Event Details


Talk description: 

Some 40 million miles of roadways encircle the earth, yet we tend to regard them only as infrastructure for human convenience. While roads are so ubiquitous they’re practically invisible to us, wild animals experience them as alien forces of death and disruption. More than a million animals are killed by cars each day in the U.S. alone; creatures from antelope to salmon are losing their ability to migrate; and the very noise of traffic chases songbirds from vast swaths of habitat. Today road ecologists are seeking to blunt that destruction through innovative solutions. Conservationists are building bridges for mountain lions and tunnels for toads, engineers are deconstructing the labyrinth of logging roads that web national forests, and biologists and Native tribes are replacing the poorly designed culverts that have cut off many fish runs. In his talk, Ben Goldfarb will discuss the ecological harms wrought by transportation and the movement to redress them — and how we can create a better, safer world for salmonids, humans, and all living beings. He’ll also discuss his previous book, Eager: The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter, and how the growing “Beaver Believer” movement is working with rodents to restore trout habitat around the American West.


Ben Goldfarb is an environmental journalist whose work has appeared in publications including National Geographic, the Atlantic, and High Country News. He is the author of Crossings: How Road Ecology Is Shaping the Future of Our Planet, named one of the best books of 2023 by the New York Times, and Eager: The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter, winner of the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award. He lives in Salida with his wife, Elise, and his dog, Kit — which is, of course, what you call a baby beaver.