Eager: Why beavers matter

Melanie StatenOur Town Outdoors

Our modern conception of a healthy ecosystem is wrong, distorted by the fur trade that once eliminated millions of beavers from North America’s waterways, according to award-winning environmental journalist, Ben Goldfarb.

Join us on Zoom, Thursday, September 28, 7 p.m. Eastern time, as Ben discusses 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. This program is co-sponsored by The University of Tennessee Arboretum Society, Tennessee Citizens for Wilderness Planning and Union Avenue Books.

Photo by Ben Goldfarb

“The consequences of losing beavers were profound: ponds drained, wetlands dried up, and species from salmon to swans lost vital habitat,” said Ben. “Today, a growing coalition of ‘Beaver Believers’ recognizes that ecosystems with beavers are far healthier than those without them. The group is hard at work restoring these industrious rodents to their former haunts.”

He’ll also briefly discuss his new book and how wildlife crossing structures are helping to prevent roadkill and reconnect habitats around the world.

Registrants will be given a discount coupon code to use on Goldfarb’s two books at Union Avenue Books. The program is free, but registration is required to receive your Zoom link and the recording. Register at www.utarboretumsociety.org. Please contact Michelle at mcampani@utk.edu for any questions or registration issues.

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, the New York Times and the Washington Post.

His next book, “Crossings: How Road Ecology Is Shaping the Future of Our Planet,” will be published by W.W. Norton & Company in September 2023. He lives in Colorado with his wife, Elise, and his dog, Kit – which is, of course, what you call a baby beaver.

To learn more about the Arboretum Society or for questions on this program, go to www.utarboretumsociety.org

Melanie Staten is a public relations consultant with her husband, Vince.


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