We Remember Spitfire…

The Yellowstone National Park video is of Yellowstone Wolf Project Researcher Kira Cassidy as she watches the alpha female wolf 926 known as Spitfire chasing an elk. This November we remember Spitfire as one of the members of the famous Lamar Valley Wolf Pack because she was legally shot by a trophy hunter last November. RIP Spitfire.

By 1926, as a result of federal and state predator control efforts, gray wolves (Canis lupus) were officially extirpated from Yellowstone National Park. Northern Rocky Mountain wolves were eventually listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 1973.

With ESA listing came the goal of restoring wolves to their historic range, and in 1995 and 1996, following many years of public planning and input, a total of 31 wolves, captured in Alberta and British Columbia, Canada, were reintroduced to Yellowstone. Wolves flourished amidst Yellowstone’s abundant prey and expansive, protected wilderness.

Gray wolves being transported into Yellowstone National in 1996.

A famous wolf, known as 06, was killed in a legal wolf hunt when she left the park’s sanctuary in 2012. Six years later 06’s daughter, known as Spitfire, wolf 926F suffered the same fate in November 2018. Today, Wolves in Yellowstone have become the “rock stars” of their species due to the hundreds of thousands of people that venture into the park hoping for a glimpse of a Yellowstone wolf. The death of 06 and other collared wolves has ignited a battle to create a buffer zone around Yellowstone National Park to protect it’s wolves because legal trophy hunts take place in Wyoming, Idaho & Montana

The Famous Alpha Wolf 06 foreground with collar. Photograph courtesy of Doug McLaughlin.

The Montana and Wyoming Legislature dismissed the idea of a buffer zone for wolves that wander outside Yellowstone, instead instating a law prohibiting such buffer zones. Today there is controversy surrounding Yellowstone National Park wolves being legally hunted in Wyoming, Montana & Idaho when they wander from the sanctuary of park.

The following is Linda Thurston’s dialogue from Meet the Advocates Inside the Heart of Wolf Advocacy—The Yellowstone Story Film Project Pitch Trailer

“We’ll watch wolf packs in the park and we get to learn about every individual and their personalities. And the younger ones, the older ones, and the ones you know are the good hunters for instance, and the ones that play the support roles and learn their personalities. Then we’ll watch them for years. Then there’s an elk hunt and a wolf hunt right outside the park. These wolves will leave because it’s a free meal for them to eat a gut pile that an elk hunter left on the landscape. Then that wolf might get shot over it. And it’s heartbreaking for us to see this animal, it’s not like our pet, but we get to learn its personality like as if it was a pet. And it just breaks our heart and makes you wanna speak up and do something about it.”

Watch the Pitch Trailer

This November we remember Spitfire.

Although the caribou feeds the wolf, it is the wolf that keeps the caribou strong.

The Wolf and the Caribou-myth and legend has more truth to it today than ever before! In this time of mass extinction we must heed the wisdom of indigenous peoples.

The Inuit, the people of the North, take a different view of the wolf than western cultures.

The Inuit have their own idea of why the wolf was created. In the beginning, the Inuit creation story tell, there was a man and a woman, nothing else on the Earth walked or swam or flew. So the woman dug a big hole in the ground and she started fishing in it. She pulled out all of the animals. The last animal she pulled out was the caribou. The woman set the caribou free and ordered it to multiply. Soon the land was full of caribou, and the people lived well and they were happy. But the hunters only killed those caribou that were big and strong. Soon all that was left were the weak and the sick, and the people began to starve. The woman had to make magic again, and this time she called Amorak, the spirit of the wolf, to winnow out the weak and the sick, so that the herd would once again be strong. The people realized that the caribou and the wolf were one, for although the caribou feeds the wolf, it is the wolf that keeps the caribou strong.” ~Inuit Creation Story

Photograph of caribou by John E Marriott

The people realized that the caribou and the wolf were one, for although the caribou feeds the wolf, it is the wolf that keeps the caribou strong.”

