Every year in the Kootenays we witness more extreme wildfires, floods and drought. It turns out that a brilliant little animal that we nearly hunted to extinction could play an important role in protecting our homes and the environment from these extreme weather events. That’s right — not only are beavers brilliant ecosystem engineers that create habitat for countless other species, they also play a key role in the fight against climate change. … Beavers’ rich wetlands are like sponges; they store water during drought and make ecosystems less vulnerable to extreme weather changes. They also keep surrounding areas wet throughout so they don’t readily burn, and instead act as firebreaks.