American Wolf
The enthralling story of the rise and reign of O-Six, the celebrated Yellowstone wolf, and the people who loved or feared herBefore men ruled the earth, there were wolves. Once abundant in North America, these majestic creatures were hunted to near extinction in the lower 48 states by the 1920s. But in recent decades, conservationists have brought wolves back to the Rockies, igniting a battle over the very soul of the West.With novelistic detail, Nate Blakeslee tells the gripping story of one of these wolves, O-Six, a charismatic alpha female named for the year of her birth. Uncommonly powerful, with gray fur and faint black ovals around each eye, O-Six is a kind and merciful leader, a fiercely intelligent fighter, and a doting mother. She is beloved by wolf watchers, particularly renowned naturalist Rick McIntyre, and becomes something of a social media star, with followers around the world.But as she raises her pups and protects her pack, O-Six is challenged on all fronts: by hunters, who compete with wolves for the elk they both prize; by cattle ranchers who are losing livestock and have the ear of politicians; and by other Yellowstone wolves who are vying for control of the park’s stunningly beautiful Lamar Valley.These forces collide in American Wolf, a riveting multigenerational saga of hardship and triumph that tells a larger story about the ongoing cultural clash in the West—between those fighting for a vanishing way of life and those committed to restoring one of the country’s most iconic landscapes.

American Wolf Details

TitleAmerican Wolf
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseOct 17th, 2017
PublisherCrown Publishing Group (NY)
ISBN-139781101902783
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Animals, Environment, Nature, Science, History, Audiobook

American Wolf Review

  • Will Byrnes
    January 1, 1970
    There was a time when millions of us roamed the continent. We fed when there was need. We played in forests and open places. Our kind lived well, from the warm woodlands of the south to the frosty forests of the north and in the gentler landscapes between. We raised our pups in cozy dens, and raised our voices at night to call out to others. Sometimes, we joined our brothers and sisters in joyous chorus for no reason at all. We lived in a world with many others, hunters, prey, and creatures who There was a time when millions of us roamed the continent. We fed when there was need. We played in forests and open places. Our kind lived well, from the warm woodlands of the south to the frosty forests of the north and in the gentler landscapes between. We raised our pups in cozy dens, and raised our voices at night to call out to others. Sometimes, we joined our brothers and sisters in joyous chorus for no reason at all. We lived in a world with many others, hunters, prey, and creatures who seemed to have no great part of our existence. There were people here then. We lived with them, too. But other people came, people with guns, poison, and traps, people armed with fear, hatred, and ignorance. They took our food sources, and when we were forced to look elsewhere to feed, they turned their quivering, murderous hearts toward us. And there came a time when there were practically none of us left across the entire land. Nate Blakeslee - image from Texas MonthlyIn Eurasia and North America, at least, where there have been people there have always been wolves. They have been a significant feature in the lore of most cultures, usually in a negative way. While the tale of the she-wolf Lupa nurturing Romulus and Remus gives wolves some rare positive press, and native peoples of North America offer the wolf considerable respect, wolves have not, for the most part, received particularly positive press in the last few hundred years. The obvious cultural touchstone for most North Americans and Europeans would be the story of Little Red Riding Hood, followed closely by tales of lycanthropy, and maybe a shepherd boy who sounded a false alarm a time too many. The wolf is embedded in our culture as something to be feared, a great and successful hunter, a rival. Homo sap is a jealous species and does its best to eliminate other apex predators whenever we take over their turf. Such has been the case with Canis Lupus. And we have been taking over lots and lots of turf.O-Six - image from StudyBreaks.comAs is so often the case when people are involved, action precedes understanding. European settlers in North America, carrying forward Old World biases, saw wolves as a threat to their safety. Incidents of wolf attacks on people are quite rare, though. Settlers feared for their livestock as well. There was certainly some basis for concern there, but not nearly enough to warrant the response. In fact, wolves serve a very useful function in the larger biome, culling the weaker specimens from natural populations, and thus helping secure the continued health of the overall prey population. The settler response was wholesale slaughter, a public program of eradication, a final solution for wolves. But actions have consequences. The result, in Yellowstone Park, was a boom in ungulate population, which had secondary effects. Increased numbers of elk and other prey animals gobbled up way too much new growth, impacting the flora of the area, unbalancing the park’s ecosystem, seriously reducing the population, for example, of cottonwood and aspen trees, with many other changes taking place as well. Where wolves live they contribute to the balance of their environment. When they are removed, that balance is destroyed. As a science, wildlife management [in the early 20th century] was still in its infancy, and park officials genuinely believed that predators would eventually decimate the park’s prey population if left to their own devices. They didn’t realize that wolves and elk had coexisted in Yellowstone for thousands of years, that the two species had in fact evolved in tandem with each other—which explained why the elk could run just as fast as the wolf but no faster. Wolves were the driving force behind the evolution of a wide variety of prey species in North America after the last ice age, literally molding the natural world around them. The massive size of the moose, the nimbleness of the white-tailed deer, the uncanny balance of the bighorn sheep—the architect of these and countless other marvels was the wolf. It is eminently clear that people are quite accomplished at ignoring reality, and extremely proficient at substituting the mythological for the actual, often helped along by the unscrupulous self-interested, who promote falsehoods in order to preserve their personal investments, enhance their proprietary interests, or enrich themselves or those they represent. But sometimes science breaks through the veil of obfuscation and is able to get a hearing for the truths it has unearthed. Such was the case with our understanding of how wolves impact our world. It was due to this understanding and the persistent efforts of ecological activists that a plan was approved to reintroduce wolves into a few locations in the lower 48 states. Yellowstone was the primary site for the program.Rick McIntyre - image from Earthjustice.comThe first wolves were reintroduced into Yellowstone in 1995. That year a star was born, “21M.” Even before 21 left his natal pack, Rick had known he was unusual. One morning in the spring of 1997, two years after Doug Smith and Carter Niemeyer rescued 21 following the death of his father, Rick watched the handsome young wolf returning from a hunt. With him was the big male who had become the pack’s new alpha when 21 was still a tiny pup. The pair had killed an elk, and 21, already an outstanding provider, had brought a massive piece of meat back to the den, where a new litter of pups had been born.The pups, his new brothers and sisters, showered him with affection, but 21 seemed tense, pacing back and forth across Rick’s scope. Finally the wolf found what he was looking for: a troubled pup that he had recently taken an interest in. There was usually one pup who held the lowest rank in a litter’s pecking order, but this pup was different; he had some physical problem that held him back. Rick couldn’t tell exactly what was wrong with him, though his littermates clearly recognized that he was different and shunned him. But 21 seemed to have empathy for the pup, the way a dog seems to know when his owner is feeling depressed or lonely. As Rick looked on, the strapping 21 played with the tiny wolf as though he were still a pup himself, giving him the attention he so seldom enjoyed from his siblings. 21 becomes the alpha of the Druid pack, manifesting that most important of leadership qualities, empathy. The Druids were like the Kennedys to some, lupine royalty. In 2006, one generation removed, 21’s granddaughter is born, O-Six. It is her tale that Blakeslee tells here. Well, one half of the tale, anyway. There are two paths followed here. One is the life and times of O-Six, a remarkable creature, and another remarkable creature, one who stands upright, Rick McIntyre. Half Black – a Druid pack female - image from the National Park ServiceWe follow O-Six’s life from her puppyhood in the Agate Creek pack to her gathering together the wolves that would make up the Lamar Valley Pack. She is a wise leader, a skilled hunter. As she births pups, the pack grows. But there are other packs of wolves in Yellowstone, and conflict among them is a natural condition. In battle, O-Six demonstrates remarkable courage, in one instance standing fast, seriously outnumbered, against an invading pack, and engaging in Hollywood level derring-do to save the day. She succeeds despite having in her pack an Alpha male and his sibling referred to by watchers as Dumb and Dumber for their limited hunting skills. We see her relocate as needed to take advantage of propitious territorial openings, or quarters removed from hostile forces. One of her moves put her in a location where wolf watchers could follow her pack’s exploits from the safe remove of a park road cutout. It is publicity from the group that gathered to ardently keep track of O-Six and her Lamar Pack’s exploits from this convenient watching site, (and others) that made her the most famous wolf in the world. Wolf watchers - image from the National Park ServiceRick McIntyre was constitutionally more of a lone wolf sort, a National Park Ranger, happiest out in the field, whether studying grizzlies in Denali, where he became a top-drawer wildlife photographer, or studying wolves in Yellowstone. He was introduced to wolves by a top wolf biologist, Gorbon Haber, building his expertise and writing A Society of Wolves. The book was published in 1993. It expounded on the culture of wolves, significantly broadening our understanding of the species. His work was instrumental in providing support for reintroduction efforts. This work landed him a spot at Yellowstone, where he slowly improved his people skills, and became a fixture around which study and monitoring of the park packs centered, the leader of the wolf-study pack. He is a charismatic, passionate character and you will enjoy getting to know him.O-Six howling with her mate and his brother - image from NatGeo WildThere are other elements in the book. The growth of the wolf-watching culture and the Yellowstone watchers club is given plenty of attention. The politics of reintroduction, protection, and attempts to remove protection get their share of ink as well. There is much in here that will raise your blood pressure. Impressively, Blakeslee includes a depiction of the man who shot O-Six. It is not the drooling monster portrayal one might expect. Blakeslee takes pains to consider the