Wolf In Snow Shoshone NF Amy Gerber In Snow Shoshone NF

The Yellowstone Story Film Project

Inside the Heart of Wolf Advocacy: The Yellowstone Story

The following is Linda Thurston’s dialogue from Meet the Advocates Inside the Heart of Wolf Advocacy—The Yellowstone Story Film Project Pitch Trailer

“We’ll watch wolf packs in the park and we get to learn about every individual and their personalities. And the younger ones, the older ones, and the ones you know are the good hunters for instance, and the ones that play the support roles and learn their personalities. Then we’ll watch them for years. Then there’s an elk hunt and a wolf hunt right outside the park. These wolves will leave because it’s a free meal for them to eat a gut pile that an elk hunter left on the landscape. Then that wolf might get shot over it. And it’s heartbreaking for us to see this animal, it’s not like our pet, but we get to learn its personality like as if it was a pet. And it just breaks our heart and makes you wanna speak up and do something about it.”

Watch the Pitch Trailer

Director Statement by Rachel Tilseth “The Vision”

This is a story of passion, endurance and fighting even when the odds are against you. In this story I want to introduce you to four courageous people working to preserve the legacy of Yellowstone’s wolves. People either love or hate the wolf, and he’s been long misunderstood for many centuries.

Thousands of people in vehicles line the roads in Yellowstone National Park hoping for a glimpse of a wild wolf. People are everywhere, dozens at a time, searching through spotting scopes for wolves. One of these wolf watchers is advocate Ilona Popper, whose passion for wolves can be clearly heard in her voice. We introduce the viewer to ilona Popper as she sets up her spotting scope in Lamar Valley home to one of Yellowstone’s beloved wolf packs. As Ilona speaks you can hear the urgency in her voice because it’s September and the Montana wolf hunt is just around the corner. She recounts the tragic story of a famous alpha female wolf that was killed by a wolf hunter after she left the sanctuary of the park.

Time lapses will introduce the viewer to the ever changing weather that wolves face in Yellowstone. Drones are not allowed in the park boundaries but aerial footage will, along with the time lapses, give a perspective of the immensity of the park landscapes.

We introduce the viewer to Dr. Nathan Varley as he hikes in the picturesque landscape that is Yellowstone in winter, and is set at the Buffalo Ranch situated near the Lamar river. Dr. Varley is on a hike with wolf watcher clients where he explains the history of Yellowstone’s wolf reintroduction. Throughout the year, Dr. Varley along with his wolf tourism business partner and wife Linda Thurston, take their clients into the park every morning.

We introduce you to Marc Cooke President of Wolves of the Rockies during a spring snow storm and within view of the famous northern gate of Yellowstone. The viewer will see herds of bison, elk and antelope in spring time grazing on the moist green grasses as Marc talks about the famous 06 wolf of Lamar Valley pack. I will introduce the viewer to cell phone audio of the Lamar Valley wolf packs’ hauntingly mournful howls, that was recorded at the very same spot where their family member was killed by a wolf hunter just outside of the park.

I will introduce the viewer to Yellowstone’s wolf watcher community; then you will watch them as they move from one pull out to the next counting wolves. You’ll hear engine noise from above as the head Yellowstone Wolf Project staff Dr. Doug Smith flies about counting wolves. The viewer will meet Yellowstone Wolf Project staff Kira Cassidy as she talks about wolf pack dynamics, recounting observations of one wolf pack’s struggle for survival, against the back drop of the Yellowstone River in Winter.

Film Treatment “The Story”

This documentary tells the story of advocates working to preserve the legacy of Yellowstone National Park wolves that face an uncertain future because of legal wolf hunts just beyond the park’s border. A famous wolf, known as 06, was killed in a legal wolf hunt when she left the park’s sanctuary in 2012. Six years later 06’s daughter, known as Spitfire, wolf 926F suffered the same fate in November 2018. Today, Wolves in Yellowstone have become the “rock stars” of their species due to the hundreds of thousands of people that venture into the park hoping for a glimpse of a Yellowstone wolf. The death of 06 and other collared wolves has ignited a battle to create a buffer zone around Yellowstone National Park to protect it’s wolves because legal trophy hunts take place in Wyoming, Idaho & Montana. The film is set in our nation’s first national park, Yellowstone National Park is a nearly 3,500-sq.-mile wilderness recreation area atop a volcanic hot spot. By 1926, as a result of federal and state predator control efforts, gray wolves (Canis lupus) were officially extirpated from Yellowstone National Park. Northern Rocky Mountain wolves were eventually listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 1973.

