From EarthSky– State officials in California are betting beavers (Castor canadensis) – the hard-working, once ubiquitous aquatic rodent – can help reinvigorate the towering peaks, deep river valleys and lush mountain meadows of the Sierra Nevada. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) said in December 2023 that it had relocated a family of seven beavers within the wilds of the Central Sierra Nevada. It marks the launch of CDFW’s Beaver Restoration Program. It’s the first time in 75 years that the CDFW has engaged in what it calls beaver translocation activities. Officials moved a breeding pair and their five offspring to Tásmam Koyóm, a valley in the mountains of Plumas County. The area is part of the ancestral lands of the Yamonim Maidu and a place where beavers once thrived. Beavers help retain water on the landscape, which increases groundwater recharge, improves summer baseflows, extends seasonal flows and increases fuel moisture during wildfire season, effectively creating green belts that can serve as wildfire buffers or breaks and provide refugia for wildlife. (more)