California has decided to embrace the once ‘nuisance’ creatures to help with water and wildfire issues, implementing a new policy to encourage alternative methods of dealing with them. Their main goal is to preserve the beaver population.
According to the Department of Fish and Wildlife, many landowners and agencies sought out permits to eliminate the creatures – causing a significant drop in the country’s overall beaver population. However, this new approach aims to preserve the current population.
Professor Emily Fairfax, who’s been studying beavers and their behavior, states that their ponds help to replenish groundwater supplies and halt wildfire spread. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Administration has decided to fund the beaver preservation program.
Beaver Preservation Efforts
Director Kate Lundquist of Occidental Arts & Ecology Center’s Water Institute, believes the disasters experienced at the state caused a shift in focus for beaver preservation. Officials are also hoping to educate people of beaver benefits.
In addition, Executive Director of EPIC Tom Wheeler, has been pushing alternatives to resolve beaver problems. He says that these ponds help the growth and survival rate of the Coho Salmon – which is under the Endangered Species Act.
These young salmon live in beaver ponds before heading to the ocean. California Farm Bureau are currently studying the change before they act, while state officials will be encouraging individuals to try alternatives rather than seeking a permit.
Coordinator Vicky Monroe commented that her office had received requests from those that want beavers. The state only recently gained a mechanism to legally relocate them. These will be pilot programs, one of which is Tule River.
Tule River Indian Tribe councilmember Kenneth McDarment says they’ve been trying to reintroduce beavers into the Tule River. They hope it will bring back beavers to an environment where they are welcome to do what they naturally mean to in peace.
Source: Associated Press