perspective of hunters. There is a description of a marauding, death-dealing pack, the Mollies, that will remind you of the Borg, or a zombie apocalypse. It is as tension, and fear-filled a portrayal as you will find in any of the best action-adventure fiction.Yellowstone wolf pup - image from NatGeo WildWhen studying wildlife, researchers are discouraged from forming emotional attachments to the objects of their study. Few animals live nearly so long as people, so your favorite [insert species here] will, as likely as not, perish before you. But readers of this book are under no such caution. Sitting in a laundromat, parked on a backless bench, book on an attached table, looking through the plate glass, rain soaking Hazle Avenue, drops cascading down the window, my eyes join the mass drip on reading Blakeslee’s description of the death of O-Six. I will admit that this happens sometimes when reading about people, but it does not happen often. I am saved from a public exhibition of heaving shoulders and stifled sobs by the buzzer announcing the end of a wash. If you have any tears left after this, you will turn them loose in an epilogue tale of 21’s mountain top trek as he neared death. O-Six - image from NatGeo WildI only had one small beef about the book. I understand that researchers are discouraged from naming their study subjects, but it was quite inconsistent in application. Some had names, others were just numbers, and, frankly, it became a bit tough at times, keeping track of which number came from which pack, and was that one with this pack and this one with that pack. Really that’s it. Otherwise, no problemoWolf #10 of the Rose Creek pack - image from the National Park ServiceAmerican Wolf is a complex work, offering some science, some history, some political analysis, some prompts to raise your spirits, some that will make you cheer, and some dark moments that will make you turn away, fold the book closed, and wonder just what is wrong with some people. You will learn a lot, particularly about wolf culture. But primarily, it is a tale of hope, of reason triumphing over ignorance, of courage and heroism besting villainy. It joins the intellectual heft of offering considerable information with the gift of being incredibly moving. Unidentified Yellowstone wolf – 1996 - image from National Park ServiceTail high, standing tall, the gray alpha raises his muzzle and howls a long call. Pack members miles away lift their heads, point their ears toward the siren summons and begin loping home. There are fewer now than there were, an inexperienced young adult having found mortal peril on the fringes of their land. But still, enough of the pack remained, strong and healthy. They would gather. The gray knew where they would go once joined, into the valley. Caribou were plentiful there. They would fill their bellies before grizzlies stole their prize, and then would carry large chunks in their jaws, for the nursing alpha female. It was not the best of all possible world, but it would do, for now.image from wolf.orgReview – October 12, 2017Published – October 17, 2017=============================EXTRA STUFFThe author’s Twitter feed and a list of his articles at Texas MonthlyVideo-----a clip from She Wolf-----Learn to draw a wolf-----An admirer speaks fondly of wolves howling - what beautiful music they make-----A familiar item from Duran Duran-----Another from Sam the Sham-----Not quite a video, more an an app about wolves with images and sound-----Yellowstone Wolf History with Rick McIntyreArticles-----Heroes: Life Lessons from Yellowstone’s Wolves - by Haleigh Gullion-----The Call of the Wild - interview with Rick McIntyre-----July 5, 2018 - NY Times - Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf Scientist? - Wolf researcher, Rob Wielgus, reports what he can discover, then has to deal with the death threats - by Christopher SolomonRob Wielgus – Credit - Ilona Szwarc for The New York TimesOther-----Gray Wolf Conservation----- The International Wolf Center offers a lot of information-----Yellowstone’s Photo Collection - wolves-----The Call of the Wild - free on Gutenberg-----Get your howl on-----Of particular relevance to this subject is the Farley Mowat enhanced memoir of his field research experience with wolves, Never Cry Wolf, published in 1963, and the excellent 1983 film that was made of itFrom the filmNovember 9, 2017 - American Wolf is among the nominees for Amazon's book of the year - Science
    more
  • karen
    January 1, 1970
    NOW AVAILABLE!!this is my nonfiction book for the month, chosen because i like wolves, but sean of the house LOVES wolves, and i was going to give this to him when i finished, but i'm afraid it would break his sensitive irish heart.according to this book, wolves have a life expectancy of about five years in the wild, and this book chronicles several generations of wolves living in yellowstone, so you do the math there. this book was pulled together from the well-detailed accounts of the wolf-wat NOW AVAILABLE!!this is my nonfiction book for the month, chosen because i like wolves, but sean of the house LOVES wolves, and i was going to give this to him when i finished, but i'm afraid it would break his sensitive irish heart.according to this book, wolves have a life expectancy of about five years in the wild, and this book chronicles several generations of wolves living in yellowstone, so you do the math there. this book was pulled together from the well-detailed accounts of the wolf-watchers in yellowstone; individuals who devoted their lives to observing these magnificent beasts every day, coming to know their behaviors and ‘personalities,’ monitoring their struggles for dominance within their packs, their clashes with other packs, and witnessing births and deaths in an ever-changing pack dynamic.as i said, i like wolves, but in a casual “oh, how lovely they are” way without being any kind of wolf scholar or anything, so i learned a lot from this book. i didn’t know that wolves had been eliminated from yellowstone (and most of the US) in the ’20’s in order to protect the park’s delicious elk, deer, moose, & etc and were only reintroduced in 1995, when wolves imported from canada were allowed to return to an ecosystem that had actually been negatively impacted by their removal in the first place. what followed was a wolf explosion that did indeed restore the natural balance but also caused outrage in the local humans, as idaho, montana and wyoming are full of hunters and ranchers long accustomed to viewing wolves as a threat to their livelihood. so not only is the book full of the stories of the wolves under the park’s protection, but also about the inevitable wolf diaspora, as packs ranged outside of safety and caused no end of consternation and legislature about what should be done to protect the elk and cattle that humans were planning on killing. it’s Planet Earth meets Law & Order and both situations are fascinating in their own way. on the wolf side, the star of the book is the alpha female O-Six (named for the year of her birth)*, who made herself a favorite of yellowstone’s many wolf-watching groupies by demonstrating phenomenal abilities in hunting prowess, strategic evasion, admirable leadership qualities, and fecundity. if you google “O-Six and yellowstone,” you get the cliffs notes version of what happened to her, but you’d miss out on all the stories told in this book about her and her pack and her rivals. this is a nature book, so there’s no shoddy anthropomorphization, but it’s hard not to fall in love a little bit. internet assures me the following are all photos of her, and more can be found here.a superstar of a wolf.the legal track is absolutely bizarre; convoluted and counterintuitive. it involves the authorization of wolf-hunting in the three states surrounding yellowstone: idaho, montana and wyoming, and it turns into a mishmash of state and federal legislature, sneaky riders smooshed into unrelated bills, science vs. politics, rulings overturned, wolves placed on and off the endangered species list with shifting boundaries, and flinging money at the problem in such contradictory ways: one federal agency was reintroducing predators on public land, a second was leasing adjacent land to ranchers, and a third was dispatching trappers or men in helicopters to kill those same predators when they inevitably crossed paths with livestock. america is crazytown. it kind of hurts my heart a little to think of someone hunting a wolf, since there’s no “feeding my family” exemption, and it’s purely for sport or the protection of livestock (which i do understand, but cattle are big and dumb and delicious, and it’s not just wolves who get that - there are also bears and coyotes and probably some other beasts determined enough to attack a little one), but i will say that of all the wolves who died in this book, at least the ones shot by hunters died instantly, as opposed to the many who died of injuries sustained in territory disputes with other packs or starved to death.actually, scratch that - there was one wolf who was illegally shot by a hunter and wandered off to die slowly, and his story was the one that hit my heart the worst, because he was a collared wolf, so his location was known to the biologists working on the wolf restoration project, but because “they weren’t zookeepers, after all,” and didn’t intervene in the fates of the wolves, he slowly starved to death over the course of eleven days. again, this is a decision i understand with my brain, but it does nothing to soothe my heart. it’s like that scene in that BBC Africa documentary series where the baby elephant gets turned around in the sand storm and wanders in the opposite direction from the rest of the herd and dies and sir david attenborough just kinda shrugs and says, “nature, amiright?”** instead of swooping in to rotate the calf or at the very least, not airing that footage. because jeez.but i know, i know - when it comes to reading about/watching animals in the wild, it would be irresponsible to go into it thinking it’s going to be a disney paradise where animals help each other out and share the territory and no one ever eats anyone or wanders out into the storm, bawling piteously. nature gets hungry and nature doesn’t share.sure, sometimes someone forwards you some heartwarming story about a bear that adopts an orphaned raccoon and everyone goes “aawwwwww,” but generally speaking, in an environment with limited resources, benevolence to those outside of a very short range of community or family is a liability an animal cannot afford. wolves are pack animals, so loyalties extend somewhat outside of the pure family, but even within a pack, members submit to their alphas in frequent demonstrative ways, and wolves are also highly territorial, so when packs cross paths, carnage ensues. so, there are some parts of this book i know will ruin sean of the houses’s day, but he’s a particularly soft touch when it comes to animals, and if i could get him over that, i’m sure he would find this as fascinating and illuminating as i did, and be grateful that there are more wolves in our country, even if they don’t get to live as long as we’d like them to. * this is one of my few gripes - because they aren't pets, the wolves aren't given memorable people-names, but referred to by collar-numbers: 754, 820, 859 or, if uncollared, distinguishing markings or traits: middle gray, shy male. i am bad at math, so i got mixed-up sometimes.** that is what my heart heard him say, anyway.*********************************************full review still in the works, but definitely one for 'to-read' lists of those who can handle the end results of animals doing what animals do, and hunters doing what hunters do.
