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The Surprising Secret Life of Beavers & Why They Matter
March 13, 2019 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Wenatchee River Institute Red Barn Speaker Event | 347 Division St., Leavenworth
Ben Goldfarb, author of Eager, The Surprising Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter
Wednesday, March 13th | Admission by donation | All ages welcome
Doors open at 6:30PM for community social, presentation at 7PM
www.wenatcheeriverinstitute.org | (509)548-0181 x4
The Wenatchee River Institute welcomes award-winning environmental journalist Ben Goldfarb in the Red Barn Wed., Mar. 13th, doors open at 6:30PM for community social with presentation beginning at 7PM. Goldfarb will read from his book, The Surprising Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter. We will learn that our modern idea of a functional, healthy landscape is misguided, distorted by the fur trade that trapped millions of beavers from North America’s lakes and rivers, decimating their populations. Indeed, by the early 1900s beavers had been extirpated from many of their historic habitats.
The consequences of losing beavers were profound: streams eroded, wetlands dried, and many species, from salmon to swans, lost vital habitat. Today, a growing coalition of Beaver Believers –scientists, ranchers, and passionate citizens– recognizes that ecosystems with beavers are far healthier than those without. From the Nevada deserts to the Scottish Highlands, Beaver Believers are hard at work restoring these industrious ecosystem engineers to their former haunts.
Beavers are considered a keystone species, as their protection helps to enable all other members of the same biological community to thrive. Goldfarb describes beavers as ecological and hydrological Swiss Army knives, in the right circumstances capable of tackling many landscape problems, from flood mitigation and water quality improvement, to increasing water for agriculture and salmon runs.
Eager is a powerful story about one of the world’s most influential species, including how North America was colonized, drastically changing landscapes over the centuries, and how beavers can help us fight drought, flooding, wildfire, extinction, and the ravages of climate change. Ultimately, it is about how we can learn to coexist, harmoniously and beneficially, with our fellow travelers on this planet.
“One of the things I most love about beavers is the passion they inspire. As I’ve traveled around the country talking about Eager, I’ve heard countless beaver stories –and opinions– from readers who have lived alongside these fascinating, vital, occasionally challenging rodents. I’m excited to share my own stories,” said Goldfarb.
In addition to writing about wildlife, Goldfarb has chased endangered woodpeckers through military base war games, withstood a Yellowstone grizzly bear’s bluff charge, tagged sea turtles, radio-tracked bats, and hand-lined sharks.
Winner of the 2019 PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award, Goldfarb writes about wildlife conservation, marine science, and public lands management. He is also an accomplished fiction writer. His work has been featured in Science, Mother Jones, Audubon Magazine, The Guardian, High Country News, Modern Farmer, Orion, World Wildlife Magazine, Scientific American, Yale Environment 360, and many others. He holds a Master of Environmental Management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and is a 2018 North American Congress for Conservation Biology journalist fellow.