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Life Saves the Planet

Pest or Partners? Beavers as Wetland Protectors and Climate Heroes

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Date and time
Thursday, June 20, 2024
6:00pm - 7:00pm
1-hour long program
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Join Biodiversity For A Livable Climate to learn how one furry critter can help us restore wetlands, protect biodiversity and deal with both floods and fires.

The February 26th fire in Texas was the largest in their history. In Canada, the fire season never really ended, as zombie fires smoldered under cover over winter and started up again come spring. Policy makers seem to be at a loss with some efforts at burning the forest on purpose, or logging huge swaths to create fire breaks. Is our only option for preventing forest fires to destroy the forests? Maybe not.

Ten percent of North America was once covered in wetlands, most of which were created and maintained by beavers! About 200 million beavers. What would it take to shift our relationship with beavers from considering them pests to partnering with them to restore the vast swaths of aquatic habitat that once kept the continent wet, cool and full of biodiversity?

For 20 years, Brock Dolman and Kate Lundquist, WATER Institute Co-Directors from the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center (OAEC) have been working to provide education and advocacy for a healthy watershed. It turns out that beavers can play a big role in that. Dolman & Lundquist will share with us how they moved from community action to recently supporting the creation of a state-led Beaver Restoration Program in California, and the joy of seeing beavers released in the wild in CA for the first time in nearly 75 years in collaboration with tribal partners from the Maidu Summit Consortium.
Moderated by Beck Mordini, Biodiversity For A Livable Climate Executive Director.

Brock Dolman is a co-founder of the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center (www.oaec.org), where he co-directs the Permaculture Program, Wildlands Program and the WATER Institute in Sonoma County, California. He is a wildlife biologist, permaculture designer and watershed ecologist and has been active in promoting the idea of Bringing Back the Beaver in California since the late 1990’s.
Kate Lundquist co-directs the Occidental Arts & Ecology Center’s WATER Institute and the Bring Back the Beaver Campaign. Kate collaborates with landowners, communities, tribes, conservation organizations and resource agencies across the arid west to uncover obstacles and identify strategic solutions to conserve watersheds, recover listed species, increase water security and build resilience to the impacts of climate change.

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