OAEC supports diverse communities to design their own regenerative systems at the regional and local scale.
Our cookbook is a collection of inventive recipes inspired by seasonal eating from our biodiverse Mother Garden, orchards and Wildlands Preserve.
Experience the Occidental Arts & Ecology Center through a video tour and beautiful photographs of our Guest Houses, Meeting Room, Bathhouse, Kitchen & Dining Room, Mother Garden and more.
Our 100% Certified Organic plant nursery specializes in open-pollinated perennials including edible landscaping plants, rare and endangered food crops, drought tolerant ornamentals and habitat plants - all tested in our onsite gardens and appropriate for our bioregion.
OAEC offers the longest consistently running two-week Permaculture Design Certification course in the West. Immerse yourself in information, ideas and inspiration on how to design sustainable, regenerative systems in balance with your home ecosystem.
Our School Garden Teacher Training supports schools to integrate the school garden into multiple subject areas using place-based, experiential learning.
North American beaver (Castor canadensis) are what biologists call a “keystone species” as the habitat they create benefits many other species. Their dams improve water quantity and quality, increase late season flow and reduce the impacts of flooding. Beaver bank burrows and food caches provide critical habitat for many native and endangered California species. Despite these benefits, current California beaver policy solely focuses on recreational hunting and lethal nuisance management. In response, the WATER Institute has launched a Bring Back the Beaver Campaign to educate citizens about the importance of beaver. In order to improve water supply for humans and the environment and increase resilience to drought and climate change, we are working to integrate their management into California policy and regulation.
To learn more about beaver and to help promote their water saving abilities in California we suggest the following:
The WATER Institute collaborates with agency scientists, environmental organizations, consulting biologists and interested citizen activists to support existing colonies and, where appropriate, re-establish beaver to enhance watershed restoration and salmon recovery efforts.
Support the Bring Back the Beaver Campaign
and show the world that you are a ‘beaver believer’!
A 30-page WATER Institute booklet about the history, ecology, benefits and restoration of beaver in California. (Version 2.0 June 2016). Contact us at (707) 874-1557 x 101 to purchase a full-color copy $10
Brock Dolman co-authored the "Beaver Historical Range" paper below which lists several forms of historic evidence (including the buried dam wood) that further prove that beaver were in fact native to the Sierra (2012).
Kate Lundquist and Brock Dolman co-authored this peer-reviewed scientific paper re-evaluating the historic evidence of beaver on the coast of California (2013).
Kate Lundquist and Brock Dolman co-authored this report on the historic evidence of beaver in the north coast of California where Coho salmon occur. Includes detailed maps, tables and appendices (2013).
This paper brings to light the buried beaver dam wood that was dug up in Sierra’s in the late 80’s and carbon dated to 580, 1730 and 1850 A.D. This is significant because it serves as scientific proof that beaver occurred in the Sierras before European settlers arrived (2012).