Bring Back the Beaver Campaign
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 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, contact Kate Lundquist (ext. 118) or Brock Dolman (ext. 106).
To learn more about beaver and to help promote their water saving abilities in California we suggest the following:
- Learn about beaver in California by reading our guidebook: Beaver in California: Creating A Culture of Stewardship
- Educate yourself about beaver and how to coexist with them by reading materials from our Benefits of Beaver to California & Management Strategies Resource List.
- Read Ben Goldfarb’s book Eager: The Surprising, Secret Lives of Beavers and Why They Matter. OAEC’s Bring Back the Beaver Campaign is featured prominently.
- Refer beaver conflicts to the OAEC WATER Institute (contact Kate Lundquist).
- Help us map current sightings of beaver with The Beaver Mapper or on iNaturalist.
- Donate to our campaign
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’!
Beaver In California: Creating a Culture of Stewardship
A 30-page WATER Institute booklet about the history, ecology, benefits and restoration of beaver in California. (Version 4.0, 2020). Contact us at (707) 874-1557 x 101 to purchase a full-color copy $10
The Historic Range of Beaver in the Sierra Nevada
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).
The Historical Range of Beaver in Coastal California:
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).
The Historic Range of Beaver in the North Coast of California
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).
Novel Physical Evidence that Beaver were Native to the Sierra Nevada
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).
Beaver Restoration Feasibility Assessment for the North Fork Kern River Drainage
Kate Lundquist and Brock Dolman produced this 26-page report for California Trout in 2018.