    more
  • Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 starsI've always been a wolf fan. They are majestic animals and not just because I love reading the porny books featuring wolf shifters. Back in the day my now ex-husband and I heard about a man that bred hybrid wolves. We were interested and that's way before any legal aspects were really talked about. (I know..I'm old as crap.)We visited the man and we immediately fell in love with one of the pups. He was a shy little guy but the owner would not just let us take him. We had to meet with hi 3.5 starsI've always been a wolf fan. They are majestic animals and not just because I love reading the porny books featuring wolf shifters. Back in the day my now ex-husband and I heard about a man that bred hybrid wolves. We were interested and that's way before any legal aspects were really talked about. (I know..I'm old as crap.)We visited the man and we immediately fell in love with one of the pups. He was a shy little guy but the owner would not just let us take him. We had to meet with him several times before we could take the animal. I never really knew the animals wolf percentage but at the time I was young and stupid enough to think it would all be okay. I know his mom was an Alaskan Malamute but I knew that there was definitely wolf blood in the pup. We named him Diablo and he really did become a member of our family. (My kids face is blurred on purpose even though this pic is over 20 years old...because trolls) Diablo was a pup in this photo.Now I'm going to admit. I loved that animal. He was extremely protective of my family. Would I do it again? Not on your life. Now as I'm older I know that wild animals should be wild and not bred with domestic animals. I love and appreciate them but we went through hell with him just being a mixed breed. Not because of the animal. My neighbors hated him. Not dislike. HATE. If he left our property (as animals will tend to do) people freaked out. Diablo was shot by my neighbor while he was standing in my yard. While we were outside with him. Was he doing anything? No, that didn't matter though. He was hit by a car once..on purpose. We went to court about him twice. Finally he was found poisoned when we returned home one day. I still miss him.If he had been an alpha male we probably would have had some trouble. I know this so don't troll me and tell me how stupid we were. Like you've never been stupid. Anyways, this book tells about wolves being reintroduced into Yellowstone Park. It does try and tell both sides of the story. From the hunter/farmer side to the wolf enthusiast. It is obvious that the author is pro-wolf though. As am I. He follows the story of one of the most famous wolves called O-six. She is an alpha female and it follows her from the time she meets her mate until she is killed. I'm not going to describe her life because I think you should read this book. I do know that it sucks that wolves have such short life spans. Not just because natural events happen that lessons their chances of survival, but that people hate what they really don't understand or can control.I will admit that when this wolf dies in the book I spent a good thirty minutes crying...and I hardly ever cry. I felt gut punched when I read that her mate cried over her body.Stop this stupid, people. Go read up on all the good things that happen when you have natural predators in an ecosystem. Booksource: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for review.
    more
  • Diane S ☔
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 Yellowstone and the wolf reclamation project, two main characters, McIntyre and one a wolf named O-six. The struggles with the ranchers, who see the wolves as predators, a risk to their cattle and their way of life. The hunters, who depend on elk for themselves and those they take on the hunt, are also concerned because a growing wolf population, means a lessening elk population. Those who love the wolves and spend much time watching them are of course on the side of the wolves. It was inter 3.5 Yellowstone and the wolf reclamation project, two main characters, McIntyre and one a wolf named O-six. The struggles with the ranchers, who see the wolves as predators, a risk to their cattle and their way of life. The hunters, who depend on elk for themselves and those they take on the hunt, are also concerned because a growing wolf population, means a lessening elk population. Those who love the wolves and spend much time watching them are of course on the side of the wolves. It was interesting seeing this from all sides, and even though the author goes to great lengths to present a clear and unbiased viewpoint, one can tell he is firmly on the side of the wolves.O-Six, a fearless female, strikes out on her own and puts together her own pack. She becomes the target of other packs, ether defending their own territory or wanting hers. Much of this book is about following the different packs, who is fighting with who, what packs are the dominant ones. Quite interesting, a large pack can become decimated in a short period of time, either through the death of the alpha male or female or at the hands of a dominant pack. Admit to cheering O-Six on more than once, she was quite a wolf and managed to outrun many threats, obviously she was extremely smart as well.I came to my love of wolves in a round about way, through my children. A few of them had a fourth grade teacher who loved wolves, her classroom was full of everything and anything wolf, she took her vacations at places such as Yellowstone where she could observe them. Slideshows were regularly shown and parents were often invited. I grew to share in her passion, she was so enthusiastic about them it was hard to resist. This was well written and ably presented but not quite what I was looking for. Wanted more on individual wolf studies but this is not that book. Still glad I read it and glad more books about wolves are being published once again.
    more
  • Jessaka
    January 1, 1970
    Wolf 0-06Spoiler in Italic**** “He decided he wanted the gray. He exhaled and squeezed the trigger…The gray staggered and dropped.It was a long walk through the snow to where she lay…This was a trophy very few people in his part of the would had ever taken…When he came within fifty yards of his prize he caught a glimpse of movement in the brush behind her. The black wolf had returned. His eyes on the hunter, he stepped cautiously out of the willows and sat down not far from where the gray lay…He Wolf 0-06Spoiler in Italic**** “He decided he wanted the gray. He exhaled and squeezed the trigger…The gray staggered and dropped.It was a long walk through the snow to where she lay…This was a trophy very few people in his part of the would had ever taken…When he came within fifty yards of his prize he caught a glimpse of movement in the brush behind her. The black wolf had returned. His eyes on the hunter, he stepped cautiously out of the willows and sat down not far from where the gray lay…He seemed to be waiting to see what the hunter would do next…Then the black lifted his snout into the air and howled. It was the sound the hunter had heard many times over the years but never like this, alone in the snow with the wolf a stone’s throw away. He stood still and listened, transfixed. The wolf howled again, long and louder this time.From the willows behind the black, more wolves began to emerge…They arrayed themselves in a loose semicircle around the black, all silently focused on the body of the gray…The black howled a third time, and suddenly they all joined in. The hunter stood there, agape, disarmed by the otherworldly sound, by the sheer overwhelming sadness of the cry. She was their leader, he thought.”This book was powerful and unforgettable. If you think that you can’t stop the killing of wolves, well, you are wrong. Public outcry has worked. It still can.If you think that wolves can’t live peacefully with man, you are again wrong. Some are learning to stay away from ranches, but there is more that can be done, mostly outcry. Rick McIntyre worked for over 20 years at Yellowstone, just watching wolves all day long along with other watchers who could be seen parked along the roads with telescopes and cameras. My husband and I were driving through Yellowstone one day, and stopped when we saw cars and pickups parked along the road.I walked across the street to ask what was happening. A man told me that an elk was down and a bear and 5 wolves were fighting over it, but that the wolves had retreated. He allowed me to look through his binoculars. I saw nothing. He walked over to another man and then came back and took me over to look through another man’s telescope. I saw a white wolf. Then a black wolf was sitting down looking at the crowd. The man moved the telescope so that I could see the bear standing over the elk. I think I said, “Oh, my God!” I would have never had thought that I would even have wanted to see something like this. Me, who wishes no animals to be ever killed. But I wanted to stay there all day with them and wished I had come earlier. Rick never grew tired of it. He watched them play, fight, have cubs, go after their prey. He watched everything, and he took notes, but he never stayed away long enough to write a book. Perhaps these are his notes, or at least some of them.This book is mostly about his watching 0-06, the most famous of all the Yellowstone wolves. The fight between Fish and Game, the ranchers and the public has raged for years in and out of the courts. This is not an easy book to read. If you are a rancher you just want to kill every wolf, and I suppose this book would infuriate you. If you love wolves you will be brought to tears and then to anger. You will even ask yourself why the Department of Agriculture thinks it has to kill “ten of thousands of predators annually—mostly coyotes but also bobcats, mountain lions, black bears, foxes, and red-tailed hawks—just to protect the cattle and sheep. Have we ever thought to live differently? To allow life to survive on its own terms?The wolves’ impact on cattle has only been about 200 a year, whereas out of 5 million cattle across three States, tens of thousands have been killed every year by winter storms, lightning, floods and drought.” The wolves do so much less damage, but some people like to hunt, and then in time they can wipe out wolves, if we don’t put a stop to it.I had read another book right after coming home from our trip through Yellowstone, “In the Temple of Wolves” by Rick Lamplugh. He has suggestions online on what we can do to change things. He has a blog called, “How to Build a Culture that Respects Wolves.” I want to thank NetGalley for allowing me to read and review this book. And I wish to thank the author for writing it, and hope that if he doesn’t put a wolf on the cover, then perhaps he will put a photo of the famous wolf, 0-06 in the inside cover.Note: I wish to add this article by another wolf lover who has written books as well:Wolves and Coyotes Need Not Die So We Can Eat Meatby Rick Lamplugh, wildlife advocate & authorMy previous post, “We Have More to Fear from Livestock than from Wolves,” (http://bit.ly/2rsCJf1) evoked many comments. The post’s premise: While ranchers claim that wolves threaten their existence and should be eradicated, the livestock production that ranchers make a living off of is killing the ecosystem that sustains the rest of us.Many readers commented that they had already stopped eating beef or sheep. Some readers wrote that they are vegetarians or vegans. Still others wondered how they could continue to enjoy meat without supporting an industry that unnecessarily kills wolves, coyotes, and other predators.Ranchers can keep livestock and predators