Beavers vs. Environmental Degradation and the Connection to Irresponsible Technologies

I am grateful for another opportunity to spread the good word about the value of our biodiversity engineers, beavers- Castor Canadensis in North America (Castor Fiber in Europe). Tho Beavers impact may not be on the scale, worldwide, of intact forests and healthy oceans, they do contribute as highly significant agents who promote the health of our hydrology, habitats, and our forests. They do this by slowing the draining of rain and surface water to the sea, reducing erosion and sedimentation of soil and water and by increasing filtration and biodegradation of those sediments and also of pollutants such as pesticides, fertilizers and heavy metals. By their work, which creates bioactive openings in our forests, beaver vastly increase biodiversity in both plants and animals which further serve to increase the health and resilience of our forests and our general ecology. This also helps to prevent excessive imbalances which may manifest as flareups of insect infestation or various diseases. I am working on a blog/website (ecosystemengineers.wordpress.com) which I hope will provide some insights and especially links to more sources of good information through recommended books and other websites (such as Beavers, Wetlands&Wildlife–[BeaversWW.org]).

    Beavers plight: The most serious threat to beaver in Maine and elsewhere (which is still preventing significant habitat restoration!), besides plain ignorance, is excessive trapping for both “sport” and “nuisance issues”. In Maine the State Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Dept. has little funding for  adequately monitoring beaver populations or especially intact habitats. There are virtually no areas set aside (to my knowledge) for beaver to fulfill their environmental role and this must change! There should at least be some watershed areas set aside in each county in the state where beavers can exist unmolested by man so the benefits of their incredible work could be fully realized and observed! All creatures and especially, many of our most endangered species, rely to some degree on these cyclic beaver wetlands. This sad state of loss I hope can serve to generate some pressure and support directed toward persuading our State wildlife officials to comprehend this grave oversight and sooner than later close some critical drainage areas in each county to trapping and provide protection from development so these habitats can be fully restored! As it is we have far too few protected areas to even begin to demonstrate the benefits and the situation is both dire and pathetic. Though in Maine the law requires that permission be obtained from State Wildlife Officials (MDIF&W) to breach dams or remove beaver for property or infrastructure issues, this permission is often too easily given without consideration for more proactive solutions such as modern “beaver deceivers” which can be cost effective and can preserve, at least partially, the habitat benefits. Most commonly beavers or dams construed as “nuisance” are removed lethally, tho at some cost relocation is sometimes possible through live trapping. This is however a poor substitute to better planning and regulating of development or infrastructure to better promote restoration of healthy habitats! Presently Maine trapping laws exempt the usual required landowner written permission to trap for beaver tho you can post or otherwise restrict trapping on your property. Also certain “wildlife districts” in Maine are exempted from the usual setback requirements for beaver traps from dams and lodges due to perceived population/”nuisance” issues (like the unending proliferation of logging roads!). Even in wildlife preserves and sanctuaries such as Acadia National Park and Baxter State Park beavers are routinely trapped out and removed either because trapping is allowed and unregulated or issues with flooded roads or trails are not dealt with by more comprehensive means. Please join with me in contacting our State Representatives and Wildlife Officials to make the case for far better protection of beaver and the ponds and streams they were born to manage! (Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife, Augusta 287-8000; Bangor research office: 941-4440.)
