The following is courtesy of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife:
California Outdoors Q&As – Is there a way for the public to get involved in CDFW’s beaver restoration program? Beaver Observation Survey
Q: Is there a way for the public to get involved in CDFW’s beaver restoration program?
A: CDFW welcomes information from the public as the department strives to gain a better understanding of the current range of beavers in California. The first comprehensive beaver population survey conducted in California can be found on CDFW’s website. The California Beaver Observation Survey includes questions on the date, location, type of activity, and the number and size of the beavers observed. Photos of the beaver activity, location and lodge can be submitted through the survey page as well.
The Beaver Restoration Program is a result of shifting attitudes toward the benefits of beaver families in the environment. There’s a growing recognition of the ecological improvements linked to beaver activity, as opposed to the animal being considered a potential nuisance species by some in the past. CDFW considers these animals ecosystem engineers by playing a role in restoring watersheds while increasing resiliency to climate change and wildfire.
The development of the survey comes after CDFW launched the initial phase of its beaver translocation activities, recently conducting the first beaver conservation release in nearly 75 years with the goal of re-establishing a breeding population.
Q: What’s an example of how CDFW engages diverse groups in the state of California?
A: In 2022, CDFW created a Deputy Director position overseeing Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) to help the department better understand the cultural needs of different population groups living in California. It’s also a CDFW goal to have our workforce better reflect California’s diversity. Meaningful engagement with communities is an essential part of building trust and relationships with diverse groups across California.
One example was a CDFW outreach event led in Spanish and English at the popular 1,700-acre Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve in Monterey County, which is owned and managed by CDFW and operated in partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Elkhorn Slough Foundation. Celebrating the 2023 Latino Heritage Month in September, the JEDI office with support from Latino Outdoors held an open house at the reserve, featuring a day of family friendly events including a nature walk and bird viewing. Many who attended the event were from the surrounding communities like Pajaro, Castroville and Watsonville, which have large percentages of Spanish-speaking households.
In 2024, CDFW will be celebrating Black History Month in February, Women’s History Month in April, Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in May, Pride Month in June, Latino Heritage Month in September, Filipino Heritage Month and Native American Heritage Month in October.
Wildlife Officer Employment
Q: I’ve seen on social media CDFW is hiring for its law enforcement division. Are there any helpful tips for breaking into that line of work?
A: CDFW Captain Patrick Foy is well equipped to help with this topic since he’s served as a biologist, wildlife officer and information officer with the department. The following are several helpful tips for prospective applicants from Capt. Foy.
First, having the ability to speak a second language is incredibly helpful. Spanish is the second leading language spoken in California followed by Cantonese, Mandarin and Tagalog. It is also helpful to continue learning outdoor skills such as hunting, fishing, boating, hiking and backpacking, to name a few. Those skills contribute to effective patrols for poachers and polluters.
Also, there are minimum requirements before someone can be hired as a wildlife officer. A potential candidate must be at least 21 before they can join the department and the applicant must have finished 60 units of college courses. It’s not a requirement that someone have a degree in a criminal justice related field. There are wildlife officers in the department whose college degrees are in English, communications and chemistry.