“Dam It: How Beavers Can Save the Planet,” A Conversation with Ben Goldfarb
- Thursday, March 10, 7:00 pm - 8:30 am
On March 10, Sycamore Land Trust’s Land Stewardship team hosted a virtual lecture with environmental journalist Ben Goldfarb, author of Eager: The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter. A recording of the lecture is now available to watch at sycamorelandtrust.org/conversations.
In Eager: The Suprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter, Ben Goldfarb reveals that our modern conception of a healthy ecosystem is wrong, distorted by the fur trade that once trapped out millions of beavers from North America’s waterways. The consequences of losing beavers were profound: ponds drained, wetlands dried up, and species from salmon to swans lost vital habitat. Today, a growing coalition of “Beaver Believers”—including scientists, ranchers, and passionate citizens—recognizes that ecosystems with beavers are far healthier than those without them. From the Nevada deserts to the Scottish highlands, Believers are hard at work restoring these industrious rodents to their former haunts. In his talk, Ben will discuss the history of this world-changing species; how beavers can help us fight drought, flooding, wildfire, and climate change; and how we can coexist with this challenging but vital rodent.
Ben Goldfarb is the author of Eager: The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter, winner of the 2019 PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award. His work has appeared in publications including the Atlantic, Science, Orion Magazine, and the Washington Post. He lives with his wife, Elise, and his dog, Kit — which is, of course, what you call a baby beaver.