In a year, Wisconsin’s gray wolf went from being federally protected to being brutally hunted, only to be ordered back on the Endangered Species List. In total production, People & Wolves is a Wisconsin Story Mired in Political Intrigue. Watch the trailer.
The film tells the story of Wisconsin’s gray wolves, the controversies surrounding them, and how people learn to coexist as these native predators are again fulfilling their ecological role after returning to the state about 45 years ago.
We are gathering more interviews. We plan to film in the wolf range in the northern forest this winter. Many concerned citizens have donated to the film and have helped raise a substantial amount. We are incredibly grateful! Our fundraising efforts thus far have been substantial, and the footage through these efforts produced a trailer. As we prepare for our next round of interviews, we look to the public for donations to make this happen.
We work through a nonprofit, a fiscal sponsor, http://www.FilmNorth.org allows donors to make tax-deductible donations. FilmNorth’s mission is to empower artists to tell their stories, launch and sustain successful careers, and advance The North as a leader in the national network of independent filmmakers. We achieve our mission by nurturing a vibrant, diverse community of film and media artists, providing education and resources at every stage of their careers, and celebrating their achievements.
A Wisconsin Story Mired in Political Intrigue
Gray wolves recolonized parts of Wisconsin in the 1970s after being killed off in the state in the 1950s and grew to a population of over 1000 wolves by 2020. Unfortunately, this conservation success story has become very controversial in the last decade.
After federal delisting in 2012, the Wisconsin legislature mandated that wolf hunts would be required whenever gray wolves were off the ESA list.
The most recent delisting battle started in January 2021, leading to a court-ordered three-day controversial wolf hunt during the breeding season in February. It went over the allotted quota, angering many Wisconsinites.
Ojibwe bands in Red Cliff and Bad River have their own, Ma’iingan (Wolf) Relationship Plans. The state must work with the tribes on wolf management, including hunting seasons.
Six Ojibwe tribes sued and claimed the wolf hunt violated their treaty rights. A year after the controversial wolf hunt, a California judge ordered gray wolves in much of the lower 48 states back on the ESA on February 18, 2022. Though gray wolves have numerically recovered in Wisconsin, wolf management remains in limbo.
The film features Adrian Wydeven, Marvin DeFoe, Peter David, Michael Waasagiizhig Price, Patricia McConnell, Ph.D., and Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute & UN Messenger of Peace. Including interviews with farmers, hunters, WDNR staff, and Ojibwe tribal members.