Beavers to prevent wildfires? Conservationists are enlisting the help of these buck-toothed rodents

As California continues to grapple with a mega-drought and wildfires, we’re trying to do whatever we can to help our parched landscapes and abate that wildfire threat. But the process can be costly and time-consuming. 

A few weeks ago, the Sacramento Bee reported on a floodplain in Placer County. During California’s last big drought in 2014, ecologists wanted to restore the dry, barren grassland. It would’ve taken 10 years and cost as much as $2 million. But there was another option: beavers. 

Conservationists turned the buck-toothed, oversized rodents loose and got out of their way. And unlike every other contractor on the planet, they finished under budget and ahead of schedule.



  • Emily Fairfax - Assistant Professor of Environmental Science and Resource Management, Cal State Channel Islands