“Nature’s Architect” review and call for enlightened conservation

I am trying to gain support for better recognition and protection for the work and habitat created by beavers in our region. This will require help and imput from many in the pubic and private sectors.

The new book from distinguished Scottish nature writer and observer, Jim Crumley: “Nature’s Architect, The Beaver’s Return To Our Wild Landscapes”, 2015,(Saraband, Pub.) does a nice job of presenting the dilemma of conflict resulting from the attempted re-establishment of beaver populations in Scotland and Europe. He also discusses the problem of the lack of “Cultural Memory” from the extended time of the beavers absence from the landscape. This causes a disconnect from the ability to comprehend what would constitute a restored natural state, and what that would actually mean for restoration of myriad ecological connections.

The book strongly refers to our own MacArthur Foundation’s American Genius Award recipient, David M.Carroll (Warner, N.H.) and passages from his definitive book: “Swampwalker’s Journal” (1999). Carroll’s intimate knowledge from extensive years of study and immersion in all the various wetland and other natural landscapes leads to the perspective and concept for the need of allowing “wildlife to manage wildlife”. By extension, I would add: for humans to manage wildlife by mimicking what nature would have in place as much as possible. This concept is further described from Mr. Crumley’s writings: “In Scotland {even} more than most places, we have demonstrated that in the matter of wildlife management the track record of our species is one of far reaching and spectacular incompetence.” “The Victorians ushered in new perversions and depravities and achieved the nadir, and evidence of the chill hand they brought to bear on nature still pervades the air in the 21st century, still poisons the land with its prejudices, and still calls it wildlife management.” In contrast re-introduction of beavers at Scotland’s Aigas Field Center has apparently documented a 400% INCREASE IN BIODIVERSITY in just 5 years! So we can imagine what a landscape wide congruous effect might be, unattainable in the present state of “management” where there is constant disruption from trapping and conflict pressures.

“….in terms of cultural memory we are all in the same boat. We can study the experiences of … {others}… but our own unique environment, our own unique history of land use and wildlife intolerance, and that centuries long beaverless gulf stands like a dam that holds back the necessary understanding that is a prerequisite for thoughtful conservation. We will {need not 5, but 50 (or more) years to witness} every stage of the beaver {colonisation} cycle{s} [in a protected status] in the landscape, and by then {perhaps} we will be in a position to assess the true nature of the beaver’s long term impact on bio-diversity, on salmon and trout rivers, on wetland, on woodland, and on the limitless opportunities it creates for other life forms…..”

While most wildlife managers I have heard from seem to acknowledge the importance of beaver work to ecology, how is it that beavers have little to no actual protection?

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=dp_byline_sr_book_1?ie=UTF8&text=Jim+Crumley&search-alias=books&field-author=Jim+Crumley&sort=relevancerank, http://www.nationalbook.org/nba2009_nf_carroll_d.html, http://www.APNM.org/beavers, http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1062&context=icwdmother, http://www.grandcanyontrust.org/blog/beaver-and-climate-change, groups.yahoo.com/group/ beaverforumNM/, http://www.trueactivist.com/gab_gallery/how-wolves-change-rivers/, http://www.cbc.ca/beaverwhisperer/film.html, http://www.martinezbeavers.org/wordpress/2013/03/17/selecting-a-surrogate-species/ , http://www.BeaversWW.org, http://www.martinezbeavers.org, http://www.thebeaverbelievers.com, http://www.beaversolutions.com, http://www.beaverdeceivers.com, http://oaec.org/projects/bring-back-the-beaver-campaign/, http://www.hcn.org/issues/47.19/the-beaver-whisperer, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyAw83X1lxs, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unity_(film)

Two additional links and references are: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=huGrM3deBjg, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyAw83X1lxs

Also: https://rivermanagement.wordpress.com/workshop-may-14-2015/, http://floodready.vermont.gov/node/747, http://www.lcbp.org/2015/04/report-released-evaluating-the-costs-and-benefits-of-floodplain-protection-activities-in-waterbury-vt-and-willsboro-ny/

Thanks for your consideration, Rick Hesslein / http://www.beaverbros-ecohumanesystems.com