Decade of the Wolf: Returning the Wild to Yellowstone

Decade of the Wolf: Returning the Wild to Yellowstone

by Douglas Smith, Gary Ferguson
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Overview

Decade of the Wolf: Returning the Wild to Yellowstone by Douglas Smith, Gary Ferguson

BOOK SENSE NOTABLE BOOK

"By piquing our imaginations, by sparking in us a sense of wonder, Yellowstone's wolves have done much to invigorate our sense of place, even our sense of generosity, rekindling relationships that allow us to again feel at home in the world."
— Douglas Smith, Wolf Project Leader

For millions of people around the world, the image of wolves running free through Yellowstone National Park has become the ultimate symbol of the American wilderness. The release of thirty-one Canadian gray wolves in 1995 and 1996-arguably the most controversial feat of conservation in our nation's history-sparked a new-found passion for these remarkable animals and the unbound lands that sustain them.

Few were prepared for the outpouring of emotion sparked by the reintroduction of these wolves, and for the changes that came, both in the land and in the minds of men, with that experiment. For the first time, Douglas Smith and Gary Ferguson recount the first ten years of this historic endeavor. The journey of the wolves themselves and the people who faithfully followed them through the wilds of Yellowstone make for unforgettable reading.

Here are intimate details about the lives of these animals, including wonderful stories about survival and family dynamics. Smith and award-winning nature writer Gary Ferguson weave together never-before-published scientific discoveries with spell-binding tales of the wolves' behaviors. The wolves have not only survived, but completely changed the ecosystem, spilling a fresh measure of wild across the world's first national park. . DECADE OF THE WOLF serves to mark the end of the opening act of this inspired, often tumultuous tale of preservation.

DOUGLAS SMITH, PHD, Wolf Project leader, has studied wolves for twenty-four years and has worked on the reintroduction in Yellowstone since its inception. He lives in Gardiner, Montana.

GARY FERGUSON is an award-winning nature writer whose books include The Great 0 Divide: The Rocky Mountains in the American Mind, Hawks Rest: A Season in the Remote Heart of Yellowstone, and The Yellowstone Wolves. He has written for numerous publications including Vanity Fair, Outside, the Los Angeles Times, and Men's Journal. He lives in Red Lodge, Montana.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781592287000
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 04/01/2005
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

DOUGLAS SMITH, PHD, Wolf Project leader, has studied wolves for twenty-four years and has worked on the reintroduction in Yellowstone since its inception. He lives in Gardiner, Montana.

GARY FERGUSON is an award-winning nature writer whose books include The Great Divide: The Rocky Mountains in the American Mind, Hawks Rest: A Season in the Remote Heart of Yellowstone, and The Yellowstone Wolves. He has written for numerous publications including Vanity Fair, Outside, and Men's Journal. He lives in Red Lodge, Montana.

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Decade of the Wolf: Returning the Wild to Yellowstone 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
First, the book is very well written, and Smith has a very nice story-telling style. It reads well and tells a very good story. Second, it is not a scientific or academic piece. It is a history. He does cite several other sources, but more than anything, it is a history from his point of view, telling the story of wolf introduction, specific wolves, and how the packs have evolved since being introduced. Third, it is clearly written from the point of view of someone that is passionate about wolves and Yellowstone, and how all of that interacts. The book is organized with alternating chapters -one chapter telling the overall picture, followed by chapters he calls "Portraits of a wolf," that focus in on "Wolf #97". Both are very interesting. The portraits tell the story of that particular wolf from its capture in Canada or birth in the Park, to introduction, to the role it played in a pack through its life, and ultimately its death. He tells of his personal interactions helping capture each wolf for collaring, or observations from afar. These portraits are really quite compelling and look the wolves as individuals which is certainly interesting. Other chapters telling the bigger picture are nice descriptions about pack development, interaction with one another, how they have adapted to the prey base, their migration in/around/out of YNP which was also quite interesting. He touched briefly on some of the larger assertions such as the trophic cascade the wolves are causing, which was the main reason I wanted to read the book. While he did touch on the concept in general, and some of the changes happening in YNP, I really didn't feel he made a strong case one way or the other, other than the general idea of the concept. But as I read the book, I realized that wasn't the point of the book. It wasn't a scientific report asserting really anything like that. It was simply a history from the point of view of a guy that spends every day dealing with the wolves in and around YNP. My recommendation is that no matter how you view the wolves - good bad or sideways, this is a good read and tells a story worth being told.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mememe!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I first heard an excerpt from this book while sitting on a log in the first pen into which the wolves were released, in the Slough Creek area of Yellowstone. That was an amazing experience, and perhaps more amazing is that this book never gets old. I've read it probably once a year or more since then. The book executes a difficult task: speak at length about a subject with which the reader might be unfamiliar and thus a little alienated. Juxtaposing the history of the project with the stories of individual wolves breathes life into the description of the project and the vignettes are poignant, sad, and more importantly, demonstrate our need to continue efforts of conservation for these perfect creatures and their ecosystems, and all wild things.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago