In Praise of Urban Beavers


If you were a beaver, you couldn’t hope for a happier home than Seattle. The Emerald City is graced with gentle creeks, ample timber, a moderate climate, and, the occasional coyote notwithstanding, few carnivores. Beavers throughout Washington State are relatively protected from the most dangerous predator, us humans, by a 2001 ballot initiative that banned most lethal traps. A recent paper published in the journal WIREs Water found that around 86 percent of the city’s 60 kilometers of stream show signs of beaver activity—a higher rate than you’d see in nearly any national park. Unlike other Seattleites,…


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