The connection to human technology: The underlying nemesis to all these wonderful creatures, habitats, forests, waters and environments is the ever encroaching “development” of and by humans and the mantra of “economic growth” being the solution to the human condition. This truly is comparable to a worldwide cancer which will end up destroying the planet’s ecology and our ability to live here! A great book I stumbled upon ( see also, internet film of same name): “The Story of Stuff” (.com) is a fantastic study of the state of human civilization, development and direction. The film is a good quick introduction but the book is really a significant source for important investigation, analysis, education and empowerment toward change! This sort of leads me to what I think is a clear “micro (or) macrocosm” example of the self destructive nature of the human growth economy mentality: “Genetically Modified Organisms”. The technological development of “GMO’s”, especially “GM” (also known as GE- genetically engineered) food is an incredible and poignant study of the irresponsible attempt by powers of profit and greed to force the acceptance of their “frankenfoods” around the world through collusion and corruption of our public agencies and government. This move by certain corporations in the name of economic expansion to redefine and “improve” (and control?) the world’s food production is obscene and unconscionable. In the rush to advance this profit motivated economic frontier, legitimate scientific concerns have been steamrolled and suppressed, government agencies have been overridden and corrupted and undue influence has directed the formation and enforcement of the law. The result is we are all now guinea pigs in a huge scientific experiment since these engineered genes are already (and declared unnecessary to be labeled) in major portions of our food supply and have the potential to self-perpetuate and pollute the whole environment with unknown effects on life forms and natural evolution as we know it! Please check out the website and especially the book: “Seeds of Deception” (.com) and also: www.responsibletechnology.org.  As a footnote to exemplify the significance of the concern about genetically engineered food, let me mention:  Since “GMO’s” have been introduced to the American diet (which includes about 80% of soy and 38% of corn, 70% of cotton and more than 60% of canola,along with the derivatives of which, in total, now comprise more than 70% of our processed foods), food related illnesses have doubled and 80% of these illnesses are caused by unidentifiable pathogens…As of 2001 these reported cases are reported to have included 5,000 deaths, 325,000 hospitalizations and 76,000,000 illnesses. Additionally obesity has skyrocketed, diabetes has risen 33% and lymphatic cancers are increasing. As much as a 50% increase in food allergies has occurred and many reports of increased illness and disease in animals fed GMO derived foods and rb growth hormone! All of this is further complicated by the extremely hard to trace nature of the multiple ways GMO’s can invade and affect what they contact thru diet or contaminated pollen etc., while the Biotechnology Industry fights every attempt to label or further research these and other very legitimate concerns! They fight because of greed, knowing that the truth will stop this ill conceived technology dead in its tracks. Meanwhile we guinea pigs are suffering and even dying from causes too complex to easily identify let alone treat. At least in one instance the GMO culprit was found in extraordinary circumstances in the case of a dietary supplement: L-Tryptophan. In this incidence there was an unusual coincidence of symptoms and circumstance and very alert doctors that were able to finally trace an unidentifiable but repeated specific illness (that eventually killed as many as 125 and had caused serious illness for as many as 10,000 people) to a specific brand of L-Tryptophan that was produced by genetic engineering methods (the only one that was!). This case also demonstrates how the biotech industry’s undue influence over our government agencies (specifically the FDA and EPA) produced so many theories and excuses around this incident that proper accountability remains partially concealed to date!  SO now a great new frontier of technology for “economic growth” is a new form of pollution, promoted by the same corporate criminals that brought us DDT, Agent Orange, PCB’s, dioxin, 2,4,5-T, 2,4-D, aspartame, rb growth hormone, “roundup” and falsified scientific studies;  a pollution that potentially perpetuates itself and could spread throughout our environment and cannot be recalled or even easily detected once released!?! All this instead of promoting natural and sustainable systems that actually empower individuals to enrich their own health and welfare and nurture our environment. Scary, but this stark example could serve to bring focus to obvious flaws in our direction, our government and collusion/corruption by “special interests” and show the way to move forward more sanely. So please check out: SeedsofDeception.com and The Story of Stuff.com and join the ranks of conscious consumers and eaters with the knowledge that supporting local economies and organic food- (GMO’s aren’t allowed legally in organic {99%}) -is a path toward sustainable living and, hopefully, also restoring our ecology along with our precious allies, forests, oceans, weather, water and, of course… beavers! It really is all connected! In the case of GMO food, I can’t imagine a more clear and well documented example of collusion and corruption of our government agencies by corporate money and criminal influence (particularly Monsanto Corp. [see “The World According to Monsanto” the New Press, New York]), where a revolving door of political appointees, from the industries being regulated, have overridden the scientific concerns of those agencies own staff, and all legitimate concerns; in spite of the public good that these agencies (EPA and especially the FDA) were created to protect. Hopefully the continued exposure and growing awareness of this issue (that is all of us spreading the word and demanding our representatives in govt. investigate and take action) will result in the proper outrage, accountability, criminal investigation, and clean up of flawed government agency procedures and provide an opportunity for an honest discussion about the very real dangers involved with genetic engineering of organisms!
Advertisements