Beaver Deceivers on Chicken Brook

Beavers have dammed up the brook near the the Summer Street entrance to Wenakeening Woods, adjacent to 200 Summer Street (Wilde Company). The dam has raised the water level in yards upstream and flooded the footbridge from Mission Springs to the athletic fields.

On Wed, May 6, 2015 we received this Letter of support and a poem:

Dear Upper Charles Conservation Land Trust, and Paul Saulnier, board member “who oversaw the project on the 110-acre Wenakeening Woods property”, 

I want to thank you on behalf of the beavers and all the habitat they create and restore. Your work in creating a solution to coexistence between people and beavers in our ever-shrinking wild lands should serve as an example to all who say it’s not possible. You have shown that it is. 

As Jennifer Fenn Lefferts wrote in the Boston Globe on May 3: “When beavers dammed up Chicken Brook in Holliston about a year ago, nearby conservation lands and private backyards started flooding.” “But instead of trapping and killing the rodents, the Upper Charles Conservation Land Trust opted to work with the regional mosquito control authority to install a device that allows the beavers to coexist with landowners.” 

Not long ago I saw a PBS documentary that was about the reintroduction of beavers into Yellowstone NP, and also to totally arid, drought-stricken areas in the Southwest (with which I am very familiar), where streams had completely run dry. Where a small area of stream existed, beavers were introduced, and within a year or less had created a watershed, a lake, a habitat that made a home not only for themselves but for a wide variety of flora and fauna–trees, grasses, plants, wildlife, and birds, including water and food for migrating birds.  

As a poet, the documentary inspired me to write a poem, which I think applies equally to you and your efforts. May they continue to be implemented, and may the beavers and all the habitat they create flourish and coexist together with our species, in kindness and compassion. 

Redeeming the Water

Beavers know how to do this—

how to bring back the birds and the fish

and hold the trees till they leave

and will grow again.

We are the species

who wears places harshly—

who stops the water and heats the Earth

who does not hear the elephant’s cry

the orangutan’s words

the silent pangolin rolled up in a ball

the stolen children and their helpless eyes.

But some rescue the screech owl encased in ice

the frostbitten turtle and stranded whale

even the centipede on the forest floor

who turns the soil into life—

Some find their niche like beavers

redeeming the water

and wise in their nests.

© Feb. 27, 2015 Carol Snyder Halberstadt