With ESA listing came the goal of restoring wolves to their historic range, and in 1995 and 1996, following many years of public planning and input, a total of 31 wolves, captured in Alberta and British Columbia, Canada, were reintroduced to Yellowstone. Wolves flourished amidst Yellowstone’s abundant prey and expansive, protected wilderness.

The first wolf arrives in Yellowstone at the Crystal Bench Pen (Mike Phillips-YNP Wolf Project Leader, Jim Evanoff-YNP, Molly Beattie- USFWS Director, Mike Finley-YNP Superintendent, Bruce Babbitt-Secretary of Interior) JIM PEACO (CC-BY-2.0)

The Montana and Wyoming Legislature dismissed the idea of a buffer zone for wolves that wander outside Yellowstone, instead instating a law prohibiting such buffer zones. The film takes viewers through the controversy surrounding Yellowstone National Park wolves being legally hunted in Wyoming, Montana & Idaho when they wander from the sanctuary of park. The film takes you into the advocates lives, why they advocate, the work they do, and how the advocate’s work will preserve the legacy of Yellowstone Park wolves.

MEET THE ADVOCATES

Advocate Dr. Nathan Varley, 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. Dr. Varley, a businessman co-owner of Yellowstone Wolf Tracker tours in Gardiner, Montana, 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.” Quoted from NYT article: Research Animals Lost in Wolf Hunts Near Yellowstone by Nate Schweber 11/28/2012

Advocate Linda Thurston, Co Owner of Yellowstone Wolf Tracker tours in Gardiner, Montana. Thurston began working on the Yellowstone Wolf Project in 1996, during the early years of the wolf reintroduction. She headed up the first denning behavior study on wolves in Yellowstone Park, and received her master’s degree in wildlife biology from Texas A&M while doing so. Thurston and Dr. Varley through their business focus on teaching people about the behavior, ecology and management of wolves in and around Yellowstone Park for the past 14 years. Both Thurston and Dr. Varley are active in wolf conservation issues through Bear Creek Council, a grassroots organization that works to protect wolves and other wildlife just outside the boundary of Yellowstone Park.

Advocate Mark Cooke

Advocate Marc Cooke is founder of Wolves of the Rockies (WOTR) who’s mission is; to Protect & Defend Wolves of the Rocky Mountains through advocating and education. WOTR gathers wolf advocates from around the world to consolidate our voices into a force that will influence the protection and acceptance of wolves in the Rocky Mountain Region. Educating people with facts about wolves, and wolf behavior to counter the negative image created by commercial interest groups, fictional entertainment and extremism.

Advocate Ilona Popper

Advocate Ilona Popper has a M.A. English Language and Literature, University of Virginia and has worked for 40 years as an editor, writing coach, and teacher. Ilona has worked intensively on preserving wolves in the YNP area and in Montana. She helped establish and served as chair for the Bear Creek Council Wolf Committee and was invited to sit on Finding Common Ground, a council called by Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks to bring together wildlife advocates and environmentalists with sportspeople and livestock producers. The participants were often at odds, especially about wolves, but she saw that “each person shared a love of wildlife and nature.”

The film will also introduce the viewer to Yellowstone Wolf Project staff. Douglas W. Smith, senior wildlife biologist for Yellowstone Wolf Project. Kira Cassidy, Kira holds her M.S. degree from the University of Minnesota, with projects focusing on territoriality and aggression between packs of gray wolves. Now working as a Research Associate for the Yellowstone Wolf Project. Rick McIntyre has served as a seasonal park ranger at such sites as Yellowstone, Denali, Glacier, and Big Bend national parks. His books include War Against the Wolf: America’s Campaign to Exterminate the Wolf (Voyageur Press) and Grizzly Cub: Five Years in the Life of a Bear.

Watch a Yellowstone National Park video of Yellowstone Wolf Project Researcher Kira Cassidy as she watches the alpha female wolf 926F chasing an elk.

Poster design by Any Reich

Producers Maaike Middleton and Rachel Tilseth

Director Rachel Tilseth

A Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin Film, LLC

Visit Inside the Heart of Wolf Advocacy: The Yellowstone Story’s Facebook Page Here for all Updates

Inside of the Heart of Wolf Advocacy: The Yellowstone Story

Producer

Maaike Middleton is a wildlife filmmaker. She was born in The Netherlands and grew up in Montana. She has traveled the globe filming wildlife from pumas in Patagonia, the illusive Amur tiger in the Russian Far East and grizzlies in her backyard. Maaike is passionate about telling stories that can make a difference and address issues that impact us all. When she is not setting camera traps to capture animal behavior she is watching films and helping with the selection process for the Wildlife Film Festival Rotterdam. She received her MA from University of London- Royal Holloway BA Montana State University- Bozeman. She has worked on projects for Smithsonian, Nat Geo, Curiosity Stream, BBC Nature, PBS and ARTE.

