Long after their eradication from almost all parts of the US, wolves still evoke a primal response, firing the imagination with admiration, awe, and dread. Efforts to restore them to Yellowstone, North Carolina, and elsewhere have provoked heated public debate and met with only mixed success. Scientists and policymakers are debating the merits of returning the wolf to the northeastern US, where the forests of northern New England and upstate New York may provide the range and resources necessary to support them. This book brings together four thoughtful and literate observers of the natural world to reflect on the implications and potential of such an effort. Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature, encourages a skeptical look at our own motivations in this restorative effort, even as he argues that the psychological and spiritual benefits to humans would be at least as great as the ecological benefits of restoration. John Theberge, a scientist with years of experience in tracking the Canadian wolf population, notes that issues of restoration and "return" are far more complex from a biological and ecological point of view than much of the debate would suggest. Kristin DeBoer, director of the wolf restoration project of the environmental group RESTORE: The North Woods, reviews the state of the political debates, while also offering a personal account of her own motivations and goals in this work. Finally, novelist and nature writer Rick Bass brings the experiences of his home state of Montana to bear on the debate in the northeast.
Publisher: University Press of New England