One of the biggest problems, is some people fail to differentiate between the mythical wolf and the real wolf. Some of the loudest voices for the wolf's behalf (the mythical minds) have never even seen a wolf in the wild, except in an edited television documentary, and get all warm and fuzzy. Those against the wolf often seem fueled with overzealous prejudice, emphasizing all evidence that sheds poor light on the species, in some attempt to cast it from diety-status. Somewhere in the middle falls the role of the politicians, trying to appease both sides, the self-preserving ranchers and thrillseeking hunters, and the wildlife bioligists with their "intelligent tinkering".
I've witnessed more than a dozen wolves in their natural environment, and more on game farms, and don't feel I have any unrealistic notions about them at all. Just about any species throughout pre-written and modern history is tied with some symbolistic status, but perhaps none more so than the wolf. These romanticized views are what have fueled the funding and efforts behind wolf recovery, to the unfair detriment of other important studies, I'm sure. But no amount of imagining will prepare you for a face-to-face encounter, and the full implications of this recovery are far, far greater than the 'rationalist experts' could have guessed. The field of wildlife management is in alot of ways similar to breeding practices we see. Not alot of forethought involved, and a lack of unified vision.
"The older I get, the more skeptical I become of large-scale interventions, because we truly know so little about ecosystems — usually not enough even to ask the right questions."
~wildlife biologist John Weaver of the Wildlife Conservation Society
"Can we entrust the recovery of declining wildlife species and damaged ecosystems to agencies that have consistently failed to consider the large-scale and long-term implications of their interventions?"
~Thomas McNamee, author of The Return of the Wolf to Yellowstone