Fall 2023


One Plus One Can Be Much Greater Than Two
By Mike Phillips

The influence of wolves and beavers on vital ecological processes makes them essential in wildland restoration. The author is poised to take part in an “audacious” effort to revitalize vast reserves spanning 11 western U.S. states. Here, he makes his case for supporting that project and for the protection and restoration of the species that dwell there.

Restoring Wolves to Yellowstone—the Unpublicized Backstory
By Steven Fritts

The U.S. reintroduced wolves in the 1990s. This is Part 2 of Steven Fritts’s “backstory” about the tenacious crew that did the miserably hard work— against poor odds and bureaucratic interference— to restore an essential predator to its natural environment. (See the summer edition of International Wolf for Part 1.). Download article.

National Wildlife Federation on “Lessons Learned”—A Synopsis
By Diane K. Boyd

Colorado voters narrowly approved a 2020 proposition requiring the state to develop a plan and reintroduce wolves there by Dec. 31, 2023. Presented here are parts of the report Boyd prepared, including her own views, to provide Coloradans science-based information about what worked—and what didn’t— in other states where wolf recovery efforts have taken place.

Wolf Watching in Yellowstone National Park
By Taylor Rabe

Rabe tells us there are several secrets to spotting wolves in Yellowstone National Park. She calls Yellowstone “the best place in the world to see wild wolves,” and shares locations and methods used by experienced wolf-watchers. You’ll find a list of things to take with you along with advice on who and when to ask for assistance.


From the Executive Director

Real Wolves
by Grant Spickelmier

As we head further into the 21st century, one of the most striking changes we are witnessing is the loss of a shared understanding of what is “real.” Emerging technologies such as A.I. and “deepfake” videos make us distrust our own eyes and ears. This distrust leads people to define reality more by their feelings and beliefs than by seeking external, objective information that might challenge those beliefs.

Tracking the Pack

Creating a Smooth Transition for Wolves and Humans
by Lori Schmidt, wolf curator, International Wolf Center

Our members are the backbone of this organization, and we are grateful for your support. For some of our members, support of our mission has been longstanding; for others, the addition of our web and social media presence has more recently piqued your interest in the Center’s operation. As the curator, my association with the Center started in 1989 with the Center’s first four captive pups—Jedadiah, Bausha, Ballazar and Raissa—and this has been a wonderful experience, with successes to celebrate and, at times, deep sadness to overcome.

Wolves of the World

Wolf Encounters Topic of Documentary; Dire Wolf Fossils Teach; Greek Wolf Shows off Swimming Prowess
by Tracy O’connell


Part of the Pack, a documentary released here last fall that has accumulated a number of awards in the film world, traces three sets of Canada-based, wolf-human interactions while asking what should be left to nature, and when does a human’s attraction to wildlife end up killing with kindness?


Attraction to wolf-dogs and the reasons not to own them was addressed in a past issue of International Wolf. But interest in dog breeds that resemble wolves has always existed; it was probably increased by the very popular TV series, Game of Thrones, which aired from 2011 to 2019, in which the dire wolf figures prominently.

The dire wolf did live in the past— it is believed to have become extinct 13,000 years ago for reasons that have not been fully established. It ranged over much of North America and into parts of South America, with more than 4,000 dire wolf fossils found in the La Brea tar pits, a site near Los Angeles. Word about these creatures appears in the media when new information is being uncovered.


A lone wolf was spotted swimming in the Aegean Sea off the coast of Magnesia, a regional unit located in Central Greece, according to Greekreporter.com. Men on a fishing boat were surprised to see the wolf so far from shore, the news story continues, though it adds that wolves have swimming skills much like dogs and can swim up to eight miles, even in icy water.

Personal Encounter

An Old Place with New Songs
by Cree Bradley

Standing face to face with a wolf, only a dead deer lying between us, I won’t pretend to know what the wolf was thinking. But it felt as if I were experiencing Thoreau’s miracle—that the deer was a truce and we both knew it, through that steady gaze of our eyes.

The day had begun with a leisurely ski down a trail near our property in northern Minnesota. My husband and I, with our dog, Ruby, on skijor harness, had taken advantage of the brilliant February day: full sun, yet too cold to work our maple-sugaring lines, the sap-collection tubing being too brittle at those temps to repair more than we damage. Knowing our lives would soon become busy with demanding work for 10 months straight, we paused our work for a day of play. Shortly into the trip,

A Look Beyond

Wolves and Wisconsinites: Improving Relations?
By Megan Petersohn

It was the end of June 2019 when I embarked on my seventh backpacking trip on the remote island wilderness of Isle Royale. The air was crisp and fragrant with an amalgam of earth, copper, moose and lake trout. Eight weeks of hiking 5 to 20 miles a day had given me “trail legs,” but each voyage into the Feldtmann swamps was unpredictable, and I was thrilled to acquire intel about recently reintroduced wolves. Of the 15 satellite-collared gray wolves plucked from Minnesota and Ontario, Canada, 12 were still creating clusters of locations to search at this point in the season. Each localized area where a wolf spent at least eight hours provided me with clues as to what the newest island archipelago residents were up to. The focus of this trip was to investigate clusters for W001F, W007M and W013M, and I couldn’t help but wonder if they were establishing social bonds, forming the island’s first pack since reintroduction began.