Inside the Heart of Wolf Advocacy – The Yellowstone Story

“Inside the Heart of Wolf Advocacy – The Yellowstone Story”

-Stories of people working to preserve the legacy of wolves in Yellowstone National Park-

Produced and Directed by Rachel Tilseth

In this promotional teaser Rick Lamplugh talks about his path to wolf advocacy.

Rick Lamplugh is one of the film’s featured wolf advocates. Rick Lamplugh lives in Gardiner, Montana, at Yellowstone’s north gate. He is the author of two Amazon best sellers, In the Temple of Wolves and Deep into Yellowstone. His writing has appeared in Yellowstone Reports, and the literary journals Composite Arts Magazine, Gold Man Review, Phoebe, Soundings Review, and Feathered Flounder. He won the Jim Stone Grand Prize for Non-Fiction.

To support the film by making a donation go to Executive Producer in charge of Finance Betsy Klein, Plan B Foundation.

The vision of the film is to tell the stories of the people who work to preserve the legacy of wolves in Yellowstone. Telling their story will be the inspiration that helps the viewer to gain insight into the heart of wolf advocacy.

In this promotional teaser I went Wolf watching in Yellowstone National Park with Leo Leckie and Ilona Popper.

Ilona is one of the film’s featured wolf advocates. Ilona Popper lives near Yellowstone National Park. She spends time in the field watching wolves, writing about wolves she’s observed, and advocating to preserve their legacy.

Up before dawn on a cold crisp 14 degrees to find Yellowstone wolves. I was lucky enough to see three wolf packs while In Yellowstone. ~Rachel Tilseth

About Rachel Tilseth

In the photo: Rachel Tilseth film Rick Lamplugh

Rachel holds a Batchelor of Science Degree in Art Education and is a retired art teacher. Tilseth’s interests in nature, specifically wolves, led her to advocate for wolves and wildlife. In the year 2000 she became involved in WI DNR Wolf Recovery Program working as a volunteer winter wolf tracker to present. She founded the blog and social media network Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin to bring education and awareness to Wisconsin’s wild wolf. Tilseth has spent several years speaking out against wolf trophy hunts. Tilseth is active in working to ban Wolf Hounding in Wisconsin. She has a strong background in the visual arts. She’s a sculptor and oil painter. Tilseth has expanded her interest into filmmaking. She’s currently in the process of creating a documentary film about the heart of wolf advocacy.


Wolves and bears to be slaughtered in Romania once again

By Andy Coghlan


The hunting of bears and wolves is back on the agenda in Romania, less than a year after the government banned trophy hunting. Conservation groups have condemned the U-turn and are calling on the government to rescind the decision.

The move was announced on 5 September by Romanias environment minister Gratiela Gavrilescu. It will allow up to 140 bears and 97 wolves to be killed under supervision by the end of 2017, if theyre deemed to be nuisance animals that threaten livestock on farms or frighten people by encroaching into inhabited areas.

But the conservation groups fear that the quotas will be used as an excuse to allow trophy hunting to resume. The government banned that in October 2016.

Its unclear if hunters will be allowed to keep the bodies, or sell body parts, says Masha Kalinina of Humane Society International (HSI). She says the government has caved in to pressure from hunters, farmers and communities that feel threatened.

Save the cows, but how?

It is not clear that killing wolves will protect livestock. It is basically impossible to draw general conclusions on what works to reduce livestock depredation, says Ann Eklund of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.

Eklund published a study in May 2017 that found there is hardly any evidence on whether such interventions work. She says killing predators can sometimes protect livestock, but not if the deceased animals are immediately replaced, or are not part of the population that takes livestock.

Killing may even make things worse. If experienced wolves that are wary of approaching farms are taken out, they may be replaced by younger, more brazen successors who are more likely to attack livestock, says Kalinina.

Instead, HSI favours non-lethal methods to manage nuisance animals, such as making rubbish bins bear-proof to avoid attracting the animals. In the US, its pretty standard practice, says Kalinina. Similarly, wolves can be scared off by farm workers riding horses.

