BAR HARBOR — Skip Lisle, president and chief scientist of Beaver Deceivers International, will present his nonviolent, creative approach to beaver management at College of the Atlantic’s Human Ecology Forum in the McCormick Lecture Hall on Tuesday, Feb. 21, at 4:10 p.m. The talk is free and open to the public.
Lisle will share humorous informative stories about ways he has found to prevent beaver damage while still allowing the animals to repopulate and rejuvenate different locations, he said. His mission, he said, is to find creative ways for humans to coexist with these industrious, important creatures.
“Beavers are widely considered a pest to eradicate,” Lisle said. “However, they are our most valuable keystone species.”
Frequent dam construction, the felling of trees and the flooding that results from their building habits often damage property and put beavers at odds with people. In many cases, the common solution to this problem is short-term and frequently ends in the death of the animal.
The goal of Lisle’s organization, Beaver Deceivers, is to change this pattern of conflict into one of coexistence. Rather than resorting to a kill mechanism to remove a costly nuisance, he finds ways to protect infrastructure while allowing beavers to improve the health and natural beauty of an area.
“With beaver-human relations, it turns out that long-term thinking, creativity, a nonviolent approach and a commitment to craftsmanship can combine for a great investment,” he said.
A great lover of wildlife, and beavers in particular, Lisle holds a master’s degree in wildlife management from the University of Maine. He developed Beaver Deceivers and invented devices for manipulating the flow of water and deterring beavers from destructive behavior.
Lisle has worked extensively throughout the U.S. and in Europe, and has collaborated with the Penobscot Indian Nation on a large-scale beaver management program. Each beaver situation he sees is unique, he said, and requires fresh problem solving to ensure that both beavers and people feel comfortable in their respective habitats.
The Human Ecology Forum is a free, weekly speaker series based on the work of the academic community, which also draws on artists, poets, and political and religious leaders from around the world. Members of the public are invited to attend.
College of the Atlantic is the first college in the U.S. to focus on the relationship between humans and the environment. In 2016, both The Princeton Review and the Sierra Club named College of the Atlantic the No. 1 “Green College” in the United States. The intentionally small school of 350 students and 35 faculty members offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in human ecology – the study of how humans interact with our natural, social and technological environments. Each student develops their own course of study in human ecology, collaborating and innovating across multiple disciplines.