JUNE 2023 WATER NEWSLETTER

New CDFW Policy Recognizes Ecological Value of Beavers 
in California!


After more than a decade of a concerted effort to Bring Back the Beaver, OAEC and The WATER Institute are thrilled to announce that there are major policy changes happening at the state level.

Below: The press release from The California Department of Fish and Wildlife.


The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has implemented a new policy recognizing the ecological benefits of beavers while mitigating conflict over damage to land and property (depredation). CDFW’s new policy builds upon its existing beaver management policies and lays the groundwork for projects that harness beavers’ natural ability to help protect biodiversity, restore habitat and build wildfire-resilient landscapes. This includes a process that enables beaver relocation as a restoration tool and a new non-lethal option. The policy also outlines a process to mitigate beaver depredation conflict, prioritizes the use of nonlethal deterrents whenever possible and ensures that lethal removal of depredation beavers is done in a humane manner.

Read more here.
Photo: Rusty Cohn, Napa Beavers

Field Trip to Doty Ravine

On May 24, 2023 OAEC WATER Institute co-led with our California Beaver Policy Working Group a field tour for 50 state agency and political leaders to Doty Ravine to see beaver restoration in action.

Read more here.

50 State leaders seeing beaver restoration in action at Doty Ravine.
Photo: Brock Dolman, OAEC

Beaver Back Saver Device

OAEC WATER Institute is excited to partner with the US Fish and Wildlife Service to enable ranchers, agriculturalists, hunters and wetland managers to integrate an innovative beaver co-existence device, The Beaver Back Saver, into water conveyance structure management. This device prevents worker injury and raises awareness of how to reduce conflict so that more beaver can be left on the landscape to restore degraded watersheds, recover imperiled species and increase climate change and water supply resiliency.
A major goal of this project is to make this novel strategy widely known and easily implemented by diverse stakeholders that own, manage and use California’s wetlands. We are grateful to have early adopters, like Roosevelt Ranch, piloting this technique and sharing the results with their networks. Given the high number of beaver killed by frustrated landowners and managers every year, this project will help prevent worker injury, resolve hundreds of conflicts and allow beaver to continue to provide critical, climate change resilient wetland habitat.

Check out our
detailed how-to here.
Click here for a two-page, printer-friendly summary of the device.
Lastly, watch our video explaining the project and demonstrating its installation in both wet and dry conditions:

CalPBR in Action!

Participants of the Fall 2022 “Build Like a Beaver” training led by members of the Cal PBR Network build instream structures to mimic beaver in Yellow Creek. The training was held on two adjacent Plumas County properties stewarded by the Maidu Summit Consortium, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Feather River Land Trust and the US Forest Service. For more info go to www.CalPBR.org/training. Photo: Carrie Monahan, The Sierra Fund

Upcoming event:

Come and see us at Worth A Dam’s 14th Annual Beaver Festival, June 24th from 10-3 in Susana Park, Martinez. Events include nature displays, children’s activities, excellent music, silent auction and dynamic chalk mural by Amy Gallaher Hall of Napa. 

In the News

Check out our resident beaver believers, Kate Lundquist and Brock Dolman on Bioneers Radio, where they speak to all things beaver: their history in North America, how they slow and spread water, create critical habitat, and how they can be harnessed as a powerful tool in buffering the impacts of the climate changes we’re seeing.

Particularly riveting is the change of heart that some ranchers are experiencing when it comes to beaver. As Kate puts it, “There are ranchers in Nevada who are willing to go on record now saying, ‘Twenty years ago we used to shoot the beaver and now we wouldn’t have a cattle operation without them.’ And they’re having to save their neighbors who come and literally get water from them and truck it to their operation because they haven’t been able to retain the water in the same way as those who have these beaver complexes.
Also in the news is Brock’s new interview with the Climate Water Project. Click here to give it a listen. 
Lastly, Nonprofit Quarterly published an article highlighting the recent policy changes in California with regard to beaver restoration and points to the hard work amongst tribal partners and environmental organizations to make this happen. We’re honored to be featured and quoted.