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Beaver Bonanza: Wild Beavers Return To California Lakes For The First Time In 75 Years!

A beaver swims in their new California home.

Once upon a time, Northern California was absolutely crawling with adorable beavers. However, in the 19th century, the demand for fur products nearly wiped out these creatures from the area. This has been a blow to the ecosystem in the ancestral lands of the Mountain Maidu people. Now, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife is teaming up with the Maidu Summit Consortium to make things right. This project involves bringing beavers back to Tásmam Koyóm, a Maidu valley in Plumas County.

SFGate tells us this is the first time in 75 years a family of beavers has been released here. One very small beaver was reluctant at first and had to be carried into the water by an older sibling.

Conservationists release beavers from cages into the wild.
Screengrab from CDFW/YouTube

“You just saw this tiny brown furball, this little nugget, catch a ride on the back of his sibling’s tail, and it looked like he was surfing,” said CDFW program manager Valerie Cook. “I don’t think it set in for days afterward, but that moment will go down as one of the highlights of my entire career. I think we were very proud of what we had done, and really optimistic about the potential that this represents for us and the good we think we can do moving forward.”

CDFW shared a beautiful video of the beaver family being released into the California wild. It’s absolutely heartwarming to see these creatures happily swimming in their new home!

A beaver swims in their new California home.
Screengrab from CDFW/YouTube

Restoring beavers to Tásmam Koyóm will help the California valley thrive.

“There’s a part of our history where we viewed a lot of animals as nuisance, varmint, and we shot them off the landscape, from bison all the way down to beaver and many things in between,” said Chuck Bonham, Director of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. “And when you bring them home, you’ll restore your ecology. You’ll get your healthy functioning again, in your meadows, in your Alpine streams, in your coastal estuaries.”

Allen Lowry, vice chairman of the Maidu Summit Consortium, added, “They’re our little cousins, and we’re going to pray for them to be safe and have a good life here in this beautiful environment. We’re so happy to be able to release them here, and we pray that they make a good home forever here.”

A released beaver swims in Tásmam Koyóm.
Screengrab from CDFW/YouTube

What a beautiful reminder that, although humans have the power to harm nature, we can also help it heal. We’re wishing all the best to the Maidu Summit Consortium and CDFW as they continue to restore and protect Maidu ancestral lands.

Watch the video below to see this beaver family settle into in their new California home!

You can find the source of this story’s featured image here.

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