There are currently an estimated 6000 bears in Romania, says HSI. The wolf population has been estimated at 2500. After many years of decline, hunting and persecution, wolves and bears have been recovering over the past five years. Last years ban on trophy hunting might have cemented that recovery. 

Proposed legislation would make it illegal for law enforcement to enforce state or federal law relating to management of wolves in Wisconsin

This legislation will be difficult to enforce, but that’s not stopping Representaive Adam Jarchow from employing the latest “smoke and mirrors” political rhetoric. Rep. Jarchow’s fueling the anti-wolf fires again spreading hate and fear for Wisconsin’s wild wolf. Wisconsin’s citizens can distinguish fact from fiction. The following are the facts. Wolves take 6% of Wisconsin’s White-tailed deer population in a year. Livestock depredations are down in 2017, just click here for the 2017 wolf depredations report. 
Wisconsin’s wild wolf is a federally protected endangered species. 
Here’s the latest political ploy…
In an email dated Wednesday, November 8, 2017 to Legislative Colleagues from Rep. Adam Jarchow, Rep. Mary Felzkowski, Rep. Romaine Quinn and Sen. Tom Tiffany regarding Co-sponsorship of LRB 3737/1 – Managing Wisconsin’s wolf population
The following is Rep. Adam Jarchow’s email:
In 2011, Idaho Governor Butch Otter issued an executive order stating that the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) would no longer monitor wolf populations, investigate illegal wolf killings, or reimburse farmers whose livestock have been killed by wolves. As a result of this executive order, the federal government de-listed the wolf in Idaho. Since then, Idaho has been able to manage its wolf population without interference from the federal government.
Wolves have taken over northern Wisconsin. They are depredating our deer population, killing livestock and attacking family pets. The gray wolf has been placed on the federal Endangered Species List by a federal judge in Washington D.C. thus leaving Wisconsin unable to manage our own wolf population.

Currently, there is a bill at the federal level to de-list the wolf from the Endangered Species List, but has not yet made its way to the President’s desk. Congress has proven to be unable to pass this simple bill to save Wisconsinites from wolves running rampant throughout our state. Something must be done.

If Congress won’t act – we will!
Today, we are circulating for co-sponsorship, LRB 3737/1 which would make it illegal for law enforcement to enforce state or federal law relating to management of wolves in Wisconsin. It also does not allow the Department of Natural Resources to expend any funds relating to wolf management other than paying claims under the endangered resources program for damage caused by wolves.

Please stand with the citizens of northern Wisconsin and co-sponsor LRB 3737/1 by calling Senator Tiffany’s office at 266-2509 or Rep. Jarchow’s office at 267-2365 by Friday, November 17th at 5:00 p.m. (End of Jarchow’s email)

Just when you think wolf education & awareness should take precedent, here comes more political rhetoric…

This time it’s in the form of “smoke and mirrors” tactics being put out in a new bill which would make it illegal for law enforcement to enforce state or federal law relating to management of wolves in Wisconsin. They claim this bill is necessary as wolves are taking over northern Wisconsin. Rep. Adam Jarchow claims wolves are decimating deer and livestock and must be managed (Jarchow’s way of wolf management is a trophy hunt). Wisconsin is also the only state that sanctions wolf-hounding.  

Let’s remember that when a politician wants something they’re not above using smoke and mirrors tactics to spin the facts in their favor. In this case, they claim wolves are eating all the deer and killing livestock at an unprecedented rate. Here’s the truth; wolves in a given year have taken 6% of the White-tailed deer, and livestock depredations are down by wolves in 2017. This new bill is a rather lame attempt by a few politicians, who think the public is easily led astray by smoke and mirrors political tricks.  

If anything remember how much time, tax dollars and efforts have been put into forty years of wolf recovery in Wisconsin. We should appreciate the role wolves play on balancing Wisconsin’s ecosystems. For more on this story go to WODCW’s Blog by clicking here.

First step in the campaign to end Wolf-hounding in Wisconsin is Awareness…

The public is unaware that dogs are used to hunt wolves in Wisconsin when they are not listed on the federal or state endangered species list. Wisconsin’s state legislature sanctions the barbaric sport known as Wolf-Hounding.

