Thursday, January 16, 2014

A Brief Introduction



Teanaway wolf
Wolf Management Debate comes to Kittitas County
Now, as I head into my fourth year in the Resource Management program at Central (and have yet to produce a thesis), I've finally found something I can really write about.  Certainly, it is more up my alley than cattle grazing impacts to sage grouse nesting habitat, and all the vegetation work that was needed to complete it.  This study will return me to childhood passions about mystical animals I once wanted - dreamed - about studying.  Wolves.


So, with packs being confirmed in and around the ranching valley where I reside, it is a perfect time to take stock about how folks feel about the return of this predator to the neighborhood.  Given the community, I expect most will be unhappy.  Some may be excited.  Some may not care.  I hope that this study on the attitudes of residents towards wolves will help with managing future conflicts.

I've always had an interest in wildlife/animal conflicts.  I spent years studying all sides of the free-roaming horse debate.  From the activists to the biologists and range managers to the ranchers.  It was, and is, a very interesting, convoluted topic.  I intended on writing my thesis on that subject, but it was just too difficult with the BLM herds so far away and native tribes closed to outsiders, for the most part.


This quote represents where I am going with this new research"

"There is nothing simple about a story of wolves and human communities.  It is a complex story with a rich history, an often controversial present, and a future that is not yet written.  It is a story of human psychology and teh ways in which our self-understanding, fears, hopes, interests, and sense of place shape our understanding of the natural world and our relationship to nonhuman species and the land."

~Introduction to Wolves and Human Communities by Virginia A. Sharpe, Bryan G. Norton, and Strachan Donnelley

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