California Releases Beavers into the Wild for First Time in Nearly 75 Years

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has taken a significant step in conservation by conducting the first beaver conservation release in almost 75 years. In collaboration with the Maidu Summit Consortium, CDFW introduced a family of seven beavers into Plumas County, in a region of great cultural significance to the tribal community known as Tásmam Koyóm.

The beaver family joins a solitary resident beaver with the goal of re-establishing a breeding population. This initiative aims to preserve the mountain meadow ecosystem and its habitat, benefiting numerous other species.

“Thanks to the leadership of our tribal partners and years of preparation, beavers are returning to their original homeland around the state,” said Governor Gavin Newsom. “California is restoring wildlife and critical habitat by working hand-in-hand with the tribes who have stewarded these lands.”

This release is part of CDFW’s North American beaver restoration project, focusing on the ancestral lands of the Mountain Maidu people. Another beaver reintroduction effort is planned for the Tule River Reservation in the southern Sierra Nevada.

Beavers play a crucial role in landscape and water conservation. They retain water on the land, increasing groundwater recharge, improving seasonal flows, and enhancing fuel moisture during wildfire seasons.

The translocation of the beavers followed years of site preparation, ensuring suitable habitats and protection from predators. Multiple organizations, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and local entities, collaborated on these efforts.

CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham remarked, “We look forward to duplicating these efforts on the Tule River Reservation in the southern Sierra Nevada mountains this spring.”

The released beavers will be monitored for several years to assess their impact on the ecosystem and any potential conflicts.

For more information about CDFW’s beaver management and restoration activities, visit wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Mammals/Beaver.

Active NorCal

Telling the Stories of Northern California

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