"The rodents are often considered ‘nuisance animals’, but they can play a vital role in maintaining healthy landscapes"
"Molly Alves steps down hard on the edge of a heavy wire trap, forcing its sides open with her hands. With care she lays the poised trap, baited with twigs and branches, in a bracingly cold stream. Her target? A beaver.
Beavers are often considered “nuisance” animals on the US west coast and, if captured, are destroyed by animal control companies.
But the beaver picked up by Alves is to be transported to Alves’ employers, the Tulalip Tribes, a nation in Washington’s western corner. This Native American community, and others, are at the vanguard of the “beaver believer” movement, which holds that the rodents can play an essential role in maintaining healthy landscapes.
Beavers are known as nature’s engineers, due to their dam-building habits. For decades they have been hated by landowners, who dislike the animals’ tendency to fell trees and flood areas. However, their dams – although seen by some as a nuisance – help control the quantity and quality of water flow, while their ponds create habitat for numerous plants and animal species, including fish."