Beavers: Past, Present and Future

   Posted by heidi08 On October - 20 - 2017ADD COMMENTS

Whew, I was relieved to hear that Mike Callahan (whose WIFE is a trapper) had never heard about using a cross-bow either to shoot unwanted beavers either. So that means this is just a one-off until we hear otherwise. (A horrible one-off but better than  a common occurrence.)

Meanwhile, I received a note from author Ben Goldfarb yesterday that his writing retreat is going well and that he will have the first draft of his beaver book in November! How exciting! And I heard from Tom Rusert that their home didn’t burn down, their beloved bulldog Daisy is recovering from smoke inhalation, and things are moving forward.  There was an excellent article in the East Bay Times and Fire Rescue about our good friend Luigi feeding the first responders last week, which surprises me not at all. That man has been incredibly community-oriented since before he even had a community.

Calif. deli owner feeds first responders in Calif. wildfires Capture

MARTINEZ, Calif. —Luigi Daberdaku has been making sandwiches at his downtown deli for years, but never this many all at once.

Since Thursday, there’s been an assembly line set up in his shop, right near the shelves with the specialty sodas. “Cutting the meat, cheese, lettuce, onions, cucumbers, I need volunteers… plus I need more meat; we ran out of meat today after 275 sandwiches,” Daberdaku said Monday.

By that afternoon, as he prepared to make his fifth delivery trip, he and his assembled teams had made almost 1,500 sandwiches. It started Thursday, Oct. 12, when he and volunteers made 150 sandwiches by midday. He took them to Fairfield that first day for further distribution; since then, he has gone straight to the hard-hit areas, mostly in Napa, himself.

Dear, sweet Luigi, you deserve all the credit you get. I recall he had barely set up shop downtown at the November 2007 beaver meeting ten years ago, when he stood up with his very thick Albanian accent and said “When I first come to Martinez there was no one downtown. It was like a ghost town! And now that the beavers have come there are many, many people every day!” He has been our friend since the beginning, and his wonderful daughter Louisa planted trees, worked the festival and brought us sandwiches every year.  Helping first responders is just the kind of thing he’d do.

(Let’s hope that sweet steady rain we got last night helped them too.)

Yesterday the National Geographic Blog called Cool Green Science decided that beavers deserve a little credit also. Of course they couldn’t resist reminiscing on Idaho throwing them from planes – but this is a pretty nice summary. Watch the video all the way through.

Restoring Beavers by Plane and Automobile

“Beavers are really nature’s engineers and they do a really good job at what they do,” says James Brower, Idaho Department of Fish and Game volunteer services coordinator. “We love beaver and we love what beaver do.”

“We really want them to set up shop and transform that habitat and make it a little better for everything,” Brower says. “Beaver create habitat for not only fish but also for deer, elk, moose and bear. Pretty much everything needs water and places to drink. There’s no doubt in my mind this benefits everybody.”

I like what Mr. Brower has to say. I think I will try and make contact. But I’m never a fan of the beaver-flinging story – as I’m sure you all know by now.

Apparently, Superman uses a Cross-bow

   Posted by heidi08 On October - 19 - 2017ADD COMMENTS

I’ve been covering beaver stories a long time, haven’t I? And you would think, that in a decade of reporting beaver news I had read every outrageous thing that could possibly be done to these unappreciated animals. I would have thought so any way.

Until this morning.

Beaver trap methods cause resident concerns

The Town of High River will create formal procedures involving the removal of problem beavers, those that affect town infrastructure, after a report on social media led to outcry and questions to officials.

A posting on High River Respectful Rant and Rave in late September outlined an incident in which a resident saw a person shooting a beaver with a bow, or crossbow, along Lineham Acres canal.

“Come on Town of High River,” Sheryl Gorzitza Skory wrote. “Isn’t there a better way of dealing with these ‘destructive beasts’ who are only doing as nature intended for them to do?”

High River is just outside Calgary in Alberta Canada. Innocent child that I am I thought that shooting a beaver with a crossbow had to be a mistake, a benign action misunderstood or something done by some crazy bored teenager. All silly, silly me.

Kevin Tetzlaff, town communications advisor, said the beaver control program has been ongoing for a number of years. Calls from residents meant not all people knew of the program, he said.

“Yes, they are (killed),” Tetzlaff said. “There’s a variety of different methods the trappers use… Generally you can use traps that humanely kill the beavers.”

