Boulder Community Alliance and Earth Tours
Petrified Wood State Park, Escalante, UT
During his set at the Utah Beaver Festival with Westie Eric Niehaus, Sage was joined onstage by his dog Olé, who sang along with Sage’s harmonica.
Craig “Sage” Sorenson is a member of the Boulder Community Alliance and a good friend of Mary O’Brien, our fieldwork leader in the Escalante area. We first met Sage at our campsite for a late dinner of Dutch oven enchiladas and an impromptu harmonica and flute performance that Sage treated us to. He was accompanied by his dog Ole, who howled along with the music in fine form. Sage is the expert on beaver dams on North Fork Creek, where we surveyed and mapped dams that he had discovered. He is a self-titled “beaver believer,” who is working through Boulder Community Alliance to encourage people to support beaver reintroduction in Wayne and Garfield Counties. Beavers are the integral, often under-valued engineers of western watersheds. Their dams slow the flow of water in streambeds, reduce erosive soil loss, raise water tables, and create green pastureland and meadows. Sage is working to spread this positive message about the beavers that already make their homes along some creeks in the area, in the hopes that people will then be more welcoming of beavers in all their watersheds.
Sage was heavily involved in the planning for the “Leave it to Beavers” festival, and led hiking trips for festival attendees up North Creek to see active and abandoned beaver dams and their positive effect on that waterway. He also spent a fair amount of time with our group, playing music and sharing field stories and happy wisdom with us.
By Kari Paustian