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From Hats to Habitat Creators: The Changing Role of Beavers in Calgary

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Beaver, Tony LePrieur

Thursday, July 29, 2021 at 2:00pm MST

Join Once They Were Hats Author Frances Backhouse and Friends of Fish Creek’s Katie Bakken to learn about the changing roles of beavers in Calgary through this online talk as part of Chinook Country Historical Society‘s Historic Calgary Week 2021.

When Morris Shumiatcher launched Smithbilt Hats near the Calgary Stampede grounds in 1919, most people still thought beavers were good for one thing only: their pelts. Today, we recognize the importance of beavers as habitat creators, water stewards and climate change allies – and organizations like the Friends of Fish Creek Provincial Park Society are working hard to figure out how to coexist with these ecosystem engineers. In many ways, our present-day conflicts with beavers are a legacy of the colonial fur trade. But the beaver benefits that we’re still learning about go back much further in time. This brief history of beavers will begin with their debut 37 million years ago, fast forward through the rise and fall of the dozens of early species, and then zero in on what has happened to North American beavers since Europeans showed up 500 years ago. As our relationship with beavers continues to evolve, a historical perspective can help inform the future.

This virtual event is being facilitated through a partnership between the Chinook Country Historical Society and the Calgary Public Library. Click here to register.




Event Details

July 29 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm