Two local conservationists have won an award for their work with beavers.

“Bring Back the Beaver” a program run by Brock Dolman and Kate Lundquist from Occidental Arts and Ecology Center’s Water Institute has been recognized by the Paula Lane Action Network. The award is for work in conserving natural resources, sustainable agriculture, respect for the wonders of Nature through consistent sustainable practices. The Water Institute’s national outreach to “Bring Back the Beaver” and restoring Coho Salmon to watersheds programs impressed the awards committee.

The group Worth a Dam which also works to educate the public about the value of beavers in restoration and conservation of natural resources was also recognized. The group holds an annual Beaver Festival in Martinez where beavers have become a tourist attraction as well as providing a habitat for other wildlife..

The much maligned animal has proved its worth in preserving valuable salmon runs, and in water conservation. Bring Back the Beaver and Worth a Dam are working to educate the public and change state policies about the beaver which date back to 1942 and are founded on inaccurate data.