The bow and arrow or crossbow is another form when traps are not advisable, Tetzlaff said. The release read that if a firearm or weapon is used for hunting, police are notified and precautions are taken.

“We understand there’s going to be a range of views from residents, and that’s why, we really are limiting it to beavers in areas that have to be removed due to causing a risk to infrastructure,” he said.

If you’re trying to imagine what kind of town uses a cross-bow to shoot beavers, High River is a town of 13,000 and the set where they filmed Smallville and Superman III. Which means it looks just like you would expect have expected it to look 50 years ago.  I’m guessing since the canal in question is lined with homes they didn’t want to fire a gunshot and terrify the neighborhood. Let’s theoretically imagine  the sides of the canal were too steep to set traps.

But a cross-bow? Honestly?

The trapper has been instructed to stop using the crossbow in residential neighbourhoods, Tetzlaff said. In addition, the town will look at current policies and form official procedures, he added.

“Part of our process is we’re going to look at what other municipalities are doing to manage this kind of situation” Tetzlaff said, noting the town will develop a standard protocol moving forward.

Here’s an idea. STOP KILLING BEAVERS! Wikipedia tells me that the town of High River was subject to severe flooding in 1894, 1899, 1902, 1908, 1912, 1923, 1929, 1932, 1942, 1995, 2005 and 2013. They have continued to add canals and kill beavers all during that time and must be puzzled why this isn’t solving their problem.

Here’s a thought.

Capture

WEBINAR WEEK!

   Posted by heidi08 On October - 18 - 2017ADD COMMENTS

Today is the day I’m letting you know that it’s time to sign up for your Compassionate Conservation webinars with Fur-Bearer Defenders. They’re free, easily attended from your computer and packed full of useful information. It is truly remarkable that FBD makes these webinars available world wide. They cover truly relevant topics like predators, presenter language and avoiding compassion fatigue, And oh, will you look at that! One of them will be about beavers and taught by yours truly!

Pragmatic Compassion: Teaching Martinez that Beavers were ‘Worth A Dam’

In 2007, Martinez California USA was surprised to find beavers living in the city creek. Officials were worried their dam would cause flooding and recommended trapping. Heidi Perryman worked to convince the city to install a flow device instead and started the beaver advocacy group Worth A Dam. Now she teaches other cities how and why to co-exist with the important ecosystem engineer.

Heidi is a child psychologist who became an accidental beaver advocate when a family of beavers moved into the creek near her home. Now she lectures about beavers nationwide and maintains the website martinezbeavers.org which provides resources to make this work easier for others to do.

Click Here To Register

Okay, I’ll be the first to admit it’s not exactly a catchy title, but I really wanted to work the word “PRAGMATIC” into all that compassion, so it’s what we ended up with. Even though I’ve talked about our beavers a thousand times before this is different because a) I can’t use video and b) I want to emphasize the advocate’s role in saving wildlife. So it’s been an interesting challenge putting it together and re-including all the behind the scene things I usually leave out of my talk.

It would be SO nice to see familiar faces there, so sign up if you can, (assuming the formidable technology involved works and it actually happens) next tuesday at 1 pm!

More surprises? It turns out an Oregon Fish and Wildlife refuge is eagerly awaiting beavers too!

Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge marks 25 with fanfare

Skeins of Canada geese overhead may be a common autumn sight at the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge, but it felt nothing less than extraordinary on Saturday, Oct. 14, as the community gathered to celebrate the refuge’s 25-year anniversary.

In the Riparian Room of the refuge’s visitor center, refuge staff, volunteers, Friends of the Refuge members and visitors gathered to share the story of the refuge’s beginnings and its goals for the future.

As part of the anniversary celebration, visitors were invited to meander through the wetland along the site of the refuge’s next big project. Starting next summer and finishing in 2019, the refuge will restore Chicken Creek, which currently flows in a straight path to the Tualatin River through an agricultural ditch, to its historic channel through the floodplain. By replanting trees and shrubs along the bank, the refuge hopes to attract American beaver, an animal architect that will in turn enrich the area for many other species.

What do you know? Planting trees to encourage beavers at a refuge, while here in Northern California at the Malhleur refuge in the delta we know they’re actively killing them. Sheesh. Baby steps, right? Let’s all appreciate wisdom when we see it. Thanks Oregon!