Friday, December 29, 2017

Recommitting to Advocacy

photo by Mary Strickroth
I write to protect wildlife and to preserve wild lands. The path I took to end up here started one winter six years ago. That was the first of three winters that my wife Mary and I volunteered and lived at the Lamar Buffalo Ranch in the heart of Yellowstone wolf country. Part of our job was helping seminar participants spot wildlife. Wolves topped the list of animals to see. 

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Practically every day I watched wolves.I learned to identify specific wolves. I saw how some had distinct personalities. I observed wolves interacting within their pack, and I watched rival packs fight over food or territory. I learned how wolves changed the behavior of elk. And I listened to lots of experts describe in depth what we saw. Slowly, I began to understand how essential wolves are. Not just in Yellowstone. Not just in the Rocky Mountains. Wolves are essential wherever they’re allowed to live.

Some evenings I’d go to our cabin exhausted from a day of wolf watching. I would journal about what I had seen, heard, felt, learned. As the winters added up, I found myself wanting to learn even more about wolves. I read books and journal articles. I interviewed experts. Eventually those early journal entries and later research came together in a book, In the Temple of Wolves: A Winter’s Immersion in Wild Yellowstone.

As that book became an Amazon best seller, I realized that I owed wolves a debt. If I was going to profit from a book about them, I needed to pay them back. One way I could do that was to speak for wolves, to advocate for them. So I waded in.

Over the last six years I’ve spoken to individuals and groups. I’ve written articles and used social media to advocate. I’ve produced slide shows and podcasts. I’ve talked with legislators at our state capital and In Washington D.C. I’ve written another book entitled Deep into Yellowstone: A Year’s Immersion in Grandeur and Controversy. All to speak for wildlife and wild lands.

And I have the wolves in Yellowstone’s Lamar Valley to thank for starting me down this challenging and satisfying path as a wolf advocate. As a new year and my seventh Yellowstone winter begins, I want to take a moment to reaffirm my commitment to another year speaking for wildlife and wild lands. I hope you join me.   

My best seller, In the Temple of Wolves, is available signed by me, or unsigned on Amazon. 
My new book, Deep into Yellowstone, is available signed by me, or unsigned on Amazon. 
You can order a signed set from me with free shipping. 



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