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Nature Environmental Conservation & Protection

The Beaver Manifesto

by (author) Glynnis Hood

RMB | Rocky Mountain Books
Initial publish date
Sep 2011
Environmental Conservation & Protection
Recommended Age
Recommended Grade
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2011
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Sep 2011
    List Price

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Where to buy it


Beavers are the great comeback story—a keystone species that survived ice ages, major droughts, the fur trade, urbanization and near extinction. Their ability to create and maintain aquatic habitats has endeared them to conservationists, but puts the beavers at odds with urban and industrial expansion. These conflicts reflect a dichotomy within our national identity. We place environment and our concept of wilderness as a key touchstone for promotion and celebration, while devoting significant financial and personal resources to combating “the beaver problem.”


We need to rethink our approach to environmental conflict in general, and our approach to species-specific conflicts in particular. Our history often celebrates our integration of environment into our identity, but our actions often reveal an exploitation of environment and celebration of its subjugation. Why the conflict with the beaver? It is one of the few species that refuses to play by our rules and continues to modify environments to meet its own needs and the betterment of so many other species, while at the same time showing humans that complete dominion over nature is not necessarily achievable.

About the author

Glynnis Hood grew up in the Creston Valley in southeastern British Columbia. She spent her summers in little boats and running barefoot along the shores of Kootenay Lake. Now summers are spent in chest waders and canoes, her winters on snowshoes and skis. For much of her adult life she worked in various protected areas, from Canada’s west coast to the mountains of BC and Alberta, to the Subarctic, and finally the southern boreal forest of central Alberta. She has always loved critters with eyelashes, and she completed a PhD in biological sciences at the University of Alberta on wildlife and wetland ecology. She is now a professor of environmental science at the University’s Augustana campus. Her closest neighbours are a family of beavers. She is the author of The Beaver Manifesto (Rocky Mountain Books) and Semi-aquatic Mammals: Ecology and Biology (Johns Hopkins University Press). Glynnis lives in Camrose, Alberta.

Glynnis Hood's profile page

Editorial Reviews

Every once in awhile, a writer comes upon a book she wishes she had written. For me, this is The Beaver Manifesto, by Glynnis Hood…. Hood’s writing is light and accessible. She covers all the beaver bases. Her book is small, compact, and easy to read. The Readers Review

Canadian professor Glynnis Hood's fantastic new book, The Beaver Manifesto just arrived in the mail today. I started reading the small volume immediately, and found both the writing and the message most engrossing.—Rhonda Winter, EcoLocalizer

Librarian Reviews

The Beaver Manifesto

A champion for the growing “Leave it to Beavers” movement, Hood has written a passionate manifesto in defence of Canada’s symbolic “ecosystem engineers”. Over their 1.9 million year history, beavers have served as a “keystone species” that impacts significantly on many other levels of the food chain. They have tenaciously outlasted the Ice Age, major world droughts, the Fur Trade exploitation, near extinction and urbanization of the landscape as a “water superhero” with unrelenting drive to balance our water-based ecology. Our own human survival would benefit by learning from and adapting along with this furry “green” solution.

The author is currently an associate professor in Environmental Science at the University of Alberta. An index and graphics would enhance this convincing text and make it more accessible to students.

Source: The Association of Book Publishers of BC. BC Books for BC Schools. 2012-2013.

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