The Beaver Coalition was born as a name in late 2019, while a pandemic was quietly brewing and most of us hadn’t yet encountered the phrase, “novel coronavirus.” Our first home was as a program of the Applegate Partnership, a community-based nonprofit in the Rogue Basin that was founded in the early 1990’s during the timber wars by a council of neighbors, loggers, environmentalists, and government scientists. Through good-faith conversation and respect of different perspectives, this rural organization became a powerful example for the country in community-led adaptive forest management. We are proud to have been supported early by the Applegate Partnership, in addition to the Rogue Basin Partnership and the Rogue River Watershed Council, who funded a 2019 project led by Jakob Shockey to map beaver habitat in the Rogue Basin. We continue to advance this project under The Beaver Coalition with support from the US Fish and Wildlife, in addition to new regional projects to create beaver-based restoration plans for the Cascade Siskiyou National Monument and the Rogue River Siskiyou National Forest.
This new nonprofit organization is the result of conversations at creeks and coffee shops, over food and on the phone, in planes and even a couple of meetings in undisclosed government buildings. The Beaver Coalition is a group of pragmatic professionals working to strategically facilitate a paradigm shift in how humans relate to our fellow ecosystem engineer. We envision widespread public and private landowner support for a return of beaver and their works to the waterways of North America. Beaver in these riverscapes cause the restoration of hydrologically and ecologically healthy aquatic systems. We believe clean, abundant water, and resilient, functioning streams are universal needs for the health of people and the places they live. We work to build trust and bridge the real and perceived divisions that serve as barriers to collaboration.
We stand on the shoulders of giants, and humbly work so that their contributions to beaver education, science, advocacy and process-based restoration might inspire others more broadly. In that sense, perhaps we are most inspired by the humility of the beaver themselves—steadily changing the world for the better, one stick at a time.
Feeling beaver-curious—or ready to join the castor-crazed? Check out our website at www.beavercoalition.org