Spring 2019

Newsletter Archive


State of the Beaver Conference 2019

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In February, Miistakis participated in the 'State of the Beaver Conference' in Canyonville, Oregon, hosted by the Beaver Advocacy Committee (BAC) of the South Umpqua Rural Community Partnership (SURCP). Participants travelled from across North America and Europe to attend the event and discuss all things related to beaver management: project successes ranging from relocation to advocacy to coexistence projects; new techniques and tools being used for restoration and coexistence; policy challenges; urban design to allow for enhanced coexistence... the list is nearly endless!

A key similarity many of the groups shared was some of the challenges practitioners face, whether they are beaver-made or human-made. Coexistence tools such as pond leveller and culvert protectors have been very successful in mitigating many concerns that beavers cause. On a regulatory front, many groups find commonality in the barriers that can exist due to the use of a 'new' tool, but with persistence and research, this challenge too, can be overcome.

I had a realization while I was at the conference: in Europe, groups are going to great lengths to reintroduce beavers (Castor fiber) to countries where they have been extirpated for hundreds of years. In Alberta, and much of Canada, while still very much below their historic population numbers, we still have beaver present on our landscape, and we have the opportunity and the technology now to coexist with them and reap the benefits they afford us. We should not take that for granted!

If you want to learn more about our beaver project, check out our 'Putting Beavers to Work' website and sign-up for the mailing list on the homepage.

Author: Holly Kinas