Producer and Director

Filmmaker Rachel Tilseth Tracking Wisconsin’s Gray wolf in 2017.

Rachel Tilseth is a fine artist, educator, environmentalist, wolf advocate and filmmaker. Rachel lives and works in Menomonie, Wisconsin. Rachel earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Art Education in 1992 from UW-Stout, graduating with cum laude honors. Rachel has been an environmentalist since high school. Rachel participated in the first Earth Day in 1971. Later, Rachel participated in the protests of sulfate mines that took place in the early 1990s. Rachel worked with activists John Trudell and Walter Bresette, whom she met at the Protect The Earth Festival near Hayward, Wisconsin. Rachel’s first art teaching job was in Kyle, South Dakota on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in 1992.

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 Rachel became involved in Wisconsin’s Wolf Recovery Program. Rachel officially 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 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 wasn’t accepted Rachel 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 all of their resources were tied up in working to get it off the ground. The National Geographic Channel advised Rachel to resubmit the proposal in a year. Rachel continued working to draw attention to Wisconsin’s Gray wolf and wrote to Dr. Jane Goodall in Tanzania, Africa about the recovery program. Rachel received three handwritten postcards from Dr. Jane Goodall.

In 2011 Great Lakes wolves were delisted. Rachel 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 in an effort 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. Rachel has put together public events, three film screenings, one film festival, in order to bring education and awareness about Wisconsin’s wolf hunt, and wildlife issues. In 2011 Rachel started a Facebook Page and named it after the county she tracked wolves in; Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin (WODCW). WODCW became known nationally and internationally. In 2018 Rachel began working on a film series titled Inside the Heart of Wolf Advocacy. Rachel’s film series tells the stories of advocates/people working to preserve the legacy of wild gray wolves. The first series is about Yellowstone Wolves, “The Yellowstone Story” and Rachel is the Producer and Director. Rachel formed a film company in 2019 Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin Films, LLC.

The Trailer

Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin Presents

A Film Produced by Maaike Middleton Rachel Tilseth

Song “Don’t Know Why, But They Do”

Words & Music by Joe De Benedetti Noah Hill

Edited by Maaike Middleton

Cinematography by Maaike Middleton

Directed by Rachel Tilseth

B Roll National Park Service

Graphic Design Andy Reich

Advocates Ilona Popper

Nathan Varley

Linda Thurston

Marc Cooke

Inside the Heart of Wolf Advocacy—The Yellowstone Story Advocates Linda Thurston & Nathan Varley business owners at www.wolftracker.com We advocate emphatically for the wildlife upon which our business depends. Unlike a lot of businesses in our industry that stay quiet and sit on their hands, we show up to speak out on controversial wildlife issues. We are not afraid to stick up for wolves, bison, and bears when they need a voice. As leaders in Bear Creek Council, an all-volunteer, local grassroots group, we dedicate our effort to wise stewardship in our area. We fight mine proposals that threaten Yellowstone’s habitat and water quality. We fight trophy hunters that want to shoot wolves and grizzly bears along park borders. We fight for the next generation and their right to experience the same wild Yellowstone we know and love.

A Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin Film, LLC

WODCW is a Film Company producing film projects that inspire change through environmental education and legislation. Gray wolves are recovering on a worldwide landscape, our films, involve a global audience. We connect and engage viewers with filmmakers dedicated to documenting the conscious relationships between advocates and Gray wolves.

We view the need for people to meaningfully engage with its wild wolves that are now struggling for survival worldwide.

To support this effort, we maintain a network of subject matter experts in film producers, scientists, academics, as well as other advocates who share a common interest to advocate, produce and share educational stories of people and Gray wolves.

The Rocky Mountain Wolf Project—Re-establishing the Species in Colorado

The Rocky Mountain Wolf Project aims to improve public understanding of gray wolf behavior, ecology, and options for re-establishing the species in Colorado. The benchmark of our success: Wolves again roaming the snow-capped peaks, rim rock canyons, and primeval forests of western Colorado. To learn more about the Rocky Mountain Wolf Project Click Here.

