Beaver Fever: Things That Make People Go… Hmmmmm!

Pardon the pun, but I couldn’t resist using this title in response to New York hipsters channeling Justin Bieber’s popularity, or spoofing it, via t-shirts….

Anyway, I digress.  Shall we begin with some introductory trivia?

What do the marriage of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette, the French and Indian War, the Astor family, all have in common? Beavers, to be exact!

The floors of Versailles, where the wedding took place, were covered in beaver pelts to keep the room warm; the French and Indian War were partly fueled by the beaver fur trade; and the Astor family made its fortune from its monopoly on beaver trading.  In fact, it was our hardy forefathers heading west in search of beaver trading opportunities that led to the settling of the Western United States.

When considering a first fur purchase, beaver is probably one of the best-kept secrets. Besides its incredible sturdiness and warmth, this semi-aquatic fur is reasonably priced compared to many others.

It’s appeal branches from its luster (when left longhaired) and its luscious velvet quality (when sheared). Plus, it dyes beautifully, which has helped revive its fashion prominence.

Beaver has come a long way from its traditional sheared look used to trim wool-coat collars –designers today are more democratic with it. What’s really new today is that menswear is currently jumping onto the beaver bandwagon. Paris and Milan both showed a variety of beaver looks during their menswear week.

Beaver is beautiful.  It’s natural.  It’s renewable,  It’s sustainable.  Designers love working with it. Beaver populations are as high or higher today than they were a century ago.  Still, animal rights zealots are ranting about trapping beaver.

Really?  Let’s look at some real-life situations.  It’s no secret that beaver are prolific engineers, damning rivers and causing serious flooding in rural areas across the U.S., to the point where management of beaver populations is required by state and municipal governments to keep roads, railways, farm fields and houses from being flooded out.  Beavers also cause damage to timber as they zealously gnaw on trees and other timber.  In fact, in some municipalities in Massachusettes  beaver trapping was forbidden in response to animal rights protests in 1996 only to be reinstated shortly thereafter when local residents begged officials to quickly do something to control the crazy beaver who were chewing through all their trees and causing basements, sewer systems and wells to flood. In Kansas farmers, landowners and communities welcome trappers who help them to prevent flooding due to beaver activity.  Trappers assist residents at no cost, and trappers benefit by the monetary value of the pelts.

Would you rather have your house or land flooded, or your trees chewed down….or allow trappers to manage beaver populations and use the fur for beautiful, warm and durable fashion?

Things that make you go……hmmmmmm

Comments ( 11 )

        • Duane says:

          Hey Thanks for the support of trappers. Many don’t realize that trappers really are helping resolve human/animal conflicts so they can both live in healthy environments. It’s refreshing to see a positive article for trappers. Fur is a re-nwable resource and fur is beautiful
          Thank You.


        • The Fur Insider says:

          Thanks Duane. We have great respect for the work that trappers do in helping to balance wildlife populations.

        • robin says:

          and, if I may, Beaver populations need to be kept controled, not irraticated. we have several Beaver Ponds on our Property, and DEC helps us keep them under control, otherwize they would decimate the thier food supply and move on – we like to have them around 🙂

        • Nicole says:

          Are you effing kidding me?
          “Balance wildlife populations?” “Trappers really are helping resolve human/animal conflicts?” “Fur is a re-newable (sp) resource?” How far up your asses are your heads? How do you breathe up there?
          This has to be the stupidest, most self-serving “article” I’ve ever read, and the comment/reply *almost* made me think this was a joke.
          The only upside is that, judging by the minor commentary, few people have read this, and been spared exposure to such astronomic levels of imbecility.

        • The Fur Insider says:

          Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with us. The impact of overpopulation of various fur bearing species on their environments is well documented…and well understood. Beaver, for example, cause excessive tree cutting and flooding as a result of their dam building and many studies document the losses experienced in regions around the world. A study titled “Problems Associated With Beaver in Stream or Floodway Management” details the problems caused by overpopulation of beaver in California and you can easily find this study at http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1039&context=vpcthirteen. In Argentina, with no natural predators, 50 beaver brought down from Canada n 1946 have grown to a population of over 200,000…and they are literally gnawing their way through the pristine Argentiine forests. In North Carolina a recent study documents losses exceeding $1million in some regions as beaver dams cause flooding that destroys valuable peanut, soybean and corn crops as well as vineyards and commercial nurseries. The need to manage beaver populations is clear….and there are plenty of readily available resources to help you to better understand the realities of the need to balance wildlife populations.

          As for the statement that fur is a renewable resource,every species used in the fur indsutry is as abundant, or more abundant in total population versus a century ago. That’s a fact. Again, I urge you to take the time to do some research on your own. You will find this information is readily available on line.

          We hope you will continue to check in with FurInsider. Clearly you have a lot to learn!

        • robin says:

          nicely said! 🙂

        • Christy says:

          Don’t worry Nicole, I am going to post on Facebook so it will get more exposure and your inane comment can be seen by everyone. Oh, and yes, FUR is a renewable resource. Fur is on mammals and those mammals have babies with fur who grow up to have more babies with fur. I would think you are the one with your head up your ass. Did you not pay attention in biology class or were you too busy with your red paint and picket signs protesting just because some professor/teacher told it was horrible to kill any animal, to understand that mammals reproduce? Just like you (God, help us) an me, they do reproduce and usually produce at least a replacement for themselves in the world if not more. It might help you understand the article better if you go back to school and study up on biology and biological resources.

        • jimmy says:

          i like your article,..all true by the way…poor nicole just does not have a clue, keep up the good work,..nice to see that someone takes the time to publish things that might bring down the ire of all the nicoles’ of the world…

        • morgan p. says:

          Nicole needs to have her home flooded and her trees gnawed down before she will comprehend what numerous other people are relating to her.
          Hope it doesn’t happen but maybe she will one day learn first hand or from a friend that has been the victim of beaver proliferation.

        • Terry B says:

          Nicole probably lives in a Manhatten high rise and her knowledge of wildlife management is based on what she reads in an animal rights journal. Further Nicole needs to seek out an anger management professional. Not only is she lacking knowledge in wildlife management but she also needs to learn how to properly express herself.

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