Sunday, November 10, 2013

Beaver Wars: the Social and Scientific

Okay, it has been a little bit of time since I have been on here. Unfortunately the interesting algae I found in the Santa Ynez river was verified as Nostoc by an algae specialist- so not a new species.
Busy with my other blog and various shenanigans. But things have been busy in the beaver world none the less.

Beaver work is as much about the social as it is about the scientific. Getting involved with beaver restoration/outreach has taught me a lot about humans and how slow and sometime incapable of change we can be. Even in light of damning evidence.

Let's go over some of the news.

Bakersfield Beaver Wars

Bakersfield is actually a quite large city in the San Joaquin Valley of California. Its most notable exports are oil, methamphetamine, and the nu-metal group KoRN. Of the three cultural touchstones that Bakersfield has produced KoRN might be the best one- but not a lot of competition there. But Bakersfield does also have beavers, which started arriving at various municipal waters most likely via the Kern river at about the same time that the well documented Martinez beavers started showing up. But this where the two cities paths diverged. While Martinez, especially through the work of Heidi Perryman/Worth a Dam/Martinez Beavers, has provided a model and precedent for how municipalities can live with beaver Bakersfield has opted to go for a less progressive and scientifically less robust method of management. While public outcry has forced trapping/killing measures to be curtailed or implemented in clandestine they have initiated a redundant policy of plastic wrapping park trees as opposed to wrapping them in wire. I'm sorry, but those incisors will cut right through that plastic.

Wikipedia Creative Commons

Chew on this: The bike path beaver is back. The Bakersfield Californian. Nov 4, 2013.

In the article above the reporter makes the dubious assertion that one rogue beaver is returning over the years to terrorize city landscaping. More likely the beaver(s) are moving on or being secretly killed while new emigrants arrive all the time. If a natural vegetation of willow/cottonwood/tule/cattails was allowed to flourish the vegetation could better cope with beaver modification through coppicing. Unfortunately, expensive non-native landscaping is insisted upon which can not root sprout. Face palm.

Beavers return to Park at Riverwalk. 23 ABC News. Nov 4, 2013.

'First Look': Beavers spotted and Scott Cox's solution. The Bakersfield Californian. Nov 4, 2013.

And it gets worse in the article above.

So what do you do in the face of such will full ignorance? At least you can connect with the links above and comment. Go for it. Heidi has done all she can to promote beaver tolerance to the city and seems to be at her limit. More voices need to chip in.

It is shame that Bakersfield is missing a golden opportunity for embracing beaver within a large metropolitan area and setting an example to other cities. But I guess they are happy being the city where KoRN came from.

KoRN. wikipedia

Martinez Beaver (c)

A Really, Really Bad Article: Rip it to Shreds

I don't know where to start with this one... Is it simply clickbait? In the information age we live in I can't grasp how so much misinformation/non-science gets propagated.

11 species that are destroying the planet. Salon. Nov 9, 2013.

If the press will not do their job and they continue to profligate sloppy, hackneyed assertion science we need to shame them into doing their job.

Support me on Patreon.
Like antediluvian salad on facebook.
Watch me on Deviantart @NashD1.Subscribe to my youtube channel Duane Nash.

No comments:

Post a Comment