The Rocky Mountain Wolf Project works to:

Disseminate Science-Based Information about wolves and dispel existing myths. Engage Coloradans about the reality of co-existing with wolves, including ways to mitigate the effects on hunters, ranchers, and others concerned about wolves. Cultivate Enthusiasm among Coloradans about returning wolves to the Western half of the state.

Rocky Mountain Wolf Project Coalition is comprised of individuals and organizations—from wildlife biologists to Colorado landowners to conservationists—dedicated to returning wolves to Colorado. We will encourage thoughtful, public conversation with all stakeholders, including ranchers and sportsmen. To learn more about the Rocky Mountain Wolf Project Click Here.

Take Action

Re-establishing wolves in western Colorado could connect the entire North American wolf population. It would be difficult to overestimate the biological and conservation value of this achievement. Click Here to Make Your Voice Heard

Watch Canis Lupus Colorado

“Wolf Spirit” Screens at the Twin Cities Film Festival Sunday October 20th.

“Wolf Spirit” screens at the Twin Cities Film Festival in the Documentary Shorts Block: Persistence and Vision on Sunday October 20th at 05:00 PM To Purchase Tickets Click Here

Friends of the wolf Jim Brandenburg, Larry Stillday (Chi Ma’iingan) and Barry Babcock all who have spent most of their lives in wolf country are featured in the film.

“Wolf Spirit” Minnesota Premiere at the Twin Cities Film Festival Sunday October 20th. Photograph by renowned National Geographic Photographer Jim Brandenburg.

“Wolf Spirit is dedicated to the memory of Chi Ma’iingan a spiritual teacher of mine from Red Lake Nation and to the wolves of northern Minnesota.” Julia Huffman, Producer and Director

“Wolf Spirit” screens at the Twin Cities Film Festival Documentary Film Shorts (Shorts Block) on Sunday October 20th at 5pm!

Purchase Tickets here: https://www.showplaceicon.com/Browsing/Movies/Details/h-HO00002753

Wolf Spirit is Endorsed by Dr. Jane Goodall:

“BEAUTIFULLY and sensitively filmed with commentary from people who not only admire but understand the role of the wolf in the American landscape. A film that needs to be watched by as many people as possible right now in the face of the horrifying and inhumane slaughter of wolves supported by State Wildlife Services and the US government’s Senate and House of Representatives.”

A Message from “Wolf Spirit” Producer and Director Julia Huffman

Jim Brandenburg was able to attend the screening and here’s what he had to say…

Montana Wolf Hunts are Taking Place Right Now…

Last November, 2018, we remember the tragedy of Spitfire, the daughter of the famous wolf 06, was shot just outside of Yellowstone National Park’s boundary. Inside of the Heart of Wolf Advocacy: The Yellowstone Story Film Project obtained cell phone audio of Spitfire’s family members.

“Listening to the mournful calls from Little T, Small Dot and the five pups that they made while searching for 926F, their lost family member, leaves no doubt in my mind and heart that they feel strong family bonds. There must be a way to protect YNP wolves that wonder outside the park boundary.” Rachel Tilseth, Director and Producer Of The Yellowstone Story Film Project.

Listen to the cell phone audio here

It’s almost a year since she was shot just outside of Yellowstone National Park. The head biologist of the Yellowstone Wolf Project stated: “Wolf hunters talk about seeing a pack of park wolves outside the boundary and being able to pick the one they want,” said Doug Smith, the park’s wolf biologist. “They just stand there and have no fear.”

Spitfire, or 926F, was killed just a few miles outside the park in Montana near the northeast entrance to the park, between the tiny communities of Silver Gate and Cooke City, Mont.

She left 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.

With the matriarch gone, Dr. Smith said, the famed pack could be in trouble. Even though the breeding pack is intact, its seven-member size may not be as resilient as bigger groups. “Its survival is an open question,” he said.” New York Times article November 2018

Wolf 926F Photo credit by Vanessa Vought

Timber Wolf Alliance—Science, Outreach & Education

Wisconsin’s Wolf Awareness Week Begins on October 20, 2010. Join Timber Wolf Alliance in celebration of Wisconsin’s Gray wolf.