separate and alive. Some choose to do so and become what is called predator friendly. Here’s how being predator friendly works for Becky Weed and Dave Tyler in Belgrade, Montana. On the website of their Thirteen Mile Lamb & Wool Company, they write, “Our principal protection against native predators are our guard dogs and llamas and our own vigilance; because we have chosen not to use lethal control methods against coyotes, bears, wolves, mountain lions, our ranch is certified as ‘predator friendly.’”Ranchers earn Predator Friendly® certification. An annual audit must find that the producer maintains and enhances wildlife habitat, employs a mix of nonlethal methods, and quickly modifies management practices when conditions change.There is no one-size-fits-all solution to living with predators, but here are some of the nonlethal methods Predator Friendly producers employ:* Using guard animals such as llamas, donkeys, and dogs* Scheduling pasture use when predation pressure is low* Grazing cattle with smaller livestock to protect sheep, goats, and calves* Timing calving and lambing to avoid predation risk* Lambing in sheds, secure fenced lots, or protected pastures* Making frequent and unpredictable patrols in pastures* Protecting vulnerable animals by fencing out predators* Learning the ecology and habits of area wildlifeThe Animal Welfare Institute states that the Predator Friendly program encourages livestock producers like Weed and Tyler to protect some of the most important habitat and species in the United States, while opening up a new market for their sustainable ranch.We can support ranchers that choose coexisting over killing by purchasing their Predator Friendly® products. Products sold from the Predator Friendly website include beef, bison, goat, lamb, turkey, eggs, and honey as well as sheep and cattle breeding stock. To check out the Predator Friendly website: http://www.predatorfriendly.org/To learn more about ways that ranchers can keep livestock and wolves separate and alive, check out “Livestock and Wolves,” the guide from Defenders of Wildlife. The principal author is Suzanne Asha Stone. Contributors include Carter Niemeyer, Linda Thurston and others. Here’s the link: http://bit.ly/1RVw4SARick Lamplugh writes to protect wildlife and preserve wildlands. He lives near Yellowstone’s north gate and has just finished his new book, Deep into Yellowstone: A Year’s Immersion in Grandeur and Controversy. He is the author of the Amazon bestseller In the Temple of Wolves. Available as eBook or paperback at http://amzn.to/Jpea9Q. Or as a signed copy from Rick at http://bit.ly/1gYghB4.
    more
  • Maxwell
    January 1, 1970
    I was pleasantly surprised by this book. It's an incredibly well told story about a pack of wolves, particularly focused on the alpha female, in Yellowstone National Park. But it's also so much more than that. It's about people who are passionate about something, about fighting for what you love, about educating others, and how all three of these things combine to really make a difference in the world. And even if that difference seems small, it can have a great impact on a person's life. I love I was pleasantly surprised by this book. It's an incredibly well told story about a pack of wolves, particularly focused on the alpha female, in Yellowstone National Park. But it's also so much more than that. It's about people who are passionate about something, about fighting for what you love, about educating others, and how all three of these things combine to really make a difference in the world. And even if that difference seems small, it can have a great impact on a person's life. I love that about this story, on top of just being thoroughly entertained by the story of the wolves and learning more about them. I'd highly recommend this if you're looking for a microhistory that will probably be unlike anything you've ever read before.
    more
  • Joseph
    January 1, 1970
    American Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West by Nate Blakeslee is the history of the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone. Blakeslee is a writer-at-large for Texas Monthly. His first book, Tulia, was a finalist for the PEN/Martha Albrand Award and won the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize, the Texas Institute of Letters non-fiction prize, and was named a New York Times Notable Book of 2005. The Washington Post called it one of the most important books about wrongful convictions American Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West by Nate Blakeslee is the history of the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone. Blakeslee is a writer-at-large for Texas Monthly. His first book, Tulia, was a finalist for the PEN/Martha Albrand Award and won the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize, the Texas Institute of Letters non-fiction prize, and was named a New York Times Notable Book of 2005. The Washington Post called it one of the most important books about wrongful convictions ever written.The America used to be home to half a million of wolves. Eradication programs were so successful that by 1960 there was only a handful left in Northern Minnesota and Michigan's Upper Peninsula. In 1995, wolves were reintroduced into Yellowstone National Park. Removing the wolves, originally, seemed to be a way to protect the herbivore populations. People came to the park to see the elk and surrounding areas counted on elk to supplement their meat intake and an economy grew around lodges and supporting businesses that relied on elk hunters from outside the areas. Ranches, too, had pushed for the eradication wolves to protect their cattle. Yellowstone, however, was having a problem. Overpopulation of elk stripped vegetation forcing out other species. The wolves were brought in from Canada and corralled in the park to help build a sense of home and territory. They took to their new home, reproduced, and formed packs. The wolf population spiked and the elk population dropped; soon a natural equilibrium was established. Rick McIntyre was the park ranger who took to the wolf program. He went on to watch and compile data on all the packs and some of the individual wolves. To say he was dedicated is an understatement; he reported every single day over a ten year period. Much of what is known about the wolves in Yellowstone is because of McIntyre. Wolf O-Six is the star of the book. She is an alpha female and part of the third generation born at Yellowstone. Her name O-Six was an identifier of the year of her birth 2006. She became a favorite of wolf watchers and also became a social media favorite. Perhaps half the book is dedicated to her and her interactions in with other wolves. The repopulating wolves changed the park. The elk population stabilized and other species returned. Beavers returned and other native species worked their way back in and others grew smaller once the natural balance returned. The other half of the book concerns politics, ranchers, and local hunting businesses. Wolves are seen as a threat to ranchers and their herds although wolves played a very minor role in the loss of any livestock ---.02% of cattle loss. Local hunting businesses did suffer since shooting elk required some effort. It was no longer as easy as picking one out of a catalog. The politics ranged from a local level to national level and q wolf hunting rider even made its way into a national budget. Wolves were seen as the enemy in areas surrounding the park. The few and impact were irrational and not based on facts. Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming worked to legalize wolf hunting to ease fears of the locals and it became a long battle between states and the federal government. Blakeslee writes an interesting story that is hard to put down. It is written in narrative fiction style but it does come with a fairly detailed bibliography and broken down by chapters. The writing appears to be factual and based on first-person experiences and observations. The author does not insert his opinions as facts in the book. A fast-moving piece of nonfiction that reads like a novel. Very well done.
    more
  • Chrissie
    January 1, 1970
    The central focus of this book is the reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone Park and thus the Northern Rockies. By the 1920s wolves had for the most part become extinct in the lower 48 states of the US. In 1995 Canadian wolves were brought into Yellowstone Park. The book follows this reintroduction from the mid-90s to 2015.The conflict between conservationists, ecologists and environmentalists on one side and hunters, ranchers and miners on the other is the primary focus of this book. The bo The central focus of this book is the reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone Park and thus the Northern Rockies. By the 1920s wolves had for the most part become extinct in the lower 48 states of the US. In 1995 Canadian wolves were brought into Yellowstone Park. The book follows this reintroduction from the mid-90s to 2015.The conflict between conservationists, ecologists and environmentalists on one side and hunters, ranchers and miners on the other is the primary focus of this book. The book is less about the species canis lupis. Nor is this a book of nature writing. It is about politics and money and competing interests in relation to wolves. Much attention is given to Obama’s efforts to reach a federal budgetary agreement in 2011 and Senator Jon Tester’s rider that reversed U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy’s court ruling classifying wolves as one of the endangered species. The book flips between court proceedings and political discussions and sections about the wolf packs in the Lamar Valley of Yellowstone Park, Wyoming. The author himself mentions that to attract readers there has to be a heartfelt tie to some wolf and that names work better than numbers.We hear a bit about Limpy, but primarily we follow 0-Six, an alpha female, named for the year of her birth and granddaughter of wolves 21 and 42 who were the stars of those wolves originally brought in from Canada. We follow O-Six, her mate, his brother and three litters. I will admit that by the book’s end I had indeed become attached to her. Of course, I was rooting for those who supported the need to keep wolves protected by the Endangered Species Act (ESA).This is a book of non-fiction, but one person goes by the alias Steven Turnbull. His name is changed to protect him. Yeah, he is the “bad guy”. The book concludes with an epilog. The author relates of his meeting with man. No, he still does not regret what he has done. I do think the author makes an attempt to be nonjudgmental, to express the views of opposing camps in a fair and balanced manner, but it is not hard to guess on which side he stands.I was looking for a book more focused on new research about wolves. That they have cognitive abilities and emotions is shown. The book sheds light on the dissolution and formation of wolf packs and the status of members within. However, I cannot say I learned anything new about wolves. The phenomenon of trophic cascade is mentioned. Classic wolf literature is referenced.Information is too often repeated. Why are we told of the rangers’ vehicle brands, the clothes they wore and the equipment used? To me this sounded like advertising. The audiobook is narrated by Mark Bramhall. He does a fine job. The information is easy to follow. My only quibble would be that when things go bad he sounds sour and whiny, but in a masculine way. The narration I have given four stars. I do not regret reading this book, but it was not quite what I was looking for. I would have preferred less politics and more about wolves.
