Kids and parents learn about the animal’s important roles
By Sam Liebl
Children and adults met a beaver up close at the Twisp library on Friday (Aug. 5). Methow Beaver Project intern Sasha Satya told the two dozen children in attendance about the animals’ anatomy, the lodges they live in, and their role in watersheds.
“They are called a keystone species because they make many other animals thrive, including salmon, moose and deer” Satya told the group. “They increase the availability of water for people, too.”
The beaver brought to the library was a 40-pound male named Strider. At 4 years of age, he is in the prime of his life, said Satya. He has been held at the Winthrop National Fish Hatchery, where the Methow Beaver Project is based, for three weeks. As soon as the project can match him with a female partner, he will be released high in a watershed, where he will have prime habitat and not be a nuisance to people.
Valley resident Jaymee Grass brought her 8-, 10-, and 12-year-old children to the talk and said her family plans on checking out books from the library to learn more about the creatures.
“The biggest surprise was how big the beaver was,” Grass said. “Seeing the animal up close really makes my children want to find out more about them.”
Giving the public a chance to see beavers in person is important to changing people’s perceptions about these animals and to maintaining healthy, resilient watersheds, said Methow Beaver Project Director Kent Woodruff.
“One of the most important things the Methow Beaver Project does is to give people a chance to see that beavers are valuable parts of the landscape,” said Woodruff. “As climate change progresses and we get thirstier for water, introducing beavers is a way we can better our watersheds. Millions of gallons of cold, clean water are stored in beaver ponds we have created.”