From Timber Wolf Alliance website:

In 1987, only eighteen wolves were estimated to live in Wisconsin and fewer in Upper Michigan. That year, the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute began the Timber Wolf Alliance to assist twenty-one organizations and many private individuals in promoting wolf recovery in Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula through public education, citizen science, and volunteer activities.

The Timber Wolf Alliance is committed to investigating the facts and relies on research to dispel myths and unfounded fears associated with wolves. TWA provides training in wolf biology and ecology, develops and disseminates educational materials on wolves, and supports volunteers to help with wolf monitoring efforts.

Mission

To use science-based information to promote an ecologically-functional wolf population within areas of suitable habitat, and promote human coexistence with emphasis on Michigan and Wisconsin.

Timber Wolf Programs

Schedule a program to come to your library, fair, club, or event. Learn more about programs topics:

Myths about the Wolves of Wisconsin

Wolf Folklore

Pup Development

Wolf Ecology, & Management

Wolf Communication

Canids of Wisconsin

The Timber Wolf Alliance announced it has selected the work of Diane Versteeg for its 2019 Wolf Awareness Week poster. Versteeg’s work was selected in 2004, as well.

Versteeg of Spokane, Washington, has worked as an animal keeper in zoos, wildlife sanctuaries, and animal shelters for more than forty years. She started sketching in her free time in the early 1980s and later switched to scratchboard, also called scraperboard.

The Timber Wolf Alliance selected her scratchboard of a pair of bonded wolves nuzzling one another. Versteeg says she observed the two wolves—Nehani and Ramses—at Wolf Haven International where she worked in the mid-1990s.

“Ramses was always a very shy boy—curious but kept his distance,” she said. “Nehani was very friendly and outgoing, at least to me. She always came up to visit when I did daily rounds.”

Timber Wolf Alliance Coordinator Jordyn O’Gara says she and the selection committee chose Versteeg’s work because it is different than recent Wolf Awareness Week posters.

“We’re hoping it will make people pause and look at the poster because it is so unique,” she said. “Just like with the theme—we are hoping people will pause and reassess wolf management from a non-western culture point of view.”

Each year Wolf Awareness Week celebrates a broad theme in wolf conservation. In 2019, the Timber Wolf Alliance will be celebrating ma’iingan’s (wolves) relationship with the Ojibwe as well as other Native American cultures within North America.

As a part of Wolf Awareness Week, Timber Wolf Alliance will be hosting a documentary entitled “Ma’iingan: Brother Wolf,” as well as a keynote speaker Peter David, who will discuss the history of the Ojibwe and ma’iingan. Wolf Awareness Week will be held October 20–26.

“Behind the Eyes of a Dog” Artist Series: Blends Images of the Dog & His Forebears

“I ask the viewer to experience each painting at a distance, and then, as they approach, discover the hundreds of elements which make up the piece. In so doing, the viewer develops a new awareness and admiration for the beauty and intelligence of the wolf. They should ponder evolution and the hundreds of breeds of companions we enjoy today, all descended from the wolf. I want them to treasure the wolf as they do their dogs.” ~Diana J Smith, Artist’s Statement

“The Nature of Things” 40×30 mixed media collage. Diana J Smith fine artist.

I’ve followed the work of fine artist Diana J Smith for awhile now. You can view all of her work at www.dianajsmith.com

Behind the Eyes of a Dog www.dianajsmith.com

Artist’s Statement:

The inspiration for this body of work comes from the way dogs looks at you with intense concentration as if trying to understand your words or thoughts. I am intrigued by the intelligence and extreme focus in their eyes and the depth of their concentration as well as their beautiful noses, detecting smells we cannot even acknowledge.

All dogs evolved from mother wolf, and I suggest that by blending of images the dog with his kind and his forbearers. Embracing collage techniques, I collect countless pictures of dogs and wolves from old discarded books and magazines. As I begin each piece, I select several hundred of these images based on color and value; I cut out each one and adhere it to the canvas surface. When grouped together, these tiny pictures form a much larger image, the crux of the composition. My style is loose and suggestive with painted detail reserved for eyes and nose.

I ask the viewer to experience each painting at a distance, and then, as they approach, discover the hundreds of elements which make up the piece. In so doing, the viewer develops a new awareness and admiration for the beauty and intelligence of the wolf. They should ponder evolution and the hundreds of breeds of companions we enjoy today, all descended from the wolf. I want them to treasure the wolf as they do their dogs.

