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Martinez beavers are worth a dam

By Gary Bogue
Friday, March 21st, 2008 at 8:21 am in Beavers.

Hey beaver lovers, I just received the following update on the status of the beaver family that lives in the downtown Martinez (CA) area of Alhambra Creek.

Apparently the plight of the Martinez Beavers, made famous through YouTube videos, national news outlets and this very blog you are reading, still hangs in the balance.

Check this out:

In response to overwhelming political and special interest pressures to relocate the beavers, and out of a sincere desire to create workable solutions that allow for coexistence, “Worth A Dam,” an association under the umbrella of Land4Urban Wildlife has been formed.

MARTINEZ, California — Worth A Dam ( — Worth A Dam, hosted by the 501(c) Land4Urban Wildlife and headed up by Heidi Perryman, will tackle the ongoing challenges of beaver coexistence. The non-profit will act as the fulcrum between City Officials/Staff and community volunteers. The first order of business will be the redesign of the existing Martinez Beavers Web site to allow for individual contributions to projects such as willow tree plantings.

“Ultimately, though, our charter hinges on the outcome of the City Council vote to either keep or evict the beavers,” says Perryman. The City Council meeting on April 2 is the date being floated for that final vote.

As if to emphasize Ms. Perryman’s concern: in an e-mail response regarding publicity for the upcoming meeting, Martinez City Council Member, Lara DeLaney wrote, “ … we will need all the public support we can get to pressure those members of the Council who are leaning (strongly) toward removal/relocation … ” Those members referred to are Mayor Rob Schroder, Council Member Janet Kennedy and Council Member Mike Menesini.

While it appears that the vote will fall on the side of removal/relocation of the beavers, Ms. Perryman is still optimistic about the beavers’ fate.

“The Sierra Club strongly opposes any attempts to relocate or euthanize the beavers that have colonized the downtown area of Alhambra Creek, as well as any attempts to irreparably harm their lodge, dam, and surrounding habitat,” Perryman said. “Clearly a good many of you have already embraced the idea of stewardship concerning these animals. That can easily broaden into a larger ecological awareness that creates personal and civic pride in living in harmony with nature.”

Noting a recent mention by the San Francisco Examiner which characterized November’s meeting as a ‘“grand protest,” Ms. Perryman acknowledges the upcoming City Council meeting on April 2 needs an even greater number of attendees.

“Cheryl Reynolds just shot a picture of what appears to be a very pregnant female beaver. Even if we were going to relocate them, the experts agree that fall would be a much safer time.”

You can see the pregnant beaver photo at

Mission statement: Maintaining the Martinez beavers through responsible stewardship, creative problem-solving, community education and involvement.

Anyone who wants the beavers to stay where they are in Alhambra Creek should obviously attend that very important April 2 Martinez City Council meeting. They need all the support they can get.

Please add your comments or ideas about the beavers below. /Gary

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7 Responses to “Martinez beavers are worth a dam”

  1. mark ross Says:

    I agree!

  2. Linda Meza Says:

    Yesterday evening while checking in on a couple of individual beaver supporters I ran across a diner taking a smoke break outside of Louie Bertola’s. He mentioned that family members residing “at the top of the boot – Italy” called him to say they saw a news story back in November about the Alhambra Creek beavers on their local Italian television. Instead of evicting them the City Council should consider naming the beavers our International Goodwill Ambassadors.

  3. Joan Says:

    Leave them where they are. Save the beavers!

  4. bhf Says:

    We are in a position here to show that we can be good stewards toward our urban wildlife. Land for Urban Wildlife Inc., ( is a recent organization that is very active at trying to educate the public on the value of urban open space and natural areas that serve as habitat for our urban wildlife.

    As Diablo Valley and surrounding areas become over developed, we can only hope that we have the foresight to see that we need this type of interaction if we are to remain engaged with our natural world around us. Unfortunately, many have lost sight and are now cramped in over-crowded neighborhoods and conflicts between wildlife and humans occur.

    In these “new style” neighborhoods, we make room for more people, but we push out much of the wildlife and alter the natural ecosystem. A few animals have taken advantage of this “New” environment and their actions to find food and shelter have labeled them a nuisance. Where we once had equilibrium, we now have outbreaks of pests and diseases.

    I am not saying that we have to stop development all the way, we just need to develop smartly. We do not have to take all of the natural land. Leaving enough natural space will help reduce the conflicts that we somehow always create. And, sometime in the future, probably sooner than we expect, these little oasis of natural spaces will be very valuable and keep the values of our homes higher.

    Lastly, tolerance of wildlife can go a long way to help reduce the conflict between people who care and those who don’t want to understand what wildlife can bring. Those of us who care about Urban Wildlife need to educate those who need a little more information. Engaging those who can make a difference toward saving some urban wildlife is the right thing to do. Please support the efforts to save the Beavers in Martinez and Urban Wildlife in all urban spaces.

  5. Joan Says:

    Thank you bhf. I would like the beavers to stay where they are. Please save the beavers.

  6. Linda Meza Says:

    The date for the City Council of Martinez to weigh the fate of our beaver family is set. Please mark your calendars for April 16th, 7:00pm. Location to be announced.


  7. william hughes-games Says:

    Just a suggestion. If you are about to plant lots of willows to provide food for the beavers, instead, cut down a willow tree, cut the branches into truncheons as long as your forearm, sharpen the lower end and drive them into the ground. If the soil is moist, most of them will grow into willow trees. Much cheeper and much quicker.

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