Twenty-five years ago, wildlife managers in Yellowstone National Park undertook one of the most consequential actions in modern American conservation when they unleashed 14 wolves into the park.
The program to reintroduce wolves to Yellowstone in 1995 has since seen wolf packs fan out across one of the largest intact ecosystems in the Lower 48. Reintroducing an apex predator that humans wiped out earlier in the century has had consequences both intended and unintended. It was—and continues to be—wildly controversial but also 100% right. Ecosystems have flourished under a newly found balance; tourists have come to catch a glimpse of animals no longer found in many other states; and scientists have had a chance to observe an unprecedented experiment in rewilding.