How do you solve the problem of beaver overpopulation? Parachute them into no mans’ land, of course!
A video from 1950, titled “Fur for the Future,” was released today telling the story of how the Idaho Department of Fish and Game handled their excess of beavers.
Yes, those are beavers in parachuting boxes.
It wasn’t just beavers that were loaded into the drop crates, either. A fair amount of fur-bearing rodents were dropped into a section of Idaho backcountry known as the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness.
In 1950, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game received $700 to produce two color films about the drops, but one was just uncovered recently because it was stored in the wrong box in the Idaho Historical Society.
Idaho still practices the relocation of beavers into the 21st century, though they have long abandoned airplane drops. It is considered, however, an excellent way to place them in remote areas, and isn’t off the table entirely.
Beaver relocation is key in regions of Idaho, said Steve Nadeau, the statewide fur bearer manager in Idaho. “Beavers are dropped into locations to help restore the land. They make good ponds that can hold water all year, and that’s important to the landscape.”
If you’re ever adventuring in the remote Idaho backcountry and see a box floating overhead, exercise caution. There may be a beaver inside.