In looking back on 2023, all of us here at the SLO Beaver Brigade are stunned by all that has happened this year. It seems like ages ago when we were celebrating our First Annual Beaver Festival. And then, remember the sold out Fundraiser at Castoro Cellars? And beginning this year with the floods that took out all the dams, the lodges, heck, even the entire riparian zone! What a year it has been.
Sold Out Fundraiser at Castoro Cellars
Arrival of the Beaver Float
Of course, we needed the beaver float from Santa Barbara to arrive before the beaver festival, thanks to Wes and Margie of the Santa Barbara Permaculture Network, Brenton Kelly and Jan Smith from Quail Springs and Ray Cirino, artist extraordinaire!
First Annual Beaver Festival
Grants Received in 2023
We’ve also been honored to receive a number of grants this year. We are grateful and committed to each one of these supportive organizations.
Two Interpretive Panels Designed and Installed
With funding from our Whale Tail Grant, we were able to design and install two interpretive panels at the trailheads of Juan Bautista de Anza trail in Atascadero.
Two New College Corp Fellows joined our team
We’ve onboarded two new College Corp Fellows, Kaden Anderson and Lea Robinson, who have been managed by last years College Corp Fellow, Jorge Marin!
Thousands of people reached by SLO Beaver Brigade in 2023
392 people taken on 24 beaver tours this year, from students from the UK to local Atascadero residents, to acclaimed author Ben Goldfarb!
We gave 12 presentations this year, reaching another 700 people, including our first ever time at the State of the Beaver Conference in Oregon.
We set up 11 booths at various events, reaching over 2000 people this year.
We’ve organized over a dozen volunteer events, from cleanups to invasive plant removals to citizen science mapping projects, totaling over 400 volunteer hours.
We’ve begun to navigate the waters between City Planning and floodplain functioning this year with building our relationship with the City of Atascadero, working things out together, whether we are in agreement or not.
Beaver Trials and Tribulations 2023
The beavers have had quite a year also, definitely not their easiest, with the heavy rains in late December and early January especially.
Because of these floods the beavers at the beginning of the year were turning up in the strangest places, in the yards of Atascadero residents, Pacific Wildlife Care, in entirely different watersheds like Old Creek in Cayucos! But eventually, beginning in June they began to build again.
Only to deal with the next major challenge: vehicles in the river!
And today, that same beaver dam is overflowing with this seasons rain, but holding strong.
The Core Team, making it happen
And making all of this happen behind the scenes, is the tireless SLO Beaver Brigade Core Team, Kate Montgomery, Dolores Howard, Jorge Marin, Cooper Lienhart, Nick Hatalski, Audrey Taub and of course, our local beavers!!
Phew, that was quite a year!