Meet the Filmmakers

Rachel Tilseth Producer/Director/Writer

Rachel is an art educator, freelance writer, producer/director, environmentalist, and DNR volunteer Winter wolf tracker.

She has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Art Education, 1992, from UW-Stout, graduating with cum laude honors. Rachel’s first teaching job was on Pine Ridge Reservation in Kyle, South Dakota. Rachel believes an art education helps students to become better consumers. Rachel is a fine artist emphasizing watercolor and oil painting. Rachel brings her knowledge of design principles to her work as a documentary film director.

Since high school, Rachel has been an environmentalist and participated in the first Earth Day in 1971. In the 1990s, she participated in the sulfate mines protests alongside activists John Trudell and Walter Bresette at the Protect The Earth Festival near Hayward, Wisconsin.

In 1991 on a howl survey in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, Rachel met Wisconsin’s Wolf Recovery Program Head Wolf Biologist, Adrian Wydeven. Seven years later became involved in Wisconsin’s Wolf Recovery Program. She became a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Volunteer Winter Wolf/Carnivore Tracker in the year 2000 and, as a result, learned about the lives of wild gray wolves.

In 2011 wolves were delisted, and she worked to draw attention to the plight of Gray wolves during the three years Wisconsin held wolf hunts. Rachel garnered the attention of the press to bring public awareness to Wisconsin’s wolf hunt, especially the regulations that allowed dogs to be used to track and trail wolves. Rachel made it known that Wisconsin quite literally throws dogs to wolves.

In 2011 She  started a grassroots Facebook Page and a blog and named it after the county she tracked wolves in; Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin (WODCW). WODCW became known nationally and internationally. Rachel had editorials published in several Wisconsin newspapers. Silent Sports Magazine is the latest to publicize her articles.

In 1999 Rachel put together a story proposal about Adrian Wydeven’s volunteer Winter Wolf Tracking Program and submitted it to National Geographic Television Channel. Although the proposal didn’t get accepted, She received a telephone call from them to explain why. The National Geographic Channel at the time was busy working on starting a global network and tied up all of its resources in working on getting it off the ground. Rachel continued working to draw attention to Wisconsin’s Gray wolf and wrote to Dr. Jane Goodall in Tanzania, Africa, about the recovery program. To her surprise and delight received three handwritten postcards from Dr. Jane Goodall.

Rachel put together three film screenings and a film festival to bring education and awareness about Wisconsin’s wolf hunt. Rachel continues to be a participant in monitoring wolf populations in Wisconsin.

Rachel has produced a series of live-streamed broadcasts called People & Wolves Talk Show in both the USA & Italy. And several community radio talk shows. In 2019 WODCW became a film company.

Manish Bhatt Producer

Manish Bhatt is a conservationist, writer, lawyer, and education leader. He holds a Bachelor of Arts magna cum laude from George Washington University, a Juris Doctor magna cum laude from St. Thomas University School of Law, and an LL.M. from Georgetown University Law Center.  

Having grown up in a rural community in New York’s Catskill Mountains, Manish has a lifelong commitment to preserving wild spaces and wildlife. As an officer and Judge Advocate in the United States Coast Guard, Manish deployed in support of cleanup efforts following the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and led section 7 consultations with federal agency partners under the Endangered Species Act.  He also worked closely with the Environmental Protection Agency and State Historic Preservation Officers to ensure compliance with marine environmental laws and regulations. Manish has served as a teacher and Head of School and believes in experiential and outdoor education. As a school leader, he worked closely with fundraising partners and grant providers to ensure student success and curricular development. 

Manish is a feature and investigative writer for the Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin Films. To each article, he brings deep curiosity and commitment to objectivity. As a lifelong learner, Manish seeks data and trend analysis as a part of his reporting, in addition to interviewing experts in the field of wolf biology.  Manish has co-hosted, alongside Rachel Tilselth, WORT Radio’s Access Hour to share wolf science and information with the listening audience. 

 

 

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