When in Drought, Find a Beaver


Pondering climate change, dire predictions of continued regional global drought and dwindling wetlands brought me back to the humble Beaver.

notestoponder

I learned something interesting about the Beaver of all things. Once the backbone of  Canadian fur trading, this rather large rodent may adorn our nickel, yet is considered nothing more than a nuisance. Their fur of little value in a world  of synthetic fabric draped political correctness,  the Beaver  inhabit a realm known as pest. In parts of Canada like Porcupine Plains, Saskatchewan they even have a bounty on their seemingly worthless hides.

Not so fast people. According to David Suzuki they could be the most important animal on our planet. It seems their relentless dam building serves a special purpose. By creating ponds, they trap water destined to evaporate from small streams. By building dams they make deep ponds out of trickles the summer sun would have turned to dry creek beds.

Dr Glynnis Hood studied the impact of beavers on water levels in a given landscape. Elk Island…

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Blue Dot Movement


Champion of environmental issues, bastion of CBC television’s The Nature of Things, tireless educator and easily one of the most recognizable faces in Canada –  David Suzuki launched his Blue Dot Tour in St. John’s Newfoundland. The Blue Dot Movement reflects 78 year old Suzuki’s unwavering conviction – change is possible. In this case, “change” means Canadian Charter of Rights amendments giving the “environment” constitutional rights. In what may be his last hurrah, Suzuki will make 20 stops across Canada between now and November 9. More than a lecture – Blue Dot stops feature Suzuki supported by the likes of Neil Young, Margaret Atwood, Feist, Bruce Cockburn and Robert Bateman.  A who’s who of Canadian activists – a movement aimed at gaining grassroots support. Over 100 nations recognize constitutional rights of citizens to clean air and water. Canada does not.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/david-suzuki-kicks-off-environmental-rights-tour-in-st-johns/article20715055/

Canadian government “spokesman” Shane Buckingham (from Minister of the Environment Leona Aglukkaq’s office), preferred a “party line” emailed response when asked for comment by a Globe and Mail reporter. The best the government came up with was assurance protection under the National Conservation Plan would be extended, along with “efforts” to cut emissions and “stringent” air quality standards. Excuse me?

A great link to countries with constitutional rights of citizens to clean air and water….

http://cmsdata.iucn.org/downloads/constitutional_provisions_related_to_environment_conservation___final.pdf

David Suzuki has taken some bad press – press bent on smearing his name, and side tracking his message. Right wing tongue wagging over his speaking fees run rampant across Conservative prairie provinces. Drawing parallels to America’s billion dollar, anti climate propaganda machine, is a sobering Canadian reality. Depressing as that is, don’t allow your “Canadian” to be extinguished. We’re better than that.

David Suzuki with Neil Young
Kick ass David Suzuki. Stir the pot, raise awareness, stand your ground, stand for change, stay the course and keep on being the voice of Canadian reason. Stephen Harper’s shocking government is intolerable to this Canadian. Change is possible – all it takes is for enough of us to believe.

 

When in Drought, Find a Beaver


I learned something interesting about the Beaver of all things. Once the backbone of  Canadian fur trading, this rather large rodent may adorn our nickel, yet is considered nothing more than a nuisance. Their fur of little value in a world  of synthetic fabric draped political correctness,  the Beaver  inhabit a realm known as pest. In parts of Canada like Porcupine Plains, Saskatchewan they even have a bounty on their seemingly worthless hides.

Not so fast people. According to David Suzuki they could be the most important animal on our planet. It seems their relentless dam building serves a special purpose. By creating ponds, they trap water destined to evaporate from small streams. By building dams they make deep ponds out of trickles the summer sun would have turned to dry creek beds.

Dr Glynnis Hood studied the impact of beavers on water levels in a given landscape. Elk Island National Park near Edmonton, Alberta had seen every last beaver trapped by the late 1800’s. In the 1940’s seven beavers were introduced and park rangers kept meticulous records of their activity. Looking at park records, Hood noticed a dramatic increase in water levels once these beavers got busy.

A fish hatchery in Methow, Washington is using the beaver to restore pools of late season water to areas where salmon stocks are dwindling. In Montana cattle country, conservationists  introduced beaver to what had become dry valleys by late summer. Limiting livestock access, and letting the beaver do their thing; remarkably these bone dry valleys became lush and green the following year.

Pondering the beaver I can’t help but think of the greatest man made disaster in North America. The “dust bowl” of the 1930’s was the result of poor farming practices; stripping indigenous grasses from the great plains removed nature’s perfect defense in times of drought. Protective layer gone, complete with five foot deep root systems; the top soil simply blew away.

https://notestoponder.wordpress.com/2012/11/20/the-greatest-man-made-disaster-in-north-america/

It worries me to watch arrogance grow, believing we control our environment. Anything getting in the way of progress is eradicated with nary a thought.  It makes me crazy to think this might come across as preachy, there just isn’t any other way to put it. All of us need to ponder the “balance of nature”. Today’s nuisance beaver might one day be our saving grace; in times of drought – find a beaver.