Beaver and Rainbow

Good News for Kids

Anyone seeking literature with an Idaho twist for young readers this holiday season should consider two recent books, both of which are sturdy, good-looking, and have their hearts in the right place.

Jennifer Lovett, the author of Beavers Away! (Beaver’s Pond Press, 2016), was working on her Master’s degree in conservation biology at Antioch University in New England when she learned about an Idaho Department of Fish and Game project back in 1948 that involved parachuting beavers into the then-Idaho Primitive Area, now the Frank Church–River of No Return Wilderness. The objective was to reintroduce the dam-building rodents into historical habitats from which they had been almost entirely removed by 19th Century trappers. No roads or vehicles were allowed into the wilderness and pack animals did not cope well with the strong-smelling beaver, which led Fish and Game ranger Elmo Heter to concoct the parachute-drop plan. Seventy-six beaver were successfully transplanted in wooden cages that broke open upon impact, with the loss of only one animal.

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