Beaver Recruitment Strategy for Tásmam Koyóm
Prepared for the Maidu Summit Consortium
by Kate Lundquist and Brock Dolman of the Occidental Arts & Ecology Center WATER Institute
with funding from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Resources Legacy Fund and the Patagonia Foundation
The Beaver Recruitment Strategy for Tásmam Koyóm is a report that came into being through a partnership between the Occidental Arts & Ecology Center WATER Institute (OAEC) and the Maidu Summit Consortium (MSC). The MSC’s mission is “to preserve, protect, and promote the Mountain Maidu Homeland with a united voice. The Maidu Summit Consortium envisions re-acquired ancestral lands as a vast and unique park system dedicated to the purposes of education, healing, protection, and ecosystem management based upon the Maidu cultural and philosophic perspectives, as expressed through traditional ecology.”
Recognizing the cultural and ecological importance of beaver, in 2019 MSC invited OAEC to generate a Beaver Recruitment Strategy for their newly returned 2,300 acre Tásmam Koyóm Maidu Cultural Park. Tribal elders remember times when beaver were abundant in the valley and have shared with OAEC their strong desire to see this cultural keystone species returned to Tásmam Koyóm. The goal of this strategy is to identify actions Maidu tribal members and other partners can take to encourage the return of beaver as a vital component in restoring wet meadow and riparian function in the valley.
In this report, OAEC assesses historic and current beaver distribution, current habitat suitability and dam building capacity in Yellow and Humbug Creeks and identifies beaver restoration strategies. A key finding from this assessment was the remnant beaver dam samples collected in Yellow Creek radiocarbon dated to 1270 BP. This evidence suggests beaver are native to this watershed as they occurred in this valley prior to European settlement.
To learn more about how to identify remnant beaver dams in the field, download Aquatic Restoration Ecologist Sabra Purdy’s “Indications of Beaver and Identification of Remnant Beaver Dams in Tásmam Koyóm” HERE
Read more on OAEC’s Restoration Collaboration Project with MSC