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Bad times for the Martinez beavers

By Gary Bogue
Thursday, October 2nd, 2008 at 7:30 am in Beavers, Martinez Beavers.

smile again

Dear Gary:
The city of Martinez approved all resolutions Wednesday night, including the exemption of SEQA. Bids for the creek work open at 11 a.m. today.

The city responded to comments for citizen inclusion in the process with an offer to set up an oversight committee including Worth A Dam, but then discussed it with the attorney and city engineer, who advised that any oversight body could not make decisions, slow any decisions, or influence them in any way. I declined to participate under those conditions.

Supporters of the Martinez beavers were in tears at the meeting’s end, including myself.
Heidi Perryman, Ph.D., President & Founder, Worth A Dam

Dear Readers:
In other words, the city invited beaver lovers to sit on an oversight committee … that had no oversight. That kind of says what this is all about, doesn’t it?

The city now plans to charge ahead on their “emergency bank stabilization,” causing a MAJOR impact on the beavers’ environment and their home … and of course on the beavers themselves.

I guess we’re going to find out how tough those little guys are, whether we (or they) like it or not.

All this disruption is taking place at the worst possible time for the beavers … with winter just around the corner.

We all live in a “suburban/urban wilderness” that includes the streets of our towns and cities, the creeks that meander around and through the spaces where we live, and our own individual backyards.

These wild creatures live around us — a lot closer than we think. We need to learn how to get along with and live together with our wild neighbors … and that also means getting along with and living and working with our human neighbors — with each other.

We need to toss all this distrust, and misinformation, and fighting out the window and work together to help preserve the wild creatures that live around us. Otherwise there isn’t going to be any wildlife.

As John Muir once said, “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.”

It didn’t have to be this way. This all could have been resolved in a way that would have taken care of concerns about the creek bank stabilization AND the welfare of the beavers.

Pity the wild creatures, for they know not what we do. /Gary

There’s more on the Worth A Dam Web site:
Check out http:/

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6 Responses to “Bad times for the Martinez beavers”

  1. jean Says:

    It’s money that elects these people. It these same money interests that tell our elected officials what to do. Within the next 10 years our beautiful Martinez Marina will be turned into apartment dwellings, multi-use structures, restaurants, parking lots,and trampled wildlife. There will be no beavers, muscrats, beautiful birds, racoons, steelhead trouts, beautiful dragon flies, and lush vegetation. And the heart and spirit of Martinez will be gone also. Money makes the decisions. People follow.

  2. charlene olivera Says:

    I am sadden by all of this. I am at the train station every sunday and I alway go see the dam.I hope the beavers make it they are tough. and they out witted the last atempt to get rid of them. so all my prsyers go to the beavers. and I hope that when the people that are causing their problems ever have to fight for their home and their way of life that some one will pray for them. beccaue what they are doing is wrong.

  3. Julian Frazer Says:


    Most of the lodge is out of the area of pile installation as it was built around existing piles 15 ft. worth. New piles connect to these existing piles and will touch the lower edge of the lodge.

    A biologist is to be hired to make sure beaver are not in the imediate way of pile installation. The beaver live in the entire creek and have other lodges and hiding holes that they use. The biologist is recomending food augmentation during this time as food availablity is what will determine when the beaver will leave. There is still plenty of food.

    As you might remember I included you in my email corespondense with the city two years ago letting them know that the beaver should not be moved and giving them an 18 page web site about Beaver a Keystone spieces.

    The city right or wrong has committed to this project and has assured us that a real time biologist will be asigned to protected the beaver and also offered for beaver supporters to be involved in this effort to make sure beaver are not immediatily harmed while insallating of the piles.

    Animals will move away from danger. In this case our beaver will find another place in the creek and more than likely come back.

    Let’s put are energy in helping this project go by quickly while keeping the beaver out of the way.

    Thanks Julian Frazer

  4. Kathryn Marshall Says:

    Dear Gary,
    I say amen to Julian Frazer’s comments and his actions. We need to refocus the negative energy that ‘Worth a Dam’ and the city has growing between them to facilitate a plan on getting the beavers to relocate long enough for the work, that will be done, to get done. I can completely sympathize with Heidi but also am quick to mention that a beaver biologist is on the case here. Which of the members of “worth a Dam’ has a degree in zoology? If any of them do they would know that most mammals, including beavers will relocate from an immediate area to avoid danger but will return to their food source once the danger has been diverted or is gone. And before you get flooded with responses asking about my credentials…no I do not have a degree in Zoology but I do know how to read and use the internet. Maybe some of those other folks ought to give it a try.
    Kathryn Marshall

  5. Monica Garcia Says:


    May I recommend that those interested in helping the beavers in your community have a look at “Living with Beavers:
    A Guide for Solving Beaver-Human Conflicts” – a free, downloadable document available from Animal Protection of New Mexico. APNM has hired a consultant to demonstrate to state and federal wildlife personnel how to mitigate beaver damage while allowing the beavers to keep their habitat, only slightly adapted for human/beaver coexistence.

    I hope you’re able to come to a humane resolution.


  6. Kathryn Marshall Says:

    Hi Gary,
    Wanted to kind of update what I and my friends have seen in the past few days at the creek. We have noticed a lot of people doing nothing but bickering and complaining and then a few people who care, like us, feeding the beavers approved food (by the biologist) farther down the creek(where they are staying for the period of construction to install the sheet metal support).
    I think it’s really important that there are people out there that are actually helping the beavers adjust to the construction phase of the this project, rather than moaning and groaning about the project and bickering with City of Martinez over something that they clearly have no say in. The city made it quite clear that the project is moving forward and will be completed. What is important now is that we all help the beaver adjust to living just a bit more down the creek and give them everything they want at that location to make them comfortable, until which time the installation of the wall is done and they can once again come back to their favorite feeding ground. The city is keenly aware of the very positive notes the beavers bring to it. They want the beavers to stay as much as I do. FYI, everyone knows this is not a “beaver” problem. The city even admitted this by omitting all “beaver” language from the resolution approving this project. Let’s all pull together, work together and keep the beavers in Martinez.

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