Shades of Gray: Living with Wolves - An investigative tv program that seeks to answer the question,"Can we live with wolves?"

The wolf reintroduction program in the northern Rockies in 1995 is considered a conservationist success story, but many in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming however disagree. From an initial recovery plan of 300 wolves and ten breeding pairs that were brought in from Canada and distributed across each state of the Rocky Mountain range, today over 1500 wolves call it their home. This is thanks to the original prohibitions on hunting and an ample supply of game and occasionally ranch animals to feast on.

The reintroduction of the gray wolves back then to our first national park of Yellowstone has been described as a near-miracle, considering the political climate of today. A wildlife conservation effort with such a positive environmental impact and ongoing controversy will not likely be surpassed for a long time. But it all began with the support of the American public almost two decades ago and as a new chapter in Yellowstone’s history began, it was a homecoming that has changed the Park.

But not unfortunately without the alienation of several subgroups of people, mainly hunters and ranchers. Over the past decade and a half, wolves have become a very hot topic in the northern Rockies. Although they alone have drawn an abundance of wolf watching tourists to Yellowstone which National Parks Service estimates at around $35M annual tourism dollars to the greater Yellowstone area there are still those that are extremely opposed to having this keystone species in their midst.

But as for the importance of Eco-tourism though that the wolves have brought to Yellowstone, according to Nathan Varley, a wolf biologist and Yellowstone wolf watching tour guide, "The main things people want to see are wolves... A lot of the big fans of Yellowstone wolves are following the lives of the actual individuals. They are the attraction. These become the stars of the show... and to have them hunted is even harder for our guests to understand... If that individual is important enough and so many people care about it, then it does have an influence on whether they want to come back to Yellowstone and it could influence their decision to visit the park in the future."

But unfortunately the wolves lost their federal protection in 2011 and now with hunting allowed again in many Western states, the future of this once endangered species may again be in question. The question has urgently become "Can we live with wolves?"

This controversial and polarized debate surrounding wolf management, politics, and the search for a middle ground is now the subject of a new investigative TV special called "Shades of Gray: Living with Wolves." It was produced by Link TV’s environmental news magazine Earth Focus, which traveled to Montana and Wyoming to find out the answer to the question above. You can watch it now below.


Responses to "Shades of Gray: Living with Wolves (Video)"

  1. Morgana says:

    How can people kill its heartbeaking to kill an innocent animal so beautiful and alive, they prefer to see animals dead, something wrong is with them.

  2. Anonymous says:

    It's unimaginable that inhumane leg hold traps are still being used! I hope the humane conservation efforts continue and that we all learn to live with our fellow beings in peace and harmony.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Sad to see this..We invaded there lands there hunting grounds...there way of life..Greed.

  4. Anonymous says:

    There is no middle ground. There is a vermin species that has gone rampant and out of control and that needs to be exterminated.

    -- Signed: A wolf in France

  5. Anonymous says:

    PS from the wolf in France: Yeah, we too have the same sort of Daleks over here.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I couldn't watch this after I saw the wolf in the trap and the man shoot the wolf. It disgusts me to know that people are accusing the wolves of taking their hunting game (like taxidermist and hunters)So a few more elk get killed in the wild due to wolves and now there arent many around because the wolves? I believe that the Elk and other game have gotten smarter, they hide or don't go in areas where the wolves are. Maybe the hunters need to get smarter and do a better job at tracking the Elk! I do believe in protecting your cattle or livelyhood but I believe that hunting is a privlidge not a given for every person and wolves are part of the wild and they need to hunt and eat so they would have a right to kill the Elk before a hunter would. Instead of killing the wolves can't they move them to another state and spread them out?

  7. K.D. says:

    You know what is even sadder? Human kind thinking they have the right to take the land of those who were here before us.

