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Biologists Repopulate Scott Valley with Beaver

Beaver once were so abundant in the Scott Valley in Siskiyou County, Calif., that it was known for a time as Beaver Valley.  The rodent’s numbers were decimated during the early days of settlement.

In an effort to restore them to their natural habitat, the California Division of Fish and Game in 1936 planted one male and three female Shasta beavers along the Marlahan Slough on the Jenner Ranch, five miles south and one mile west of Fort Jones.

According to L. R. DeCamp of the Modoc National Forest, these beaver were offspring that had been caught along with their parents and yearling siblings. The older animals were transplanted to other localities in Modoc County.

Marlahan Slough runs parallel to Scott River. Many willows mixed with chokecherry, California blackberry, and other woody plants grow plentifully along its banks of deep soil.  In the spring of 1937 the beavers had moved 1¼ -miles downstream to the Holmes ranch.

In August 1940, two adults and one young beaver from Modoc County were added to the upper colony on Marlahan Slough. By September 1940, the beaver population totaled 16.  Beaver can still be found along the slough today.


Source: Tappe, Donald T. Division of Fish & Game: The Status of Beavers in California. Game Bulletin No 3 ed. Sacramento: State Dept. of Natural Resources, 1942. 42. Print.

Gail Fiorini-Jenner is a writer and teacher. Her first novel "Across the Sweet Grass Hills", won the 2002 WILLA Literary Award. She co-authored four histories with Arcadia Publishing: Western Siskiyou County: Gold & Dreams, Images of the State of Jefferson, The State of Jefferson: Then & Now, which placed in the 2008 Next Generation Awards for Nonfiction and Postcards from the State of Jefferson.