Once driven to the brink of extinction by the fur trade, beavers are finally making a comeback.

And while that’s a good thing for people, animals and the environment, beavers aren’t universally appreciated. They still face persecution as development encroaches into the streams and ponds they call home. We can coexist with these industrious creatures (even when dams are involved).

Happy beaver in a body of water
Jillian Cooper
Dam straight! Beavers deserve thanks—not punishment—for their architectural achievements.

Beavers play an important role in establishing and maintaining wetlands, which provide crucial habitat for sensitive plant and animal species. Their dams improve water quality and can even control floods by slowing water movement. And when beaver activity presents a problem for nearby humans, there are effective solutions that allow people to coexist in harmony with nature’s engineers.

beaver dam in the middle of a lake
Did you know?

Beavers mate for life, and yearlings help care for kits.

Bird in birdbath, enjoying a humane backyard

No matter how big or small your outdoor space, you can create a haven for local wildlife. By providing basic needs like water, food and shelter, you can make a difference in your own backyard.

ebettini / iStock.com