Dr. Emily Wakild
Beavers have always played a key role in the balances of environmental conservation and wildlife management. Beavers help grow vegetation in river valleys that are prone to fires, provide natural habitats for other organisms, and most importantly regulate changes and seasonal fluctuations in rivers and streams (Utz). Beavers are keystone species that have the ability to manage and conserve wilderness areas (Goldfarb). The problem with beavers is that their image is controversial, especially in Idaho. The state of Idaho was built on hunting and trapping beavers, as well as agriculture. Throughout history to the present, beavers have been represented as a nuisance and a loss of income to farming communities, as well as, an opportunity for fur markets in the past (Goldfarb). However, the goal of this research is to implement an outreach strategy that seeks to educate and promote beaver awareness throughout Idaho and in some of the most controversial areas. Neighboring states, such as Oregon and Washington have found a way to idolize the beaver and use it as a source of climate resistance and fire regulation. How can Idaho learn from these strategies to change perspectives on the beaver? Outreach, education, and other motives of awareness will be crucial in identifying problems and promoting solutions to the public regarding beaver conservation and ideology. Some of the methods that will be used to conduct this effort include advertisements, public outreach to local communities and businesses, and interviews of nonprofits and state agencies. This will be set as a foundation, or a guidebook that will outline how to handle and promote beavers in Idaho. Beavers symbolize the development of the west and should continue to play a role as an environmental tool in Idaho.
French, Lillianne; Ojeda, Rosio; Symmes, Melissa; and Wakild, Emily, "Idaho Beaver Outreach Plan" (2020). 2020 Undergraduate Research Showcase. 57.