Ep. 63THE BEAVER EPISODE (finally!) with Dr. Emily Fairfax and Dr. Sophie Gilbert

The long-awaited beaver episode! In this episode, we learn about how beavers are not only champions of wildfire resilience but are also sleeper endurance athletes (climbing mountains to find new watersheds), dedicated anti-capitalists (not giving a **** about the regulatory or material concerns of humans), expert engineers (casually restoring entire watersheds) and pretty handy companions to have in our pursuit of restoring habitat and landscape resilience across the West (and beyond).

Dr. Emily Fairfax and Dr. Sophie Gilbert joined us to talk about everything from nature-based climate solutions to why we should learn to better coexist with beavers to that one time Idaho Fish and Game decided to try parachuting beavers into mountain meadows in Idaho. Rest assured there were also a lot of beaver puns.

Beavers’ role in building fire resilience is probably one of the most requested episode topics we’ve had since starting the podcast in 2020. We got a pretty solid Beavers and Fire 101, but also had the chance to dig in deeper to talk about areas where beavers have made an impact in protecting structures during wildfires, how Sophie’s work at Vibrant Planet is helping to prioritize areas where beavers and nature-based interventions (like beaver dam analogs) could make the biggest difference, as well as what both of their visions are for an idyllic beaver-friendly and more fire-resilient world. Also, be sure to stick around to the end of the episode where we speak about the concept of a “Stewardship Economy,” or creating a world that is more supportive of community building and stewardship/restoration work that supports both resilience and community—in other words, the things we really need not only in the wildfire space but also in the broader climate/conservation etc spaces. 

Here are links to a few of the things mentioned throughout the episode: 

Beaver, Bison, Horse Book—The Traditional Knowledge and Ecology of the Northern Great Plains

Emily Fairfax’s website/research. 

A fantastic stop-motion rendering of how beaver’s change the landscape and build fire resilience (created by Emily!)

Vibrant Planet’s Land Tender— a multi-faceted planning and monitoring platform for treatment area prioritization, risk mapping and decision making. 

“Leave It To Beavers,” Patagonia’s Cleanest Line Blog—Amanda’s story about Trout Unlimited and Northwest Youth Corps crews building BDA’s in the John Day River watershed.  

Support the continued production of the podcast and enjoy exclusive perks by becoming a supporter on Patreon.

Support the Show

No comments