Central Coast Public Radio —
Wild beavers play a critical role in the fight against climate change by creating wetlands that combat drought and wildfire.
The species is native to California — but unlike beavers in Oregon and Washington, they aren’t protected from being trapped and killed in the state.
Beavers have existed in North America for millions of years, with large populations in the American west.
European colonization and the fur trade caused their numbers to dwindle but they’ve been making a comeback in recent decades. Beavers live across California — many right here on the Central Coast in the Salinas, Arroyo Seco and Santa Ynez Rivers.
Beaver expert Dr. Emily Fairfax said protecting these animals is crucial. She’s a hydrologist and teaches environmental science and resource management at California State University (CSU) Channel Islands.