Wolf Hunting Season: A Vicious Cycle?

This fall marked the opening of wolf hunting season in five states: Wyoming, Idaho, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Montana. Listening to the controversy between ranchers and conservation groups over the species can leave a person enraged, numb or simply wondering why we can’t all live in harmony on this massive chunk of land.

The gray wolf, which was hunted to near extinction until the 1930s and 1940s, has mostly rebounded, thanks to Federal and state endangered species acts. Its numbers now run around 5,000 in the lower 48 and a little over 11,000 in Alaska (where, as Mother Jone’s reports, they’ve never been protected).

A recent NPR story about wolf hunting discusses how the wolf population in Montana has grown dramatically, even with hunting. This year, wildlife officials there have abandoned the statewide kill limit and almost doubled the length of the season.

Elephant Poaching in Africa: The Underground Ivory Trade

Andrew Dobson, an ecologist at Princeton, asks a poignant question in a recent New York Times article on elephant poaching in Africa. The question is: “Do you want your children to grow up in a world without elephants?”

Whether it’s armed Congolese, Ugandan and Sudanese soldiers, or poor Tanzanian villagers who poison pumpkins to kill elephants, an unprecedented poaching epidemic is prevalent throughout Africa. The vicious killings are mostly driven by a growing Chinese middle class and their intense desire for ivory, which now sells for $1,000 per pound in Beijing.

Save Wildlife In SE Asia — Vote For Trevor Frost In National Geographic Channel’s Expedition Granted

Mountainfilm friend Trevor Frost is up for a cool grant from National Geographic in their Expedition Granted contest. His focus? "Paper Parks" -- National Parks that have little to no on-the-ground support and instead of protecting the wild places and animals that they are intended for, are merely lines drawn on a map. From Elephant Journal:

Moving Mountains: Turning Inspiration Into Action

It's Sunday afternoon and by now you have watched some incredible films, listened to inspiring people talk and taken in powerful images. Just walking down the Main Street, it's impossible to not feel the buzz of energy, the slight unrest and the overwhelming inspiration. So, now with all of that inspiration, what will you do to create positive change? How will you turn that inspiration into action?

© Joe Riis, iLCP

Photo Inspiration: Glacier National Park Wildlife

ram in Glacier National ParkAs part of our photo contest, we’re featuring some of our favorites here on the blog. Every week we’ll be bringing you another photo that in one way or another reflects our mission statement: educating and inspiring audiences about issues that matter, cultures worth exploring, environments worth preserving and conversations worth sustaining. This photo struck us because the ram appears quite majestic, and seems un-phased as it confronts the photographer head-on. However, the balance struck also seems tenuous; though the ram doesn't seem to mind the intrusion, he also seems poised and ready to leap at the merest hint of danger.