    more
  • Rebecca Foster
    January 1, 1970
    By the 1920s, wolves had almost been eradicated from the Lower 48 states. In 1995–6, though, two rival packs were brought in from Canada to repopulate Yellowstone National Park. Blakeslee gives a panoramic overview of the reintroduction project and the recurring clashes between hunters and biologists about whether wolves should be a protected species. He keeps his account relatable by focusing on particular family groups of wolves and bringing out the animals’ individual personalities.One import By the 1920s, wolves had almost been eradicated from the Lower 48 states. In 1995–6, though, two rival packs were brought in from Canada to repopulate Yellowstone National Park. Blakeslee gives a panoramic overview of the reintroduction project and the recurring clashes between hunters and biologists about whether wolves should be a protected species. He keeps his account relatable by focusing on particular family groups of wolves and bringing out the animals’ individual personalities.One important wolf pack was the Druids, which “were like the Kennedys, American royalty.” O-Six, an alpha female of the third generation so named because she was born in 2006, is one of the main animal characters here, with two central human characters being Rick McIntyre, a long-time National Park Service ranger and wolf expert, and Steven Turnbull (an alias), an elk hunter from Crandall, Wyoming.The 2011 federal budget snuck in a rider removing wolves from the endangered species list in Montana and Idaho. The same followed for Wyoming, heralding an open hunting season on wolves for the first time in 50 years. Though his sympathies are clear, Blakeslee doesn’t demonize those who killed Yellowstone wolves that strayed beyond the park boundaries. He also emphasizes that the battle over this species reflects a wider struggle “over public land—what it should be used for and who should have the right to decide.”It’s especially interesting to read about the animals’ behavior: a wolf uncle hanging around to help raise the pups, O-Six fighting off grizzlies near her den, showdowns between packs, and pups hunting mice and ravens for fun.Originally published on my blog, Bookish Beck.
    more
  • Mehrsa
    January 1, 1970
    Before I picked up this book, I didn't give a rats A** about wolves. I had heard about the Yellowstone reintroduction program, but I'm no animal lover so I didn't really think a book about wolves would be all that interesting. But I saw this book on an awards list so I picked it up. Fast forward to me closing the book, tears in my eyes, and with a new favorite animal. This is a well-written book and I promise it will move you. Honestly, I don't even like dogs, but this book blew me away. But thi Before I picked up this book, I didn't give a rats A** about wolves. I had heard about the Yellowstone reintroduction program, but I'm no animal lover so I didn't really think a book about wolves would be all that interesting. But I saw this book on an awards list so I picked it up. Fast forward to me closing the book, tears in my eyes, and with a new favorite animal. This is a well-written book and I promise it will move you. Honestly, I don't even like dogs, but this book blew me away. But this is about more than wolves, though the wolves are amazing, it is about the environment and politics and human/animal nature. I had no idea. One of my favorite reads this year.
    more
  • Bam
    January 1, 1970
    Have you ever been to Yellowstone? Did you spot a wolf there? This is the fascinating story of the Yellowstone Wolf Project and most especially the life story of O-Six, the great-granddaughter of one of the original wolves reintroduced to the national park in the winter of 1995. Yellowstone had been essentially devoid of wolves for almost seven decades. Their reintroduction has not been without controversy and heated debate with the inevitable conflict between hunters, ranchers, wildlife managem Have you ever been to Yellowstone? Did you spot a wolf there? This is the fascinating story of the Yellowstone Wolf Project and most especially the life story of O-Six, the great-granddaughter of one of the original wolves reintroduced to the national park in the winter of 1995. Yellowstone had been essentially devoid of wolves for almost seven decades. Their reintroduction has not been without controversy and heated debate with the inevitable conflict between hunters, ranchers, wildlife management, and environmentalists. Nate Blakeslee delves deeply into the political wrangling and maneuvers that has gone on to decide the issue of allowing the hunting of wolves in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.His story is most interesting when he delves into the personal stories of the people who cared so deeply for these wolves, most especially the park ranger Rick and his sidekick Laurie Lyman, a devoted wolf watcher whose notes Blakeslee relied upon for much of his story. But the stars of the story are really the wolves themselves and most especially O-Six, a powerful gray female with attractive markings that Rick and the watchers enjoyed keeping track of as she found a mate, boldly hunted and fought off members of other packs and eventually raised three litters of pups before her own demise. The reader gets a fascinating, in-depth look at what the daily of a wolf is like: the interactions between alpha male and female and others in the pack, how they hunt, den and raise their pups, how they protect their territory from other packs, etc. There is also the villain in the story, in the form of the hunter Steven Turnbull (name changed). The debate over whether the hunting of wolves is needed to control their numbers will probably continue but it has been decided that 'wolves belong in the Northern Rockies because they play a vital role in the ecosystem.'Many thanks to NetGalley, the author and publisher for giving me the opportunity to read an arc of this very interesting new book.
    more
  • Glen
    January 1, 1970
    I won this book in a goodreads drawing.A history of the effort to reintroduce wolves to the Yellowstone area. There's definitely pros and cons to the idea. Blakeslee is firmly in the "pro" camp.
  • Elizabeth☮
    January 1, 1970
    A lot of the content seemed familiar to me and I realized that I have probably seen the documentary on the wolves described in the book. The narrative here is told from the perspective of the gaming and hunting community in the area and the wolf preservationists and advocates. One of those advocates is Rick who watches the wolves and follows their lives and informs the public of their habits.I loved watching through Rick's scope and learning about the mundane and the transcendent scenes. I don't A lot of the content seemed familiar to me and I realized that I have probably seen the documentary on the wolves described in the book. The narrative here is told from the perspective of the gaming and hunting community in the area and the wolf preservationists and advocates. One of those advocates is Rick who watches the wolves and follows their lives and informs the public of their habits.I loved watching through Rick's scope and learning about the mundane and the transcendent scenes. I don't want to give away anything that happens, but let's just say the circle of life endures (and most times man intervenes). This is written in the style of Hillenbrand or Larson in that it is non-fiction written as fiction. Highly readable.
    more
  • Nancy
    January 1, 1970
    For National Wolf Awareness Week I read American Wolf by Nate Blakeslee. It is the story of the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone National Park and the battle between state and Federal agencies over wolf hunting. By telling the story of one wolf, O-6, Blakeslee engages the reader's heart and mind while revealing the complicated political process that determines American law that is too often independent of informed knowledge.O-6 became a favorite of wolf watchers and her life is well docum For National Wolf Awareness Week I read American Wolf by Nate Blakeslee. It is the story of the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone National Park and the battle between state and Federal agencies over wolf hunting. By telling the story of one wolf, O-6, Blakeslee engages the reader's heart and mind while revealing the complicated political process that determines American law that is too often independent of informed knowledge.O-6 became a favorite of wolf watchers and her life is well documented. Blakeslee introduces readers to National Park Service employee Rick McIntyre who every day watched and recorded the activities of the wolves. And we meet those who rely on elk hunting for income or food or sport and who hate the wolves.The hunters believe that wolves decimate elk herds and that banning any hunting leads to ending all hunting, therefore the end of any need for guns, therefore the banning of guns. In other words, they are fighting for their way of life. States arbitrarily determined how many wolves could be taken and how many were 'needed', totally unbased on any scientific understanding. While one Federal agency reintroduced wolves into the Yellowstone ecosystem, another leased land contiguous to the park for ranchers to graze their livestock. Wolves don't understand imaginary boundaries and often their territory went into non-park land where they could be hunted. When packs are decimated and weak they take easy prey, which include the grazing livestock. The ranchers are then reimbursed for their losses. It is a vicious cycle that makes no logical sense. I was appalled whle learning how Washington politics impacted the Yellowstone wolves. Congress overruled the court regarding the hunting of wolves. It had cost $117 million to restore wolves to the ecosystem. The results were dramatic; flora and fauna flourished as the environment returned to its natural state. Fewer elk ended overgrazing and brought a flourishing of fauna that brought back the beaver and rodents and consquently raptors. Yet no fewer elk were taken in the hunt, it just was not easy to find them. Legalizing hunting adjacent to the park land was like throwing that money and environmental stability to the wind. Toward the end of the book, Rick realizes that wolf 21 had returned to die where his pack had once ruled. It puzzled him until he recalled the story of Hachiko, the Japanese Akita who had always waited at the train station for his owner, and after the owner's death had continued to come every day for nine years. 21 was waiting for his mate."Can a wolf in the wild experience what we know as joy and happiness? Rick said, his voice breaking noticeably. "And my answer is yes."Blakeslee's book is a wonderful study both of the wolves and the complicated human reaction to wolves.I received a free book through Blogging for Books in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.See photos of O-6 at Shumway Photography at http://www.shumwayphotography.com/Yel...*****Reading about the death of O-6 was sad because two days previous we let go of our last Shiba Inu. The Shiba is an ancient breed and according to DNA research is closest to the wolf. Kamikaze had spent seven years as a puppy mill breeder before we adopted her through a rescue shelter. She was only 14 but had multiple health issues, some the results of bad breeding or early living condition. We lost our Suki, another puppy mill breeder rescue, at age 15 in June. Kamikaze had gone down hill significantly after Suki's loss. Both dogs were blind and spent their time cuddled together, drinking from the same bowl at the same time, and going in and out together.
