The County of Wolves: Douglas county WI.

By Rachel Tilseth

In 2000 I was assigned a winter wolf tracking block in Douglas County WI and began to learn how important the county is to WI wolves.

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Photograph of Landscape in Douglas co.

Dick Thiel (a young college student) traversed the western edges of Douglas county in search of wolf sign in the 1970s. Thiel wanted to prove wolves were establishing wolf packs and staying in WI. He found wolves had established home ranges in Douglas county. This was the beginning of WI Wolf Revery Project. Thiel documents this history in his book “Keeper of the Wolves.” http://uwpress.wisc.edu/books/3513.htm

Flash forward today where Thiel is still involved with WI wolf populations as one of the scientists that wrote a letter to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services cautioning that vital information is missing from DNR wolf slaughter Statistics: http://www.timberwolfinformation.org/wi-scientists-vital-information-missing-from-dnrs-wolf-slaughter-statistics/

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Today Douglas county continues to be important wolf habitat.

Douglas county has the highest density of wolves and people with 56% of the citizens wanting to live by wolves. Interestingly enough, Douglas County has the oldest populations of wolves and the most tolerant showing that WI can coexist with wolves. http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/WildlifeHabitat/wolf/documents/WolfAttitudeSurveyReportDRAFT.pdf

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Photograph is of wolf tracks in Douglas Co.

I spent 13 winters tracking wolves in Douglas county WI never tiring of its wild views and wildlife.

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Photograph is of one of the many Ravens I encountered while tracking wolves.

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Photograph is a view of the St. Croix Flowage in Douglas Co.

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Photograph is of a woodland landscape in Douglas co.

This blogger never tires of the beautiful vistas found in this remarkable WI county where people and wolves have coexisted since the 1970s.

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Rachel Tilseth

Rachel Tilseth iIn 2011 I went from tracking the wolf to advocating for them and found myself within an advocacy network that went against my values. I am tenacious by nature, and passionate about the grey wolves I got to know through tracking them. But I found myself within a system of wolf-advocacy that wasnt for me. I am am artist and writer first and foremost. Tilseth has been a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Volunteer Winter Wolf Tracker since the year 2000. Tilseth received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Art Education in 1992 from UW-Stout, graduating with cum laude honors.

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