Wolves: Return to the Wild by Suzanne Asha Stone, Northern Rockies Representative,
Defenders of Wildlife, Idaho.
Since the wolf re-introductions in 1995 and 1996, I have tracked wolves, howled with them, mourned their losses, and celebrated their expansion to Oregon, Washington and California.
I still feel there is nothing more magical in nature than hearing a family of wolves’ song echo through the forests. It is a sound that resonates to the core of my being. Along the way, I’ve worked beside ranchers, researchers, tribal leaders, biologists and other conservationists to help all of us learn how to coexist with wolves and other wildlife.
If we can bring back wolves, we can and should restore other native species that enrich the world’s biodiversity. They deserve our best efforts to protect their future as our wild elders and have much still to teach us of our own connection to the earth.
Photo Credits: Suzanne Stone, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Dan Stahler, Yellowstone National Park.
© Suzanne Asha Stone
Suzanne Asha Stone has specialized in wolf restoration in the western USA since 1988. She served as the Yellowstone and Idaho wolf reintroduction team in the USA and in Canada in 1995/1996 and currently oversees Defender’s programs for wolf conservation and restoration in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington and as needed elsewhere. She works directly with ranchers and farmers to help livestock owners and wildlife managers devise and implement strategies to reduce wolf and livestock conflicts. She is the lead author of Defenders’ recent publications Livestock and Wolves: A Guide to Nonlethal Tools and Methods to Reduce Conflict and a co-author of Places for Wolves. As Defenders of Wildlife’s Senior Northwest Field Representative, she is currently developing and testing adaptive nonlethal deterrent methods to help livestock managers successfully avoid losses to wolves and other native predators. She has tracked, aerial surveyed, and howled with wolves in the wild; teaches about their ecological importance, and provides ongoing support to state, federal and tribal wolf conservation efforts.
Suzanne started her career as the public outreach intern for the Central Idaho Wolf Recovery Interagency Steering Committee, then the assistant director of the Wolf Education and Research Center and later the director of Idaho’s Wolf Recovery Foundation. She has presented on wolf conservation and nonlethal conflict management methods at a wide range of conferences and seminars from Oxford University, the First Diversitas International Conference on Biodiversity, the World Wolf Symposium to the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association and Montana Wool Growers annual conventions.
Suzanne holds a Masters degree in Wildlife Conservation and Conflict Management from Prescott College in Arizona and has received numerous awards for her work, including the “Alpha Award,” presented by her peers at the North American Wolf Conference. Suzanne credits her long career in wolf conservation to the great conservation leaders who inspired her work, including Aldo Leopold, the Muries, John Muir, and Rachel Carson. Her favorite essay is “Thinking Like a Mountain” by Aldo Leopold and favorite wolf book is “Of Wolves and Men” by Barry Lopez. http://www.defenders.org/staff/suzanne-asha-stone