Saturday, July 2, 2011

Decade of the Wolf

One of my friends teaches public speaking and one of the assignments in her class (and probably every public speaking class) is a persuasive speech. She no longer allows students to speak on why wolves should be banned from Yellowstone. (Many many Wyomingites are upset about the whole thing.) Prior to her ban on the topic, she'd have several students in each class give the same speech. I can imagine you can only hear that speech, or any speech, so many times.

Wolf politics aren't of interest to me, even though they are an issue here in Wyoming. Decade of the Wolf isn't about the politics. It's about the process of introducing the wolves and the first ten years of the wolves in the park.

Before I read this book, I knew that wolves had been reintroduced to Yellowstone in 1995 and that they were from Canada and that was about all I knew.

Decade of the Wolf talks about the people and events related to the wolves. I learned how they introduced the wolves into the park and how they monitor their activity. Despite much opposition, there have also been thousands (and thousands) that have been thrilled by seeing wolves in Yellowstone.

Having wolves back in the park has changed the park in both flora and fauna. Most of the wolves diet is elk. As the wolves have eaten the elk and consequently lowered their numbers, willow trees are able to grow (instead of being eaten by elk.)The willows have encouraged beavers. The ecology of Yellowstone has been improving since the wolves returned.

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