Subscribe

Down to Earth

Ben Goldfarb is a “beaver believer.” He’s author of the new book, Eager: The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter. We talk about the historical role of beavers in the ecosystems of the entire North American continent, how they were nearly wiped out, and why many communities are brining them back—and with them lusher wetlands and healthier rivers.

2’48 how Ben became a “beaver believer”
5’21 what beavers actually do, how they store water
6’46 what this continent looked like with beavers everywhere
9’17 other species whose lives are made possible by beavers
10’17 the beaver pelt market and why it came to an end
12’53 examples of beavers’ contribution to Western ecosystems
15’45 cattle-beaver conflicts and cooperation
18’40 seeing agricultural land from a complex ecosystem perspective
19’28 Aldo Leopold thinking
20’35 crop agriculture and beavers?
23’28 beavers’ status in New Mexico
26’43 beaver coexistence with wildlife
29’28 California denial of beavers
31’51 non-lethal beaver management
34’14 killing beavers doesn’t work—they come back
35’29 Yellowstone, wolves, and beavers
39’59 grazing management and riparian areas
40’31 do beavers over-proliferate without predators?
42’37 accepting nature’s aesthetics rather than the clean lines of engineering
46’09 let the rodent do the work
48’30 also they’re so cute
48’53 what their lives and habitats are like