“Ancestor” 8×8 mixed media collage www.dianajsmith.com

“Heritage” 8×8 mixed media collage www.dianajsmith.com

“Past-Future” 18×18 mixed media collage www.dianajsmith.com

About artist Diana J Smith

Artis Diana J Smith

An Oklahoma native, Diana J. Smith received a BFA in painting from the University of Oklahoma. Her intense interest in masks led her into additional studies in anthropology.

Diana has exhibited in numerous juried, group, and solo shows and has won awards for her paintings, ceramics and masks. While Diana also enjoys pure abstraction, she is best known for her acrylic paintings of canines, enlivening her subjects with qualities of loyalty, humor, inquisitiveness, mystery and patience.

Diana created masks of leather during the 1980’s which are in private collections all over the country.

Represented by:

Worrell Gallery

103 Washington Ave.

Santa Fe, NM 87501

505.989.4900

sales@worrellgallery.com

JRB Art at the Elms

2810 N. Walker Ave.

Oklahoma City, OK 73103

405.604.6602

info@jrbartgallery.com

Marta Stafford Fine Art

200 Main Street

Marble Falls, Texas 78654

830.693.9999

info@martastaffordfineart.com

Beartooth Gallery Fine Art

110 S. Broadway Ave.

Red Lodge, MT 59068

406.446.1292

mail@beartoothgallery.com

WDNR Report of an injured gray wolf in Wisconsin.

Readers contacted me a few days ago because they had seen an injured gray wolf. I’m withholding location of the injured wolf in my article for obvious reasons. I contacted Todd Schiller, Chief Warden, Bureau of Law Enforcement Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) and he let me know he was looking into the situation and would have someone get back to me.

Scott Walters WDNR Large Carnivore Specialist got back to me and here’s what he had to say.

We’re aware of this wolf, and are monitoring the situation. It’s not been observed in a week or so, which may suggest that it’s moved away from the area. We’ll continue to keep track of any observations, and will respond appropriately. The fact that the wolf has been observed in yards and near roadways, and has allowed people to approach fairly closely, has raised concerns about habituation and potential human safety issues, but we’ll assess any future encounters and respond accordingly.

The wolf clearly has an injured foreleg. Wolves and other wildlife have been known to survive with 3 legs, so hopefully this wolf is able to either heal or make a living away from people in its current condition. The fact it’s only been observed alone suggests that it’s not (closely, at least) associated with a pack, and its habit of showing up near humans suggests it may be having a hard time securing food. But again, we’ll hope for the best for this animal- that being that it’s not observed again and has found a way to survive away from people.

I asked him what people should do if they see this injured wolf, and should they haze the wolf to scare it way? And his response was the following.

If the wolf is observed again, it’s of course important that it not be approached by people as an attempt at hazing. If the wolf is not moving away from people on its own, indicative of health issues or habituation, my best advice would be to have people call USDA-Wildlife Services staff at 1-800-228-1368. Honking a horn or yelling out a car window may be attempted to get the wolf to move, but I’d recommend people still contact Wildlife Services so that they are aware of the interaction. We certainly all want what’s best for this wolf, but most important is that we ensure it does not become a threat to human safety.

It’s important not to approach, follow or interact with this injured gray wolf as it would put him/her in jeopardy. Gray wolves are protected under the Endangered Species Act.

Wisconsin Gray wolf, Photograph Credit USF&WS

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, 2018-2019, Wolf Monitoring Report is out…

Photo credit: Snapshot Wisconsin

Did you know that a wolf hunting and trapping season is required by law when Wisconsin’s Gray is not listed on the Endangered Species Act. 2011 Wisconsin Act 169 was approved by the Governor Scott Walker-R in April 2012. This statute authorizes and requires a wolf hunting and trapping season. Numerous season and application details were described in the statute. Out of all the states that hunted wolves, only Wisconsin allows hound hunters to use unleashed packs of dogs to hunt wolves. Wisconsin, quite literally, throws “dogs to the wolves”.

Act 169 authorized the Department to delineate harvest management zones, set harvest quotas, and determine the number of licenses to be issued to accomplish the harvest objective.

