Give the beaver a break

  Bill Croke’s piece about beavers caught my eye (HCN, 6/7/04: Revenge of the old-timers: The beavers are back). I’m one of the "New Westerners" who likes the idea of having beaver around, and I’ve spent time and energy over 30-plus years trying (to no avail) to get the Nevada Department of Wildlife to prohibit the trapping of beaver on public land. The argument is simple: Nevada is the most arid of all Western states, with a near-permanent drought, and the beaver is the only non-human animal that cares about, creates and conserves water in such a place. Camping next to a beaver dam is always a delight. (Except, perhaps, for the cows, cow pies, flies and other assorted distractions.)

Those who object most loudly to the beaver are, ironically, often living on bottomlands in desirable locations created by the remnants of old beaver dams which have accumulated over past centuries.

Don Molde
Reno, Nevada

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