    more
  • Andrew
    January 1, 1970
    Hoooooooooooowwwll!A visceral and dramatic look at the lives, deaths, and empires of Yellowstone's wolves. Animal stories done well are always incredible insights into the world around us. And this is a worthy addition to the catalogue. Based on thousands of hours of observation and a multi-million word journal, you could not get closer to the wolves of the park. A must-read if you loved H Is For Hawk or The Hidden Life Of Trees .
    more
  • Helen Dunn
    January 1, 1970
    I was in Yellowstone in 2016 and saw wolf 755 and his new pups in the Hayden Valley. Learned about his story from our guide who used to work on the Wolf Project. I enjoyed reading this more detailed account of the wolf reintroduction to Yellowstone and hearing for the first time about the ugly political side to the whole thing. As an East coaster and a national park fan I had no idea that so many people hated wolves!Anyway, I really enjoyed the book, but I think this one probably has a somewhat I was in Yellowstone in 2016 and saw wolf 755 and his new pups in the Hayden Valley. Learned about his story from our guide who used to work on the Wolf Project. I enjoyed reading this more detailed account of the wolf reintroduction to Yellowstone and hearing for the first time about the ugly political side to the whole thing. As an East coaster and a national park fan I had no idea that so many people hated wolves!Anyway, I really enjoyed the book, but I think this one probably has a somewhat limited audience.
    more
  • Marta
    January 1, 1970
    Gripping tale of wolves and politics. In the mid nineties, wolves were re-introduced into Yellowstone national park, sparking a decades-long political battle between pro-wolf and anti-wolf activists. We follow the wolves, their fascinating story of pack battles, survival, and tenderness, their deducated watchers, but also the other side - the farmers and hunters who fear that the wolves endanger their way of life. Blakeslee does a great job presenting both sides.Of course we end up fascinated by Gripping tale of wolves and politics. In the mid nineties, wolves were re-introduced into Yellowstone national park, sparking a decades-long political battle between pro-wolf and anti-wolf activists. We follow the wolves, their fascinating story of pack battles, survival, and tenderness, their deducated watchers, but also the other side - the farmers and hunters who fear that the wolves endanger their way of life. Blakeslee does a great job presenting both sides.Of course we end up fascinated by the wolves, especially O-Six, a charismatic, smart, strong alpha-female, whose skill at hunting and leadership makes her pack one of the most successful. She has a following in person and online, the most photographed wolf in history. The story of the pack, wolf-politics, is spellbinding. I did not expect it to be so gripping, savage, so similar to dynastic politics and wars of medieval kings and queens. The impact on the ecology is also fascinating - after re-introduction of wolves made Yellowstone‘s ecosystem much healthier in ways no one predicted, such as: the population of beavers, rodents and birds of pray rebounded; the bear population stabilized... yeah, I know! It turns out that they had to do with wolves controlling the populations of elks and coyotes, both of which have gotten out of hand.The political struggle is equally fascinating, although not in a positive way. I was struck by the process of how people who originally were talking to each other and comprimising, become more entrenched in their positions to the point where no rational arguments are possible. We have seen this unfortunately a lot lately. A book I will be thinking of for a long time.
    more
  • Mark
    January 1, 1970
    O-Six is a Yellowstone Wolf. An alpha female, named for the year of her birth. She is fierce and loyal. A perfect leader and was beloved by wolf watchers in Yellowstone National Park. This is her story along, with the tumultuous history of the wolves of North America, who once roamed, the country, in mass numbers. This was before the Europeans came and hunted them to the brink of extinction. Starting in 1995, wolves were introduced back into Yellowstone and O-Six was part of this introduction. T O-Six is a Yellowstone Wolf. An alpha female, named for the year of her birth. She is fierce and loyal. A perfect leader and was beloved by wolf watchers in Yellowstone National Park. This is her story along, with the tumultuous history of the wolves of North America, who once roamed, the country, in mass numbers. This was before the Europeans came and hunted them to the brink of extinction. Starting in 1995, wolves were introduced back into Yellowstone and O-Six was part of this introduction. This turned out to be a big success but like many good things, it was plagued by problems, mainly from ranchers and hunters. It also became a very thorny, political issue, in the western states and in Washington. This is an excellent book, with an informative narrative, along with a strong story-telling flow and the reader will learn plenty about conservation and the courageous lives of not just the wolves, but the other wildlife that makes it's home in this majestic place. 4.5 stars
    more
  • Radiantflux
    January 1, 1970
    69th book for 2018.Years ago I walked into a logging camp at dawn to tell a group of loggers that they wouldn't be working that day as a group I was involved with had taken up positions in the old growth forest they we were going to destroy. I remember feeling sorry for the men. Knowing they had families to feed and work was scarce. My friend told me I was an idiot. Reading about the communities of hunters whining about the loss of elk to the wolves in Yellowstone reminds me of those men. My fri 69th book for 2018.Years ago I walked into a logging camp at dawn to tell a group of loggers that they wouldn't be working that day as a group I was involved with had taken up positions in the old growth forest they we were going to destroy. I remember feeling sorry for the men. Knowing they had families to feed and work was scarce. My friend told me I was an idiot. Reading about the communities of hunters whining about the loss of elk to the wolves in Yellowstone reminds me of those men. My friend was right. Humans who lack the soul to see the beauty of nature don't deserve any sympathy. They will only destroy what they don't understand. 3-stars.
