Wolf nation The life, death, and return of wild American wolves

Brenda Peterson, 1950-

Book - 2017

"In the tradition of Peter Matthiessen's Wildlife in America or Aldo Leopold, Brenda Peterson tells the 300-year history of wild wolves in America. It is also our own history, seen through our relationship with wolves. The earliest Americans revered them. Settlers zealously exterminated them. Now, scientists, writers, and ordinary citizens are fighting to bring them back to the wild. Peterson, an eloquent voice in the battle for twenty years, makes the powerful case that without wolves..., not only will our whole ecology unravel, but we'll lose much of our national soul"--Provided by publisher.

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Series
A Merloyd Lawrence book
Subjects
Published
Boston, MA : Da Capo Press [2017]
Edition
First Da Capo Press edition
Language
English
Item Description
"A Merloyd Lawrence book."
Physical Description
x, 292 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references (pages 259-279) and index.
ISBN
9780306824937
0306824930
Main Author
Brenda Peterson, 1950- (author)
  • Prologue: The big, good wolf
  • Part one: What we almost lost. 1. An historic rage ; 2. "Who speaks for Wolf?"
  • Part two: Wolf wars. 3. Wolf teeth on an airplane wing ; 4. A taxidermist's dream
  • Part three: Recovery and backlash. 5. Yellowstone : "a wolf's paradise" ; 6. Trophic cascades : a not-so-simple story ; 7. 06 : the world's most famous wolf ; 8. Old growth and young howls
  • Part four: Wolf nation. 9. Wolves and the national commons ; 10. Wolves at play ; 11. Raised by wolves ; 12. Wolf music
  • Part five: Wolves return. 13. OR7 : a wolf called Journey ; 14. Sheep highway : coexisting with wolves ; 15. El lobo returns home
  • Epilogue: Speaking for wolves
  • Organizations working to preserve wild wolves.
Review by Booklist Reviews

"Wolves are terrorists on the order of Osama bin Laden," the Anti-Wolf Coalition would have us believe, yet a hunting family carries a sign, "Real hunters don't kill wolves." This dichotomous relationship with Canis lupus fills Peterson's (Wolf Haven, 2016) history of the 300-plus-year association of wolf and human in North America. She also weaves in her own tale: raised in a National Forest (her father became head of the U.S. Forest Service) and a child of the utilitarian branch of conservation, she became a journalist and embraced the environmentalist side. As Peterson explores the story of the wolf in America, she reports on the battle over aerial hunting of wolves and the highly successful reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone. She follows the first wolf family to breed in Oregon since the 1940s and looks at how sheep ranchers in Idaho have learned to coexist with resident wolf packs. In eloquent language, Peterson brings us to the truisms that not only does wilderness need wolves, but wolves must thrive to make the world whole again. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

A veteran of the "wolf wars," Peterson (Sightings: The Gray Whale's Mysterious Journey) draws on her own deep experience and artfully mixes it with science, history, and Native American lore to create a rich account of a most enigmatic creature. She fully explores lupine biology and ethology, and chapters devoted to two famous wolves, "06" and "OR-7" (aka "Journey"), complement that information. Readers learn how apex predators benefit ecosystems, and witness reintroduction in progress with Mexican gray wolves. Although the author leaves no doubt as to where her sympathies lie, she spends time with hard-core opponents to wolf conservation as well as with hunters and ranchers who are warming to the idea. Readers get an aching sense of what Canis lupus is up against—two-legged mammals with guns, of course, and, behind them, state wildlife commissions stacked with hunter-members gung-ho about removing wolves' protected status. Equally malignant, Peterson says, is the negative mythic weight of imported big bad wolf fables and homespun Old West tales of the animal as public enemy. Her book stands as a wise and potent antidote. VERDICT Highly recommended for most public libraries and readers interested in the natural world. An accessible, worthy update to classics such as those by Farley Mowat and Barry Lopez.—Robert Eagan, Windsor P.L., Ont. Copyright 2017 Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Telling the 300-year history of wild wolves in America, as well as our own history seen through our relationship with wolves, the author of Sightings, an eloquent voice in the battle to bring them back to the wild, makes the powerful case that, without wolves, not only will America's whole ecology unravel, but Americans will lose much of our national soul. 18,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Tells the history of wolves in America, arguing that without wolves, ecology would unravel and Americans will lose much of their national soul.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

In the tradition of Peter Matthiessen's Wildlife in America or Aldo Leopold, Brenda Peterson tells the 300-year history of wild wolves in America. It is also our own history, seen through our relationship with wolves. The earliest Americans revered them. Settlers zealously exterminated them. Now, scientists, writers, and ordinary citizens are fighting to bring them back to the wild. Peterson, an eloquent voice in the battle for twenty years, makes the powerful case that without wolves, not only will our whole ecology unravel, but we'll lose much of our national soul.