On the surface Ethan Sloan is a typical nine-year-old from Euguene, Oregon. But if you start up a conversation with him you’ll learn otherwise. He’ll likely tell you about his garden where he has praying mantises, or walk you to a strategically-placed piece of wood to see if there are garter snakes underneath. And if you ask him where to go for an afternoon of fun, his response will likely be to the forest where he can look for stag beetles.

Ethan loves stag beetles, but he is concerned. He knows that stag beetles are globally endangered. As Ethan stated, “you know, in a few years we may not be able to find stag beetles here in Eugene.” While the prospect makes him sad, he is a problem solver. His response is to find out how he can rear stag beetles to reintroduce into the wild, and to help ensure they have natural environments in which to live and thrive.

Ethan’s family has gotten into the act as well. They don’t use chemicals to kill weeds or insects in and around their home. Ethan’s mom, Tara, is primarily concerned with keeping her kids and the family dog, Clyde, protected from chemical exposure. But she also understands that chemicals can pose great risks to the mantises, snakes, and stag beetles that Ethan so loves.

As Ethan puts it, “Stag beetles are cool. We need to protect them.”

We agree, Ethan. Thanks!