    more
  • Janel
    January 1, 1970
    I’ve always found wolves intriguing; they have this almost mythical quality to them. Prior to reading this book, the dire wolves from Game of Thrones were my favourite, but now, that title is firmly held by O-Six.By the 1920’s wolves were eliminated from the lower 48 states of America, 50’s years later the federal government began the Reintroduction Project and by 1990, the project was in full effect – wolves were reintroduced into Yellowstone National Park, which covers mostly Wyoming but also I’ve always found wolves intriguing; they have this almost mythical quality to them. Prior to reading this book, the dire wolves from Game of Thrones were my favourite, but now, that title is firmly held by O-Six.By the 1920’s wolves were eliminated from the lower 48 states of America, 50’s years later the federal government began the Reintroduction Project and by 1990, the project was in full effect – wolves were reintroduced into Yellowstone National Park, which covers mostly Wyoming but also spreads into Montana and Idaho. American Wolf is the story of the reintroduction, those in favour and those against it, and most importantly the lives of the wolves themselves.I knew this book would interest me due to my fascination with wolves but I had no idea just how enthralled I’d be reading about the lives of these wolves. The idea of wolf-watching doesn’t appeal to me personally, but that is how Rick McIntyre, and others like him, spent every day for near on 20 years, and oh my, does it make fascinating reading. If you shy away from non-fiction because it feels ‘too heavy,’ I urge you to give this book a try as it really does read like a novel, you get so caught up in the “plot” and form a real connection to the “characters.” And by characters, I mean the wolves, some you immediately like, and when another pack is encroaching on their territory, you view them as the enemy and pray their attacks aren’t successful. I enjoyed reading about the formation of the pack, who is the alpha and how they maintain that status, how as a pack they hunt and survive, care for their pups and fend off the enemy. Also, why a wolf leaves the pack and sometimes returns. Not only did this make extremely interesting reading, I learnt so much. While I would not like to come face to face with a wolf, I loved that they were portrayed as fierce yet tender.O-Six, as the blurb indicates, is the star of the show and what an exceptional wolf she is – defying the odds many times to survive. If you enjoy reading books featuring a family through the generations, I highly recommend American Wolf, because it is a story of a family’s survival through the generations, their love and loss, hardship and joy.American Wolf is also rife with tension! When the reintroduction began, wolves were safe under the Endangered Species Act but what happens when this protection is removed. A law is passed and wolf hunting begins. While the wolves battle it out in Yellowstone National Park, the humans battle it out in court. And when men take to the park with their guns, you’re holding your breath, hoping your favourite wolf is not slain.My review doesn’t even nearly do this book justice, I loved it from beginning to end and I’ll tell you now, my favourite animal – wolves [at a distance, not as a pet!] Blakeslee is an incredibly talented writer and really engages you in this book; though wolves do not speak, Blakeslee ensures they are heard.*My thanks to Crown Publishing for providing me with a free copy of this book*
    more
  • Kate Olson
    January 1, 1970
    Stunningly addictive, this nonfiction account of wolves, Yellowstone and humanity reads like a fictional account of dueling mob families in a turf war. A must-read for nature lovers and hunters alike. Thanks to Crown Publishing for providing me with an advance copy of this book for review purposes. Nate Blakeslee has done what very few writers can. He has taken a group of wild animals and created an epic drama surrounding their lives ~ a drama that reads entirely like fiction or the best type Stunningly addictive, this nonfiction account of wolves, Yellowstone and humanity reads like a fictional account of dueling mob families in a turf war. A must-read for nature lovers and hunters alike. Thanks to Crown Publishing for providing me with an advance copy of this book for review purposes. Nate Blakeslee has done what very few writers can. He has taken a group of wild animals and created an epic drama surrounding their lives ~ a drama that reads entirely like fiction or the best type of biography. I honestly didn't think it was possible for an almost-300-page tome about wolves to be a page turner, but it truly, truly is. Blakeslee includes just the right balance between the people and politics surrounding the wolves with the actions of the actual wolves to ensure that readers understand just how perilous this animal's survival chances are. And really, the survival chances of any wild animals in the United States. The stories in this book about Yellowstone and the federal and state agencies regulating the park and wildlife honestly make me despair about the way our nation is run on an entirely new level. Bureaucracy trumps nature at every single turn, but the hearts of those dedicated to protecting wolves give me hope. Required reading for nature lovers, hunters, and anyone who loves quality nonfiction. This is one of the best out there.Now, a little bit about my background coming into this book so you can understand my unbridled love for it. First of all, I read National Geographic cover to cover every single month. Nature writing is my THING. Next, we live in rural Wisconsin and the hunting/preservation topic is always close by. In addition, my family has a major wolf obsession due to my son's extreme interest in them ~ he currently has 8 stuffed wolves that he has with him at all times, a wolf mask, posters, calendars, blankets, and countless books on this topic. The arrival of this book in my household as an advance copy was a cause for great celebration, and I can not wait for my husband and son to get to share it next. My husband also has family in Wyoming and is an avid hunter ~ we have always had spirited conversations about wildlife management, and this book just adds to our discussion fodder. One of my favorite reads of 2017.
    more
  • Meg - A Bookish Affair
    January 1, 1970
    "American Wolf" is the history of the removal and eventual reintroduction of the wolf from Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming and Montana. Yellowstone has the remarkable denotation of being one of my favorite places that I have ever been. It is a vast wilderness with acres and acres of untouched land. It has plains and mountains, hot springs and geysers. It is a beautiful place filled with animals. Although Yellowstone is a park, national parks are not cut off from the surrounding land and so "American Wolf" is the history of the removal and eventual reintroduction of the wolf from Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming and Montana. Yellowstone has the remarkable denotation of being one of my favorite places that I have ever been. It is a vast wilderness with acres and acres of untouched land. It has plains and mountains, hot springs and geysers. It is a beautiful place filled with animals. Although Yellowstone is a park, national parks are not cut off from the surrounding land and so those that live and work close to the park must coexist with the park. As this book shows, that can often be a tall order. Almost immediately after the park was given its designation as a national park, those that lived around it began to see the effects both good and bad of this protective status. One effect came from the conservation of wolves. Wolves are an important part of Yellowstone's ecosystem but also present a problem, particularly one having to do with the killing and maiming of livestock on farms outside the park.This book details the different points of view of those that love the wolves and believe they have a place in Yellowstone and those that are utterly frustrated with the park's porous borders that allow wolves to roam their land and harm their livelihoods. The book follows several people in great detail in order to illustrate this great divide.The author does a good job of showing the various sides of the argument. This is a man vs. nature story and a man trying to coexist with nature story. It was fascinating and well-written. I know this issue is one that I will be mulling over for a long time.
    more
  • Lori
    January 1, 1970
    I tend to gravitate to history and biology books and American Wolf by Nate Blakeslee, piqued my curiosity. Having 3 canines, I believe they are very similar to their ancestors. Even with our dogs, I get the opportunity to observe their pack like and territorial behavior. At different times, I witness who is dominant and how they go about establishing boundaries and defending territory. In this read, we learn about Yellowstones intra-pack rivalry that resulted in druids killing the alpha and we l I tend to gravitate to history and biology books and American Wolf by Nate Blakeslee, piqued my curiosity. Having 3 canines, I believe they are very similar to their ancestors. Even with our dogs, I get the opportunity to observe their pack like and territorial behavior. At different times, I witness who is dominant and how they go about establishing boundaries and defending territory. In this read, we learn about Yellowstones intra-pack rivalry that resulted in druids killing the alpha and we learn about alpha female O-Six reign.I was hooked on this book from the prologue. As someone who enjoys reading, there are some words that lure me in. And "trudged' is one of them. Perhaps it reminds me of the time I went hiking in New Hampshire with my brother who is about a foot taller than me, and in much better shape. Thankfully, he allowed me to catch up, but it was a long trudge back to the vehicle. And even though exhausted, I would not have wanted to miss the journey.This read is an eye opener to the American Wolf's plight! We learn about the wolves and people who spend theirs lives studying these majestic creatures, while others hunt them, in the extraordinary beauty, that is, and surrounds, Yellowstone.Through this well written book of notes and amazingly detailed observations, we witness the journey of the American Wolf as it trudged through an eradication program, to a conservation movement.For me, there was a gamut of emotions felt, with the turning of each and every page.
    more
  • Lauren
    January 1, 1970
    Blakeslee looks at the Yellowstone wolf reintroduction project 20 years in, and documents the biological and social ramifications in the park and the surrounding areas in American Wolf. He introduces a cast of characters, both human and canine: scientists, alphas, park rangers, hunters, yearlings, and park visitors. O-Six is the star at the center of this story system, the other characters orbiting around her. O-Six is a dynamic and skilled alpha female, who leaves her natal pack, becomes a skil Blakeslee looks at the Yellowstone wolf reintroduction project 20 years in, and documents the biological and social ramifications in the park and the surrounding areas in American Wolf. He introduces a cast of characters, both human and canine: scientists, alphas, park rangers, hunters, yearlings, and park visitors. O-Six is the star at the center of this story system, the other characters orbiting around her. O-Six is a dynamic and skilled alpha female, who leaves her natal pack, becomes a skilled hunter and strategic planner, and eventually finds a mate and has three litters. O-Six was the most photographed Yellowstone wolf in the pack that she founded, the "Lamars" who lived in the Lamar Valley in Yellowstone. Blakeslee briefly touches on the reintroduction program, but spends much more time talking about the progress and the attitudes about wolves in the surrounding regions. Inevitably, this also becomes a political issue, and several of the Northern Rockies states (Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming) campaign on eliminating the wolves, and encouraging wolf hunts, etc. Several chapters in the book delve into these court decisions, many of them extensions of the Endangered Species Act. The book is not a hard scientific look at reintroduction, but does give an overview on the ecosystem both before and after establishment, and an overall journalistic perspective.
    more
  • Fred Shaw
    January 1, 1970
    By 1920, all wolves in the lower 48 United States had been systematically killed off to the last one. 70 years later, in 1995, wolves were reintroduced in the west in the national parks, the first being the greater Yellowstone ecosystem. They were listed as endangered species to protect them from the ranchers who hated them. It has been a rousing success. When the wolves were killed off in the early 20th century, it was to protect the cattle and other livestock of ranchers using public lands to By 1920, all wolves in the lower 48 United States had been systematically killed off to the last one. 70 years later, in 1995, wolves were reintroduced in the west in the national parks, the first being the greater Yellowstone ecosystem. They were listed as endangered species to protect them from the ranchers who hated them. It has been a rousing success. When the wolves were killed off in the early 20th century, it was to protect the cattle and other livestock of ranchers using public lands to graze. Needless to say, reintroducing wolves was not an easy task, and was mainly a political fight. This is the story written by Nate Blakesdale, of bringing these remarkable creatures back to their native habitat. The most enjoyable parts of the book are the stories of the individual wolves and packs of wolves as they began their acclimation. I love wildlife and and was amazed by the various personalities of the animals which the author chronicled expertly. Written as one tells a story, versus a technical review, was the beauty of the book. I highly recommend The American Wolf, a True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West.