  8. Unknown says:

    Dear Wolf in France,
    The people of the First Nations understand how to live with undomesticated animals. There were always
    people from the tribe, or region, however you like to put it, that worked on the inner planes and
    kept the balance. First Nation people also did not kill overpopulated animals, they kept the balance and
    in the winter when times were harsh they fed and cared for the wild animals. And in turn the wild animals gave back.
    We should learn over the years to come, how to help, by listening to the people of the First Nations. [Even the ancient Christians knew how to live with wild animals.) The fact is we want all for ourselves - and this greed will, in the end, cause us all suffering. But what the heck, wolves in France don't suffer do they - they just create it for others.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Yes we can live with wolves maybe through them we can learn to live with each other

  10. Ruth says:

    We need wolves to maintain a healthy ecosystem. May they be protected. Beautiful creatures xx

  11. Anonymous says:

    Wyoming sucks. People need to get out of the past. Go to the grocery store killers.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Dear Linda Justice,

    What you tell me about the First Nation people, I know. I have lived with a Lakota family in their rez, with a Chiricahua family and have met many others from many nations. I have learnt much from them and share their worldview. Greed is indeed the source of all evil. Sharing and helping Indian fashion and respect for Mother Earth is they key to harmony. The people in the US and Canada who hunt and trap wolves are the same, or the same sort who hunted and the natives and took their lands. Wolves were exterminated in France in the 1930s. In the 1990s, they came back by themselves, over the border with Italy. Today, they are only about 250 of them in the whole country, mostly in the Alps. They are supposed to be a protected species under a European treaty for wildlife protection, but there are hunters and shepherds in France who successfully push for culling authorizations and who would like to see them delisted. Same thing for brown bears in the French Pyrenees. Wolves and bears in France have their friends and defenders. I have met many of them since I came back after many years in the States – and was surprised to find out how much they know about Native Americans (much more than the average WASP American), whom they hold in high esteem. I do not understand what you mean by the last sentence of your comment.

    The wolf in France (Erik Abranson on facebook)

  13. Anonymous says:

    Cattle ranchers had a problem with the buffalo and didn't want their herds in competion with buffalo. They had a problem with sheep ranchers and sharing the water sheds -- range wars. This occurred after they massacred and rounded up the Native American Indians and the buffalo were gone. In the past elk and deer herds got so big, they were rounded up shot and killed in pens. To my fellow Americans we have conservation problem, environmental problem due to our lack of respect of nature and its balance. If your stupid enough to build your home in the middle of Yellow Stone don't scream you are having a problem with the Bears.

    Hunting to feed your family is one thing but trophy hunting for the pleasure and sport of killing is wrong. It is immoral! The picture of the man all smiles with his wolf kill makes me sick. Here in Utah they still use lead bullets for hunting. They leave the carcass for other animals to feed on and die from lead poisoning. The state recently lost the female condor because of this. Nobody is going to tell the Good Old Boy's here what kind of bullets to use with their sport -- lead bullets are cheap and they are not going to eat it. As long as there is mentality of measuring manhood by the size of the gun, who killed the most, and how wide is your wallet, let the environmentalists and Native Americans make the decisions on maintaining and restoring the balance.

    My name is Laynie.

  14. wolfgar says:

    They are our brothers and protected us for thousands of years and this is how we repay them?

  15. Anonymous says:

    Wolves keep the elk herds strong - why do we have to destroy everything? Why is man so greedy?
    What would happen if we decided to kill the ranchers' kids if they were over two per family?

  16. Anonymous says:

    I think there is no need to kill wild animals for food and trophy today because you have stores where you can do the shopping. Hunter are not protectors of animals but just the killers for fun. It makes me sick to hear all those people talking about hunting game. You are so sick and I am embarrased to be a human. I will never give birth to a child (human) and I hope I won´t become a human in my next life.

  17. Anonymous says:

    I agree completely with you Laynie. Bison meat is a lot better to eat, the Bison is natural in this environment (not Beef cattle or sheep) and can work the soil and support the climate. Rachers should raise Bison instead and wouldn't need to worry about wolves...trapping and poison and lead bullets??? Brainless.....We will go totally extinct because of our stupidity. Lena

  18. Anonymous says:

    it's the humans that are the evil one here ,they don't understand wolfs ,all they care about is the trophy they can get because they believe they are the top hunters, well you not ! wolf were put here for a reason.

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