Six-hundred and fifty-four gray wolves were killed during Wisconsin’s wolf hunting and trapping seasons that took place in 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Thankfully, a federal judge in December 2014 threw out an Obama administration decision to remove the gray wolf population in the western Great Lakes region from the endangered species list. This decision banned further wolf hunting and trapping in three states of Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan.

The state of Wisconsin’s misguided wolf management plans, regarding hunting and trapping, is important information to note as the USF&WS is working to revise a role to delist the Gray wolf in the Great Lakes Area. USF&WS held a Public comment period that closed on July 15, 2019 with over 900,000 commenters apposed Trump Administrations Plan to remove wolf protection.

Help protect Wisconsin’s Gray wolf from a required hunting and trapping season: contact you members of Congress by clicking here to get their contact information.

The 2018-2019 Wolf Monitoring Report is out…

Once a year the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources publishes a Wolf Monitoring Report 2018-2019 that was conducted using a territory mapping with telemetry technique, summer howl surveys, winter snow track surveys, recovery of dead wolves, depredation investigations, and collection of public observation reports.

In April 2019 the statewide minimum wolf population count was 914-978 wolves, a 1% increase from the previous year. There are roughly 978 gray wolves living throughout Wisconsin’s northern and central forests, minimum winter count, according to the WDNR Wolf Progress Report 2018-2019. All of this points to a wolf population that is self regulating or leveling off according to land carrying capacity.

Wolf Mortality…

A total of 41 wolf mortalities were detected during the monitoring period. Detected mortalities represented 4-5% of the minimum 2017-2018 late winter count of 905-944 wolves. Detected mortalities represented 4-5% of the minimum 2017-2018 late winter count of 905-944 wolves.

Once again, according to the Wolf Progress Report, vehicle collisions (44%) and illegal kills (24%) were the leading causes of death for detected mortalities and were slightly higher than rates detected the previous year. Human caused mortality represented 94% of known cause detected mortalities overall.

https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/Wildlifehabitat/wolf/documents/wolfreport2019.pdf

Wolf Depredation…

During the monitoring period, Wildlife Services confirmed 68 wolf complaints (wolf depredations) of the 121 investigated. While the number of confirmed livestock incidents increased from 37 in 2017-2018, the number of farms affected decreased from 31 the past 2 years.

The use of flandry, red strips of material, is used as deterrent to keep wolves away from livestock.

There’s always work to be done when it comes to protecting livestock and wolves…

Watch the interview of Brad Koele WDNR Wildlife Damages Specialist. I interviewed Koele on June 11, 2015 at the WDNR Wolf Population meeting held in Wausau Wisconsin.

Foxlights a nighttime predator deterrent that saves lives! Foxlights have been used by Wisconsin farmers. I gave an interview to Wisconsin Public Radio reporter Danielle Keading on June 21, 2016.

Tilseth sold 25 to the U.S. Department of Agriculture APHIS-Wildlife Services in northern Wisconsin and said they deter wolves from coming near livestock.

“It can be seen from a mile away,” she explained. “It operates with a six volt battery giving up to 12 months of nonstop protection. A light sensor automatically turns it on when it’s at dusk and turns it off during the day.”

These lights are just one of the abatements available to livestock producers in Wisconsin.

https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/Wildlifehabitat/wolf/documents/wolfreport2019.pdf

Once again it has been proven in scientific fact that Wisconsin’s Gray wolf is keeping White-tailed deer populations healthy.

White-tailed deer are the primary prey species for wolves in Wisconsin. White-tailed deer density estimates increased 7% statewide from the previous year estimate, but the majority of that increase was in wolf management unit 6 considered to be mostly unsuitable for wolf pack development. Wolf management units 1, 2, and 5, considered to be primary wolf range, contain 76% of the minimum winter wolf count. Deer density estimates remained stable at 25.3 deer / square mile of deer range in primary wolf range.

Photo credit: Snapshot Wisconsin

The state of Wisconsin’s misguided wolf management plans, regarding hunting and trapping, is important information to note as the USF&WS is working to revise a role to delist the Gray wolf in the Great Lakes Area. USF&WS held a Public comment period that closed on July 15, 2019 with over 900,000 commenters apposed Trump Administrations Plan to remove wolf protection; proving the public wants gray wolves on the landscape! The Gray wolf is part is a part of Wisconsin’s wild legacy!

Help protect Wisconsin’s Gray wolf from a required hunting and trapping season: contact you members of Congress by clicking here to get their contact information.