    more
  • Sydney Young
    January 1, 1970
    One of my favorite books this year, not just because of its grand depth, where O-Six and her family were brought alive before my eyes, and where the people who care help others know and care so much, but for its tale of two cities in a fragile eco system, cohabiting with each other while political games and increased rhetoric first put one and then the other above each other. I suppose it's possible that we Americans shall go on living with each other, come what may, never noticing all they who One of my favorite books this year, not just because of its grand depth, where O-Six and her family were brought alive before my eyes, and where the people who care help others know and care so much, but for its tale of two cities in a fragile eco system, cohabiting with each other while political games and increased rhetoric first put one and then the other above each other. I suppose it's possible that we Americans shall go on living with each other, come what may, never noticing all they who depend on our equilibrium, who need a good example of melting-pot cohabitation; I suppose it, but I no longer take it for granted. Yes, this book told me a beautiful story of wolf life in Yellowstone, made me think of the whole picture of the Yellowstone community, but it also made me think of America, and indeed the world, on a grand scale. Thank you, Nate Blakeslee, for doing such a damned fine job and bringing this story to me and the world. Also, thank you for helping me know that I've put off my long desire to visit the park, far, far too long.
    more
  • Mark Stevens
    January 1, 1970
    In certain places, American Wolf is the prose version of a Wild Kingdom episode (I’m dating myself now) or Blue Planet.“Suddenly O-Six came exploding out of the woods with a gang of wolves in pursuit. She was alone, separated from her pack, racing downhill through a small meadows. Rick instinctively began mapping her escape route, but to his horror he saw immediately that she had none. Fleeing heedlessly, she had allowed herself to be driven to the edge of out outcrop bordered by a sheer precipi In certain places, American Wolf is the prose version of a Wild Kingdom episode (I’m dating myself now) or Blue Planet.“Suddenly O-Six came exploding out of the woods with a gang of wolves in pursuit. She was alone, separated from her pack, racing downhill through a small meadows. Rick instinctively began mapping her escape route, but to his horror he saw immediately that she had none. Fleeing heedlessly, she had allowed herself to be driven to the edge of out outcrop bordered by a sheer precipice. Behind her were the charging Mollies … “This is from a heart-pounding chapter called “Rampage of the Mollies” and by this point of Nate Blakeslee’s riveting book about the wolves of the American West, we are fully plugged into the life story of O-Six, an alpha female with loads of personality.“Rick” in the excerpt above is Rick McIntyre, wolf watcher extraordinaire, and we get to know Rick and whole group of watchers whose tireless work forms the basis for much of Blakeslee’s narrative. Rick’s extensive notes are a key source and so are notes, some 2,500 pages worth, from fellow watcher Laurie Lyman. American Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in The West, comes complete with extensive Source Notes, an Index, and lengthy acknowledgements for all those who contributed to the work. American Wolf is a work of journalism. Blakeslee is an award-winning writer who prioritizes facts.Blakeslee tracks the thriving packs in and around Yellowstone National Park. Pack life, pack survival, pack mentality, and how pack leaders are chosen—it’s all here. Blakeslee also follows the complicated and the shifting politics and attitudes about the growing population of wolves.The wolf, in the American West, is not a middle-ground issue. Hunters and ranchers abhor the thought of a reduced elk population or lost livestock due to the wolf’s return. On the other side, all those who support the essence and spirit of the Endangered Species Act with the goal of restoring habitat—all of it—to its natural state. Early superintendents of Yellowstone, Blakeslee points out, finished the work of wolf trappers in the 19th century. To protect the park’s “prime attractions” of elk, antelope, moose, and bighorn sheep, park rangers destroyed wolf pups and tracked and killed adult wolves, too.Writes Blakeslee: “They didn’t realize that wolves and elk and coexisted in Yellowstone for thousands of years, that the two species had in fact evolved in tandem with each other—which explained why the elk could run as fast as the wolf but no faster. Wolves were the driving force behind the evolution of a wide variety of prey species in North America after the last ice age, literally molding the natural world around them. The massive size of the moose, the nimbleness of the white-tailed deer, the uncanny balance of the bighorn sheep—the architect of these and countless other marvels was the wolf.”Reintroduction means a fight—and Blakeslee brings us up close and personal with both sides of the impassioned debate, from the farms and the wilderness to the courthouse. Blakeslee’s star is O-Six, who gave birth to three litters and taught brothers to hunt. O-Six is the chief protagonist. She’s got the savvy personality and leadership chops. But many other wolves play key roles with their individual quirks and personalities. Blakeslee, however, plays fair—he shows as much empathy for the wolves and as their fans as he does for the hunter who ended O-Six’s life; the conversation with O-Six’s killer is moving, thoughtful, and well-rounded.  In the big sweep of a changing ecosystem, the wolf’s reintroduction shows how nature had things pretty well balanced all on its own. (Yeah, go figure.) In fact, the reintroduction led to a chain reaction called a “trophic cascade,” a series of positive adjustments that took place simply by the fact that wolves once again roamed the woods, mountains, and valleys. Smaller elk herds meant willows weren’t being decimated. In turn, beavers thrived with more food. Riverbanks endured less erosion due to the increased vegetation. More wolves meant fewer coyotes. Fewer coyotes meant a burgeoning rodent population, which in turn was good news for the owls, hawks, weasels and foxes. On and on. The list of changes from the re-introduction of this one mammal would be a long one. As with many issues in the American West, the wolf is a hot-button dividing point—science on one side and vested interests on the other. And American Wolf is a terrific, and meaningful, window into a fight that continues to play out (get ready, Colorado). American Wolf  begs the age-old question, can’t we all just get along?
    more
  • Mary
    January 1, 1970
    Riveting read about the return of wolves to Yellowstone Park. I didn’t know anything about wolves when I started this book. I learned about how they form packs, hunt, and raise their pups. And also the dangers posed to them by other wolves, hunters, disease, and the challenges of Mother Nature. The book recounts both the political conflicts over the return of the wolves and the way politics can, instead of science, influence and direct wildlife management. As a balance to the discussion of court Riveting read about the return of wolves to Yellowstone Park. I didn’t know anything about wolves when I started this book. I learned about how they form packs, hunt, and raise their pups. And also the dangers posed to them by other wolves, hunters, disease, and the challenges of Mother Nature. The book recounts both the political conflicts over the return of the wolves and the way politics can, instead of science, influence and direct wildlife management. As a balance to the discussion of court cases and Washington political maneuvers, the lives of several wolves are related by a longtime National Park employee named Rick. An unusual man in that for a long period in his life he made it his goal to observe a wolf everyday-not an easy task as readers will see-and to make detail notes of the wolves’ activities and behaviors. His contributions make fascinating reading. Well written and informs readers of the valuable presence that wolves bring to the Parks’ ecosystem. I was never a fan of hunting and this book helps solidify my view.
    more
  • M. Sarki
    January 1, 1970
    https://msarki.tumblr.com/post/166873...The corporate world conducts business all over this planet and has continually disregarded the environment stretching now beyond the crisis of climate change to the certain eradication of our natural resources. Clean drinking water is increasingly becoming scarce and our wild woodlands threatened along with its endangered creatures. Enter the wolf, long-hated and feared for centuries due to myth and innuendo. Nate Blakeslee produces a riveting history of t https://msarki.tumblr.com/post/166873...The corporate world conducts business all over this planet and has continually disregarded the environment stretching now beyond the crisis of climate change to the certain eradication of our natural resources. Clean drinking water is increasingly becoming scarce and our wild woodlands threatened along with its endangered creatures. Enter the wolf, long-hated and feared for centuries due to myth and innuendo. Nate Blakeslee produces a riveting history of the wolf’s re-introduction to protected lands once eradicated of them. The feature story throughout this sad but fascinating book centers on its main characters, good and bad, both man and wolf. Uplifting and at times defeating, this fine work brings important focus on a subject well worth our time. The fact that congress and our bureaucracies continue to enable and sell-out to the corporate hunting and ranching industry at the cost of the treasured wolf is a travesty. Every year our government agencies, established to serve and protect us, destroy thousands of wolves on our tax dollar. There is detail galore in this book to help us learn more about the social behavior of wolf and man. And it is sad that wolves prove themselves more humane and conservative than humans are.
    more
  • Jennifer Jimenez
    January 1, 1970
    WOW, this book!! It really surprised me. I don't often read non-fiction books because they tend to bore me, but this one really read as a drama. I enjoyed learning about the different wolves and their lives, and I found myself rooting for or fearing for them as well. I'd highly recommend it to anyone looking for a different book to read, as how much I enjoyed it definitely surprised me. Also, I really felt like aside from getting a great story, I was learning a lot!It did take me a little longer WOW, this book!! It really surprised me. I don't often read non-fiction books because they tend to bore me, but this one really read as a drama. I enjoyed learning about the different wolves and their lives, and I found myself rooting for or fearing for them as well. I'd highly recommend it to anyone looking for a different book to read, as how much I enjoyed it definitely surprised me. Also, I really felt like aside from getting a great story, I was learning a lot!It did take me a little longer to read than I thought it would, but that's only because I was trying to absorb all of the information I was reading.
    more
Write a review