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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Because it is so dammed hard to put all the "cogs and wheels" back into our natural landscapes, when William Ripple and John Laundre came out with their theory titled: A LANDSCAPE OF FEAR, many of us concerned about rewilding our Continent took heart in the "fact" that large carnivores have a "top down" trophic impact on all prey species which helps to keep the balance of nature functioning in an optimum way...............We have also learned well the fact that "bottom up" trophic influences(weather, plant assemblages, etc) have a very real impact in sustaining the balance of natural systems.............There are competing theories now about how much direct impact any one creature(the wolf in this case) has in optimizing ecosystem equilibrium..........Whether Dr. Middleton of Yale's School of Forestry is absolutely correct in his analysis of wolf impact on plant systems in Yellowstone or not, I think that we can all agree that reinserting the "cogs" that we removed from our great land over the past 500 years can only benefit all of natures design(including man) over the millenia ahead.............The larger and more diverse the natural gene pool, the higher the probability that we can benefit(medicine, technology, air, water, food, tranquility, art, restoration) from the never ending possibilities that the natural world has to offer


Is the Wolf a Real American Hero?

How an ecological myth obscures the story of Yellowstone.



Chris Harbin said...

One of the studies he mention comes from the Wyoming Dept. of Fish and Game. Although in a peer reviewed journal, I would still have to question the motivations of the writers. Question not discount.

Rick Meril said...

Chris,,,,,,,,more to come on trophic cascades and top down wolf influence in tomorrows blog entry........A healthy questioning is the job of all of us(citizenry) in a healthy democratic environment......keeps everyone as honest in their revelations as possible