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Beavers: Their Landscapes, Our Future

  • Open Book 1011 Washington Avenue South (map)

In Eager: The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter, author Ben Goldfarb reveals that our modern idea of what a healthy landscape looks like and how it functions is wrong, distorted by the fur trade that once trapped out millions of beavers from North America’s lakes and rivers. The consequences of losing beavers were profound: streams eroded, wetlands dried up, and species from salmon to swans lost vital habitat. Today, a growing coalition of “Beaver Believers”―including scientists, ranchers, and passionate citizens―recognizes that ecosystems with beavers are often far healthier, for humans and non-humans alike, than those without them.

In his presentation, Goldfarb will describe beaver biology, ecology, and history; detail the many environmental benefits provided by beavers, including habitat creation, water storage, and pollution filtration; and detail how landowners and municipalities around the country are learning to coexist with these keystone rodents.


WINNER of the 2019 PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award.

“A marvelously humor-laced page-turner about the science of semi-aquatic rodents… Goldfarb has built a masterpiece of a treatise on the natural world, how that world stands now and how it could be in the future if we protect beaver populations.” — Washington Post, which also included Eager on its list of 50 notable non-fiction books in 2018.

This event is free for VNPA members and all students with a suggested donation for others. Please register following this link, or contact Sarah Suemnig at


Location: Open Book Target Performance Hall

Ben will sell and sign books following his presentation.


Free parking is first come, first served in the Open Book lot on the east side of the building. Other options include meters along 10th, 11th, and Washington Avenues and 3rd Street South; the Riverfront Municipal Ramp (212 9th Avenue South); and the Mill Quarter Ramp (711 2nd Street South).


Open Book is fully accessible with handicap parking, handicap accessible bathrooms, elevators to all floors, and other services available as requested. Please contact Open Book if you have any questions regarding accessibility.