Yellowstone National Park wolves face trophy hunters ready to kill them as soon as they step across park boundaries. Meet the people fighting for the legacy of Yellowstone’s wolves…

A Film Project in the Works.

Ilona Popper is a writer, studies wolves and is an activist for wolves. Dr. Nathan Varley and Linda Thurston Wildlife biologists and business owners of The Wild Side Tours & Treks in Yellowstone National Park. Make a donation here.

Song credits: “Don’t Know Why, But They Do” Words & Music by Joe De Benedetti & Noah Hill. B roll credits thanks to National Park Service.

Inside the Heart of Wolf Advocacy: The Yellowstone Story Documentary Film has a 501 3c fiscal sponsor Plan B Foundation for tax exempt contributions. You can make a donation to support the work of this vital documentary film.

We are gathering interviews and footage on the Killing of “Spitfire” wolf 926F a member of the Lamar Canyon pack and the daughter of the famous wolf known as O-Six. O-Six was also killed outside of the park’s boundary in 2011. Both mother and daughter have now fallen to trophy hunters. It’s legal to kill wolves in all three of the states surrounding Yellowstone National Park. Montana, Wyoming and Idaho hold wolf hunts. Wolf 926F leaves behind a daughter that wolf watchers have named Little T, so-called because of a small white marking. Another wolf, Small Dot, is the male, and for the first time in three years a litter of five pups was born to the Lamar Canyon pack. 

Photograph of “Spitfire” wolf 926F that was killed in Montana’s wolf 2018, photo Credit Bill Eastwick.

Filming is an expensive business. For instance Maaike Middleton, the film’s co-Producer must drive two and a half hours to get footage from the kill sight.

The film is set in our nation‘s first national park.

A film that 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.

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Ilona Popper is a writer who advocates for Yellowstone National Park wolves.

On the recent death of “Spitfire” wolf 926F…”And then to be shot by a hunter, it seems a shame that would be the way of death. But then again I will reiterate that death comes to us all, so I am not arguing that this should be a Disney ending; just this ending seemed really a shame.” Ilona Popper

Gray Wolves Restored to Our Nation’s First National Park: Yellowstone National Park

Wolves arrived in Yellowstone National Park via truck on January 12, 1995. In late 1994 and early 1995, and again in 1996, US Fish and Wildlife Service and Canadian wildlife biologists captured wolves in Canada and relocated and released them in both Yellowstone and central Idaho. In mid-January 1995, 14 wolves were temporarily penned in Yellowstone; the first eight wolves on January 12 and the second six on January 19, 1995. Wolves from one social group were together in each acclimation pen. On January 23, 1996, 11 more wolves were brought to Yellowstone for the second year of wolf restoration. Four days later they were joined by another six wolves. The wolves ranged from 72 to 130 pounds in size and from approximately nine months to five years in age. They included wolves known to have fed on bison. Groups included breeding adults and younger wolves one to two years old. Wolf Restoration NPS
Dr. Nathan Varley and Linda Thurston Wildlife biologists and business owners of The Wild Side Tours & Treks in Yellowstone National Park.

Nathan Varley is a community member in the small town of Gardiner, Montana, and is president of Bear Creek Council. Bear Creek Council is based in Gardiner Montana on the edge of Yellowstone National Park. Bear Creek Council works closely with Park rangers, and local citizens to conserve and protect the integrity of the environment and community.

A Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin Film. Produced by Rachel Tilseth and Maaike Middleton and Directed by Rachel Tilseth.

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 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. Click here to donate to the film project.

A New Film Project that tells the story of people working to preserve the legacy of Yellowstone’s wolves. In the photograph Ilona Popper.

Make a donation today. Thank you!

Inside the Heart of Wolf Advocacy- The Yellowstone Story’s Facebook page click here

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