beaver first or the dam will just be rebuilt.

The problem in the Interlake has been brewing since at least 2003 and progressively getting out of control, landowners said. As the beaver move inland, it’s imperative they build more dams to survive because they need water — they are almost completely defenceless on land. So they block culverts, causing ditch water to backup and flood land.

“They’re like rats and they keep populating,” he said.

“Whenever you go to get a beaver, it never lives in a nice place. You’re either going through thick ice or in heavy bush with mosquitoes and bulldogs (horseflies),” Meisner said.

Because honestly, there is nothing in the world less pleasant than spending time at a beaver pond. They are wetland slumlords, you know. With all those fish and dragonflies getting in your way. It’s startling to me that not one person has noticed that the reason they haven’t seen an ‘infestation’ of beavers before in their grandfather’s lifetime is because the very clever fur trade had KILLED THEM ALL!

I’m sure they remember that as the good ol’ days.

Let’s have a nice palate cleanser after that bitter beaver pill. Deborah Hocking is the talented artist who did the illustrations for the successful book “Build Beaver Build“. She was one of the artists I implored to donate to our silent auction. As it happened she liked our story SO much she offered to design us a bookmark for the event, which we can give out at the festival. We figure kids can use them with their journals and they’ll be a perfect match.

I talked to her yesterday and sitting down at her desk busy designing right now. Wish her muses of castor, okay? I can’t wait to see the finished product. Here’s the lodge image she included in the book just to get you interested.



Cue Justin!

   Posted by heidi08 On June - 22 - 2017ADD COMMENTS

CaptureSteve Holmes is a creek-loving water steward of the South Bay, and is the tireless and driving force behind friends of Los Gatos creeks and the Clean Creeks Coalition of the South Bay. I met him at our 2010 talk in San Jose, and he has been watching anxiously to see if beavers come back to Las Gatos creek now that things are getting wetter. Last weekend he got his wish and posted this on facebook.

Since 2013, we have seen the return of Beaver into our urban waterways after a 170 year absence. Originally, a family of beaver were located near the Confluence and over time they have spread out across the Guadalupe Watershed. Today after seeing signs of beaver activity and a sighting from one of our Facebook followers, we visited Los Gatos Creek and the beaver was more than happy to swim by and let us catch this video, makes all the sweat equity worth the effort! Santa Clara Valley Water District SJEnvironment City of Campbell Save The Bay (San Francisco) Guadalupe-Coyote Resource Conservation District

Now because of this unexpected siting and some chewing clues Steve felt he might have more the one in the area. He put up a tail cam at the suspected location, and kept close watch.

Last night he sent me this.

I’m sure all you beaver experts will know exactly what I soberly exclaimed when you watch that footage. And what our VP Cheryl Reynolds typed back when I forwarded it to her for confirmation.

Baby Baby Baby, Oh!

So it’s happy vicarious beaver day thursday! You should all do something nice for yourself. Remember to keep your creeks clean, and let’s be happy San Jose has a little beaver family again!