Here ya' go. No politics, nothing depressing. Serious, but light. No puppies or kittens, but Beaver Engineers. Take a couple of minutes and read Heather Heying's "Just How Busy Is the Beaver?" Here's a taste:

Beavers are woefully underestimated. They create the landscapes that they live in, and maintain those landscapes efficiently and fervently. Beavers are indeed busy, and their hard work creates habitat for countless others.

Where today there are flat, fertile valleys, the first Americans would have walked into wetlands from slope to slope. Frogs and fish flourished in the water, butterflies, bees, and birds did so in the air; and all manner of plants thrived on land. Beavers, like nearly all dedicated herbivores, require a diverse diet of many species. Where beavers thrive, so too do the species on which they depend. Beavers had already been dominant for a very long time by the time the first people arrived in America, and had transformed it into a verdant landscape. In the American West, which is now known for its droughts and fires, a beaver engineered landscape was both a wetter and more resilient place, far more immune to the vicissitudes of the weather.

Now we have an American West wracked by fires, with waterways which have collapsed into deep arroyos and canyons that oscillate between flood and drought. When the landscape was being actively maintained by beavers, it was greener and wetter, and more resistant to both drought and fire.

Far from being simply a pest species, beavers were the water managers of North America. They were builders and gardeners, whose millions of years of work here helped build resilient ecosystems. Some of our most tenacious environmental problems would be alleviated if we welcomed beavers back.

Posted by sursumcorda on Wednesday, June 28, 2023 at 9:04 pm | Edit
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