Road trip news, rants, and ruminations by the Editors of RoadsideAmerica.com
October 7, 2008
Stars of YouTube and grade school science reports, an eight-member beaver family has brought good news and good money to the town of Martinez, California. “Struggling downtown businesses are surviving on beaver fever,” reports TV station KGO. “When beavers weren’t here, it was like a ghost town.”
The creatures arrived soon after Martinez reworked its local creek for flood control — which unintentionally made it appealing to beavers. Camcorder-wielding, gawking tourists followed, buying up everything from beaver postcards to stuffed beavers to “Worth A Dam” t-shirts.
Now, however, Martinez is reportedly going to spend a half-million dollars to drive 25-foot-long steel pilings into the mud between the beavers and creek bank. The town wants to stop the beavers from burrowing under a couple of nearby retaining walls. Beaver advocates claim the beavers are not burrowing, and that the pounding may crush or traumatize the beavers, and that it will certainly cause them to move away, taking the tourist dollars with them.
For a fraction of $500,000, Martinez could build its own beaver-adapted version of the Toad Hollow Traffic Tunnel or the Nutty Narrows Squirrel Bridge to redirect their animal ambassadors. Call it the Eager Beavers Empowerment Zone and outfit it with a web cam.
Keep your cute, furry friends close, Martinez. You don’t realize how good you have it.
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