Stories of people working to preserve the legacy of wolves in Yellowstone National Park. “Inside the Heart of Wolf Advocacy-The Yellowstone Story” presents the viewer with a complete picture of what it means to advocate for an imperiled species protected within Yellowstone National Park; contrasted against an uncertain future because of wolf hunting taking place just beyond the park’s borders.
These stories will be the inspiration that helps the viewer to gain insight into the heart of wolf advocacy. Nathan Varley is one of these Wolf Advocates, and his story begins in YNP.
Dr. Varley grew up in Yellowstone National Park in the community of Mammoth Hot Springs, where his parents have lived and worked as biologists and park rangers for three decades.
Nathan is the owner of The Wild Side, LLC, a wildlife touring business specializing in outfitting groups of all ages to view wolves and other wildlife in Yellowstone National Park, including interpretation related to the park’s natural and cultural history and sciences. He and his wife, Linda Thurston, lead tours that champion a land ethic that places the highest value on wildlife and habitat within the Yellowstone ecosystem, focusing on forever preserving and enjoying the places that have provided Nathan’s inspiration.
The following video is of Little T of the Lamar Canyon Pack. Video is by Leo Leckie a guide from Nathan Varley’s The Wild Side, LLC over at http://www.WolfTracker.com
Dr. Varley grew up in Yellowstone National Park in the community of Mammoth Hot Springs, where his parents have lived and worked as biologists and park rangers for three decades. Following in their footsteps, Nathan studied biology at Montana State University, where he earned both his M.S. and undergraduate degrees in Fisheries and Wildlife Management from the Department of Biology, conducting research on the ecology of mountain goats in the Absaroka Mountains on Yellowstone’s eastern boundary. Nathan earned his Ph.D. in Ecology from the Department of Biological Sciences of the University of Alberta. His research focused on the relationship between wolves and elk after wolf reintroduction, including radio tracking of elk from the ground and air, and the supervision and training of technicians in the assessment of carcasses for cause of death, age, condition and other data.
As a contributor to the historic Gray Wolf Recovery Project in Yellowstone Park, Nathan served under Supervisor Doug Smith from 1995 to 2005, working on studies that included tracking, from radio telemetry and ground observation, observing gray wolf interactions with ungulate species, field necropsy, data collection, capture and handling.
Dr. Varley has served as an Assistant Producer for wildlife films from National Geographic and other organizations, and has appeared as a naturalist for media assignments from Nature, Time, ESPN2, National Geographic and the BBC, among others.
Additional wildlife studies led him to research moose in Alaska, guanacos in Patagonia, and pine marten in Idaho. Yellowstone’s coyotes, bears, river otters and gray wolves have also been primary study subjects. Nathan is currently a Wilderness First Responder and has also worked as a firefighter in Yellowstone Park.
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Featured Photograph is of a Black and grey wolf (female from Druid pack, Half Black) standing in road near Lamar River bridge. Photograph NPS Jim Peaco, December 31, 2003.
In a 2012 news article entitled “Research Animals Lost in Wolf Hunts Near Yellowstone” in Green Blogs New York Times…Nathan Varley, co-owner of Yellowstone Wolf Tracker tours in Gardiner, Mont., has taken scores of hopeful wolf-watchers to see the Lamar Canyon Pack, and says that the majority of his company’s $500,000 gross income comes from tourists like these.
“I estimate that a half-million people saw 754,” he said. “It was one of the million dollar wolves that was taken out of the population.”
Dr. Nathan Varley also serves as the President of Bear Creek Council. Bear Creek Council is based in Gardiner, Montana. Gardiner is a gateway into Yellowstone National Park. We work closely with park rangers and local citizens to conserve and protect the integrity of our environment and community.
More on this documentary film project …
Inside the “Heart of Wolf Advocacy-The Yellowstone” Story is the story of the people that advocate to preserve the legacy of wolves in Yellowstone. Here’s more on the other wolf advocates in the film.
Ilona Popper writer, wolf watcher and member of Bear Creek Council.
Rick Lamplugh author and member of Bear Creek Council.
Marc Cooke founder of the nonprofit Wolves of the Rockies.
And more interviews…
Along with interviews from the Yellowstone Wolf Project Doug Smith, Rick McIntyre and Kira Cassidy.
“Inside the Heart of Wolf Advocacy-The Yellowstone Story”. presents the viewer with a complete picture of what it means to advocate for an imperiled species protected within Yellowstone National Park; contrasted against an uncertain future because of wolf hunts taking place just beyond the park’s borders.
About the producers…
Maaike Middleton Co Producer
M.A Documentary by Practice, University of London – Royal Holloway
Graduated with Merit B.A Media & Theatre Arts, Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana, Graduated Cum Laude
Raised in the Paradise Valley, schooled in London, traveled to 25+ countries, rooted in the Montana wilds. Growing up in Paradise Valley all I wanted to do was travel and see the world. After getting my BA in Filmmaking from Montana State University I did just that. I traveled to some amazing places, from the wild Gobi dessert in Mongolia to the temples of Angor Wat in Cambodia to the hustle and bustle of London where I received a Masters in Documentary filmmaking from the University of London. Returning to Paradise Valley to document the beauty that surrounds me daily. My passport ever ready for the next international adventure and hiking boots ready to explore the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
Rachel Tilseth Co Producer and Director
Rachel holds a Batchelor of Science Degree in Art Education, graduated Cum Laude and is a retired art teacher. Tilseth’s interests in nature, specifically wolves, led her to advocate for wolves and wildlife. In the year 2000 she became involved in WI DNR Wolf Recovery Program working as a volunteer winter wolf tracker to present. She founded the blog and social media network Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin to bring education and awareness to Wisconsin’s wild wolf. Tilseth has spent several years speaking out against wolf trophy hunts. Tilseth is active in working to ban Wolf Hounding in Wisconsin. She has a strong background in the visual arts. She’s a sculptor and oil painter. Tilseth has expanded her interest into filmmaking. She’s currently in the process of creating a documentary film about the heart of wolf advocacy.
We now have a fiscal sponsor for our film. To make a tax deductible contribution go to www.planb.foundation and donate today! Five percent of your donation goes to help wolves and wolf programs throughout the USA.
Photograph by http://www.WolfTracker.com guide Leo Leckie.