Let’s face it, America was founded on the backs of beavers. Fur Trappers drove the exploration across down our rivers starting from Plymoth Rock, Charleston, Newfoundland, and everywhere in between. If there hadn’t been money to be made from their important fur we would have quickly lost our shiny “New World” smell and everyone would have gone somewhere else where the beavers might be.
This holiday is as much about their value as it is about our independence. Because there would never have been ONE without the OTHER. If we had ended up looking for beavers somewhere else our independence day might have grown out of Canada or Peru or whatever landscape provided enough beaver for us to feel we deserved to be treated as equals.
You think I exaggerate? Here’s how the beaver population was doing in Ohio just three years after the declaration of independence was signed.
Beaver were so important to the new land we were trapping them as fast as we could. When one digs even a little deeper to an understand of our origins, beavers are at the roots of our government, laws, economics, geographic boundaries, and even are colorful history of race relations. Take a look at this quote from Captain Simeon Ecuyaer at the Siege of Fort Pitt in 1783,
So I guess it’s fitting that Minnesota decided to decorate the fourth with a Beaver-trapping article this year. It turns out that in every meaningful way, our real forefathers were the furfathers who paid for our independence literally with the skin off their backs.
Worthington is one of dozens of trappers across northwest Minnesota who participate in nuisance animal trapping programs, which pay trappers to remove critters that cause damage to infrastructure.
Trapping beavers in particular keeps drainage ditch systems functioning properly as dams built by the animals block water flow and can cause it to backup onto nearby land–sometimes resulting in damage to farmland, officials in multiple counties said.
County and township government boards can offer bounties for the animals, which range from $20 to $50 for beavers and 50 cents to $3.50 for gophers.
The real irony is that counties are paying trappers like Worthington to make the creek more silted, fishless, and barren. Likewise, the newly established America was so excited to see how many resources it had that it quickly used them all up and created instead a dystopian of land of dry rivers, little game and withering fish stocks.
Of course, when that tap ran dry there was gold to keep us going, and then industry, and then oil. I’m sure learned by now not to use up all our resources, right?