Beavers are not only a particularly remarkable animal, but these rodents are true ecosystem-engineers whose value cannot be overstated. They help mitigate flooding, improve water quality, and capture more water for agriculture in the face of climate change. They also help provide habitat for endangered or lost fish species and can trap polluted sediments in rivers.
In his book Eager: The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter, author Ben Goldfarb reveals that our modern idea of what a healthy landscape looks like and how it functions is wrong – distorted by the fur trade that once trapped out millions of beavers from North America’s lakes and rivers. The consequences were profound: streams eroded, wetlands dried, and species lost vital habitat.
Today, a growing coalition of Beaver Believers – including scientists, land managers, ranchers and passionate citizens – recognizes that ecosystems with beavers are often far healthier – for humans and nonhumans alike – than those without them.
In his book, Goldfarb describes beaver biology, ecology and history; details the many environmental benefits provided by beavers, including habitat creation, water storage and pollution filtration; and discuss how landowners and municipalities around the country are learning to coexist with these keystone rodents.
Beavers transform landscapes; and these remarkable rodents can help us fight drought, wildfire, biodiversity loss, and climate change.
“The Beaver Believers is a feature documentary that tells the urgent yet whimsical story of an unlikely cadre of activists – a biologist, a hydrologist, a botanist, an ecologist, a psychologist, and a hairdresser – who share a common vision: restoring the North American Beaver, the most industrious, ingenious, bucktoothed little engineer, to the watersheds of the American West. The Beaver Believers encourage us to embrace a new paradigm for managing our western lands, one that seeks to partner with the natural world rather than overpower it.” – Beaver Believers
Ben Goldfarb is an independent environmental journalist, editor, and fiction writer. He is the author of Eager: The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter (Chelsea Green Publishing), which the Washington Post called “a masterpiece of a treatise on the natural world.”