SARSAS is trying to do with one stream, the Auburn Ravine, what must be done to all streams and rivers on the entire West Coast and that is to make the entire length of the ravine navigable for Anadromous Fish.
The health and well-being of Salmon is directly linked to that of people. If we improve the health and well-being of Salmon, we improve the health and well-being of mankind and therefore ourselves.
Salmon are as resilient and adaptive as humans; when they can no longer adapt, neither can mankind. They need our help….NOW.
Save Auburn Ravine Salmon and Steelhead (SARSAS, Inc.) is a 501C3, tax exempt, public benefit corporation with EIN 80-0291680 All donations to SARSAS are tax deductible for the donor.
Biography: Mary Tappel was born and reared in Davis; Mary was introduced to beaver and beaver’s fascinating behavior as a teenager canoeing on Putah Creek in evenings with family; beaver became the wildlife stars for her family. Mary completed a Botany degree at UC Davis with an emphasis in native plants, with much zoology and plant science added. A few years later Mary assisted with Putah Creek Streamway proposals, mapped beaver dams on the same creek over about 15 miles, noticed relative wildlife augmentations apparently associated with ‘beaver ponds’ (beaver can act as ‘keystone’ species at low population densities in somewhat impoverished environments), and she also researched ‘beaver lore’ for the first time Mary observed beaver works periodically also in the Sierra Nevada on backpacking and hiking trips over next two decades plus; besides local creek casual observations, Mary noted different environmental impacts – downed and dead trees, etc. And then Mary became an Environmental Scientist for the State Water Agencies along the way, first for the Dept. of Water Resources; now for over 20 years Mary has been with the State Water Board.
Sometime after going down to half time at her professional job, Mary volunteered in north Sacramento area to assist in managing beaver into less damaging role with new techniques (starting a little over a decade ago). Mary then quickly became employed for such purposes as a (Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency) SAFCA consultant; working to protect young riparian mitigation plantings from too much beaver pruning. This effort was to allow the new riparian stands of trees to become successfully established. As a result a collaborative group was organized and further refined, which developed more innovative, non-toxic, low cost (with volunteer labor) beaver management techniques. These techniques were applied to the lower American River Parkway (5 years) and in the City of Sacramento’s 12 miles of north area streams – the City Ueda Parkway (6 years). Mary also dealt with beaver management questions and in foothill areas such as Granite Bay, Loomis, & Roseville; and towards the Bay/Delta area in Fairfield & Martinez, and to the south in Elk Grove, all in creeks and small retention basins. Mary’s involvement in foothill areas and smaller streams has always included salmonid passage concerns. In summary, nearly all beaver dams she observed regionally can be traveled over by salmonids in fall/winter seasons after heavy rains, although some beaver dams described to her were larger relative to the maximum stream size, apparently, and were said to interfere with salmonid passage.
Dr. Perryman formed Worth A Dam to defend the beavers in her home town of Martinez CA. Along the way she became interested in helping other cities learn how and why to co-exist with beavers. Since 2008 she has organized an annual beaver festival that has inspired similar efforts in 5 states and Canada. As California faces more drought years, she believes it is more important than ever to coexist with these important 'water savers'.
In addition to the beaver festival, Worth A Dam does several community outreach and education programs a year, including field trips and class room visits. In 2010 they awarded their first scholarship in beaver management to advocates in Tahoe. In 2011 Dr. Perryman presented at the state of the beaver conference in Oregon, and the State parks conference in Yosemite. She collaborated with beaver management expert Michael Callahan of Massachusetts to help release an instructional DVD teaching how to live with beavers (featuring footage of the Martinez Beavers). Most recently she worked with a historian, archaeologist and biologist to publish groundbreaking research on the western fur trade and the original prevalence of beavers in California - a subject that has been surprisingly misunderstood for a nearly a century
Beavers and their dams create wetlands, store and filter water, augment fish populations, raise the number of migratory and songbirds, and have a dramatic positive impact on wildlife. Dr. Perryman feels that working to help people understand and coexist with this single species will continue to have a dramatic trickle-down impact on the environment in general.