Audubon presents ‘Living with Beavers’ this Saturday

Submitted Photo Coming from the Adirondacks, Owen and Sharon Brown, co-founders of Beavers: Wetlands and Wildlife, present “Living with Beavers” on Saturday morning.

Jamestown – Beavers can be hard to live with. They flood land and roads, dam ditches and road culverts, and can wreak havoc on the land. Their dams can also restore wetlands, those “rainforests of the North” rated as the land’s best life support system.

Audubon Community Nature Center is bringing Owen and Sharon Brown, the founders of Beavers: Wetlands and Wildlife (BWW), to present “Living with Beavers” on Saturday, April 27 from 10 to11:30 a.m.

As BWW’s website, beaversww.org states, “All species are important in an ecosystem, but keystone species like the beaver run the show by creating vital habitat for wildlife, and valuable natural services for people.”

Learning to coexist with beaver wetlands ensures that we continue to enjoy essential natural services, such as water cleansing.

Because their dams and wetlands hold water on the land, nature’s engineers can help combat climate change by decreasing damage from both droughts and major floods, extreme weather events that are increasing with climate change. Plus the lush plant life of marshy beaver wetlands absorbs much carbon dioxide, and draining these sites results in the release of carbon dioxide, the major greenhouse gas.

The Browns, who have a 300-acre wildlife sanctuary called Wildsprite, will show how to live with beavers through the use of a variety of flow devices that allow the water to move where people need it to go.

A long-time professor of chemistry and physics and founder of his local Audubon Society, Owen J. Brown co-founded BWW, an educational nonprofit, in 1985 and now serves as its president. He holds a bachelors in chemistry and PhD in material science Engineering and points out that engineers often have a natural affinity for “nature’s engineers.”

Beavers: Wetlands and Wildlife Biologist/Director Sharon T. Brown has a masters degree in biology. Previously she was the supervising technologist at a large cancer institute’s hematology laboratory and taught biology courses full-time at the college level. Now she focuses on the beaver and ways to coexist with this important keystone species. As a licensed wildlife rehabilitator for 20 years, she has raised orphaned kits and aided injured beavers.

In its work to help people understand beavers and prevent their losses, BWW has partnered with the Humane Society of the U.S. and the Army Corps of Engineers and started International Beaver Day in 2009.

Cost of this program is $25; $20 for Nature Center members.

Paid reservations are required by Thursday: Call 569-2345 during business hours or go to AudubonCNC.org/Programs and click “Current Schedule.”

This event is made possible in part with support from The Oaks Bed and Breakfast Hotel in Jamestown.

Audubon education programs are funded with support from the Carnahan Jackson Foundation, Jessie Smith Darrah Fund, Holmberg Foundation, Hultquist Foundation and Lenna Foundation.

To learn more about Audubon and its many programs, call 569-2345 during business hours, visit AudubonCNC.org or find Audubon Community Nature Center on Facebook.

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