WILDLIFE -- The Lands Council based in Spokane is getting more press about its efforts to reintroduce beavers in select areas to restore watersheds naturally.
One of the more intriguing tidbits in the story is the 1940s Idaho Fish and Game Department project to introduce beavers in remote areas -- by parachute.
In the 1940s, Idaho’s Department of Fish and Game embarked on an effort both larger in scale and kookier in method. Finding long, dusty overland trips too hard on the beavers, the department instead packed pairs of the animals into crates, loaded them onto airplanes bound for drought-stricken corners of the state, and dropped them by parachute. (The crates were rigged to open on impact.) The endeavor was apparently a success: a 1950 report notes that of the 76 beavers airdropped in the fall of 1948, only one fell to its death; the others began building dams and homes and founding colonies, which can grow as large as a dozen or so beavers.