cover image The Return of the Wolf to Yellowstone

The Return of the Wolf to Yellowstone

Thomas McNamee. Henry Holt & Company, $27.5 (352pp) ISBN 978-0-8050-3101-0

Re-introducing wolves to the Yellowstone ecosystem was perhaps the most controversial issue in American conservation history. The wolves' release in January 1995 was the culmination of more than two decades of intense effort on the part of environmentalists and wildlife scientists. McNamee (The Grizzly Bear), a former president of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, was active in the project from the start. Here, in dated entries (February 1994-Autumn 1996), he tells, sometimes in diary form, the gripping story of the wolves' return to Yellowstone. The narrative covers politics, infighting among environmental groups and the excitement and uncertainty within the scientific community. McNamee relates the fates of wolf Number Ten, wantonly shot from the highway, and his pregnant mate, Number Nine, who gave birth to eight pups. As of spring 1996, 40 free wild wolves roamed the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem, with five packs fully established, two others nearly so and two new pairings. McNamee's fine account of the re-introduction of an essential part of the wild into the wild should appeal to a broad spectrum of readers. Rights (except electronic): Aaron Priest. (May)