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Random Review: Book on beavers to be discussed

Random Review: Book on beavers to be discussed

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Robert Beschta of Corvallis will review "Eager: The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter," as part of the Friends of the Library’s Random Review series. The program will take place online Wednesday via GoToWebinar. It is free but registration is required at

Ben Goldfarb's "Eager" is an engaging look at the natural history of beavers and the negative impact their near eradication had on the environment of North America, particularly the Western United States.

Goldfarb is a freelance journalist and author with a master’s degree in environmental management. In calling for their reintroduction to wild spaces, he calls beavers the Swiss Army Knives of the natural world, "… capable, in the right circumstances, of tackling just about any landscape-scale problem you might confront."

"Eager" was winner of the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award and was listed as one of the Washington Post's “50 Notable Works of Nonfiction” for 2018.

Beschta is Professor Emeritus in the Oregon State University College of Forestry's Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society. He has been a professor at OSU since 1974, teaching courses in watershed management, forest practices and water quality, and other subjects. He continues to do field research into how the presence or absence of large predators affects ecosystems, particularly plant communities. He also has a passion for streams and rivers, and several of his graduate students have studied the effects of beavers on watersheds.

Beschta received his Ph.D. from the University of Arizona. Before coming to OSU he was forest hydrologist on the Arapaho National Forest in Colorado and the Medicine Bow National Forest in Wyoming.

Up next: Next month’s review will be on Nov. 10, when Marjorie Sandor will review the novel “Hamnet: A Novel of the Plague” by Maggie O’Farrell.


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