Virtual author talk by Ben Goldfarb, Eager: The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter

  • Thu Sep 24th, 2020 1:30am
  • Life

Submitted by the Lopez Island Library

The Friends of the Lopez Island Library invite the public to their 2020 virtual annual meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 8, featuring keynote speaker Ben Goldfarb, environmental journalist and author. Goldfarb will offer a virtual presentation on his recent book “Eager: The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter.”

“Eager” 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 far healthier, for humans and non-humans alike, than those without them. From the Nevada deserts to the Scottish highlands, Believers are now hard at work restoring these industrious rodents to their former haunts.

Goldfarb is the winner of the 2019 PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award and Eager was named one of the best books of 2018 by the Washington Post. He is also the recipient of a 2019 Alicia Patterson Fellowship, through which he’ll be covering the global ecological impacts of roads. His writing has appeared in numerous publications including The Atlantic, Science, National Geographic, The New York Times, Audubon Magazine, and many others. He edited and coordinated the Solutions Journalism Network‘s “Small Towns, Big Change” project, an award-winning multi-newsroom collaborative that produced solutions-oriented coverage of social and environmental issues. Goldfarb is happiest with a scuba tank strapped to his back or a fly rod in his hand.

Goldfarb’s presentation will begin briefly with a statement from the Friends of the Lopez Island Library. The purpose of the Friends is to provide ancillary support to the Lopez Island Library facility and staff, and to promote library awareness. The Friends of the Library raises funds to pay for things that the library taxing district’s general budget does not cover. Funds raised by the Friends have been used to produce all the free library programs available to the public, and to purchase such items as computers, shelving and display cases, and the renovation of the community meeting room and basement. They also pay for work on the library grounds, including landscaping, pruning, walkway, and driveway maintenance.

The presentation will be broadcast at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 8, as a Zoom Webinar. Please visit for the Zoom link. The program will also be recorded and available to watch later through the Lopez Library Programs Archive on YouTube. See you there!