Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Wolves in Rocky Mountain National Park (?)

Photo courtesy of Rocky Mountain National Park

Photo courtesy of Rocky Mountain National Park

Well we made it through the most depressing day of the year only to have the stock market plunge and regain today. I don't intend to bring you down further, so I'll give you some good news - many of you may have already heard about it, but this morning on the news as I walked out the door they confirmed wolves or a wolf/dog hybrid in Rocky Mountain National Park. It may actually be a lone wolf. According to The Reporter Herald's Pamela Dickman's interview with Dr. Dave Augeri of Denver Zoo, "On first glance, the researcher and expert said the [paw] print was too large to be that of a coyote and had the telltale signs of a large canine: toes, pad and claws. After discussing his observations and sharing photos with another expert, Dr. Richard Reading, Augeri said both men confirmed the print belongs to a wolf or a wolf-dog hybrid."

Personally I'm really excited about the potential of wolves being in Rocky Mountain National Park and can't wait to get back there to look for them/it. I heard a park ranger lecture in Yellowstone National Park this summer about the re-introduction of wolves there and what a positive impact it has made on the entire ecosystem. I believe, as do others, that having a big predator in Rocky Mountain National Park would really help keep elk populations in check and be a great new development in the evolution of the park. Why experiment with elk birth control drugs and hunting programs when a natural predator like the wolf would do the job and help create a more balanced ecosystem? The re-introduction of wolves in Yellowstone has proven to be good for both the evinronment of the park and good for the local economies of Idaho, Wyoming and Montana - attributed to some $70 million dollars per year according to economist John Duffield . If you would like more information or would like to support/contribute to wolf reintroduction check out forwolves.org and a good place for related news is the blog wild again. You can find my own photos from Rocky Mountain National park here.

You may be asking yourself - how does this relate to art? I'm not sure really, but I can show you a great piece by Cai Guo-Qiang, called "Head On" from 2006 that utilizes wolves that are fabricated from painted sheepskins and stuffed with hay, metal wires, plastic forms and marbles for the eyes. The artists' statement for the piece reads, "With few wolves scattered in the front gallery, all ninety-nine wolves run, gallop, and jump toward the far end of the exhibition hall, where a wall stands. The bravery of the wolves is met head on by the unyielding wall. As the leading wolves go down, many more follow with force and determination. As those in the front fall and pile up, those behind take up their positions. " "Head On" - apply directly...oh nevermind...Check out the images:

Cai Guo-Qiang, "Head On"

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