The Wisconsin legislature sanctioned Wolf-Hounding under “2011 Wisconsin Act 169” allowing the use of dogs to track and trail wolves. 2011 Wisconsin Act 169.

WODCW Wolf Hounding Fact Sheet: Wisconsin, quite literally, throws dogs to wolves…

Out of all the states that hunt wolves, only Wisconsin allows hound hunters to use unleashed packs of dogs to hunt wolves. Wisconsin, quite literally, throws “dogs to the wolves.”Hound hunters traditionally train their dogs to focus on specific prey by releasing their dogs to surround, attack and terrorize a prey animal (e.g. a bear cub or fox) for hours on end (up to 16 hours/day) enclosed in a small, open barrel or “roll cage.” At this point it remains disturbingly unclear as to how hound hunters will train their dogs to pursue wolves instead of other animals—will it be by capturing wolves and allowing their dogs to attack them in barrels and pens? How isn’t this worse than illegal dog fighting?

“There has never been a more important time for the people of Wisconsin to show they are not going to give in to a small group of people that want to torture animals for fun under the guise of “sport.” ~Rachel Tilseth

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, charged with overseeing the wolf hunt, has no rules in place that require hound handlers to report dogs injured or killed in the pursuit of wolves during a hunt. In fact, there is no monitoring or certification program whatsoever in place for the use of dogs in the wolf hunt; thus the state has little ability to hold hound hunters accountable for training or hunting violations or to prevent deadly and inhumane wolf-dog confrontations (e.g., hunters allowing dogs to overtake and kill rifle-shot wolves). These circumstances explain why Wisconsin stands alone: using dogs to hunt wolves is no better than state-sponsored dog fighting.

Wolves are currently protected under the ESA, but there are several bills in congress that call for delisting wolves. When wolves are not listed Wisconsin wolf hunters will use dogs to hunt them under the guise of sport.

Hound handlers are equipped with high tech radio telemetry devices that allow them to track GPS-collared hunting dogs from long distances. They are often not able to catch up to hounds that have a wolf at bay to prevent deadly fights between dogs and wolves. As proof of this, (during the bear hunt’s use of dogs) to date, Wisconsin has paid over $500,000 to “reimburse” hound-hunters for hunting dogs injured or killed by wolves. See link WDNR Dog depredations by wolves
Please Join WODCW’s campaign to end wolf-hounding in Wisconsin.
According to DNR regulations, hound handlers are only allowed to use up to six dogs at a time to trail wolves. But handlers often replace tired dogs with fresh ones and younger dogs. It is common for a handler to be unable to retrieve the tired dogs, and end up with up well over 6 dogs chasing one wolf, potentially twice or even three times as many. There is no monitoring system in place to ensure that only 6 dogs pursue wolves.

In 2013 & 2014 Wisconsin sanctioned the use of dogs to hunt wolves.

Join Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin’s campaign to end Wolf Hounding. Contact us:
Contact your Wisconsin State Legislator and make it clear you do not sanction Wolf Hounding in Wisconsin!

At his best, man is the noblest of all animals; separated from law and justice he is the worst. ~Aristotle

*Wisconsin allows the use of dogs in pursuit of bear, and has a reimbursement program of $2,500.00 for each dog killed by wolves defending their pups. There is NO reimbursement during wolf-hounding. 

It’s Wolf Awareness Week in Wisconsin  

Wolf Awareness Week October 15 – 21, 2017. In 1990, Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson signed the proclamation of Wisconsin Wolf Awareness Week, a time to celebrate these important animals, by highlighting the threats to their survival, spread the word about what you can do to help wolves stay protected, and help humans learn to live alongside them.
Come celebrate the wolf at these Wolf Awareness Week Events:
Wednesday, October 18, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. The Humane Society of the United States, Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin, Foxlights International PTY LTD, Wolf Education & Research Center, and Plan B Foundation present – WORT 89.9 FM welcomes-

The Wisconsin Premiere of the award winning documentary film “Gray Area: Wolves of the Southwest”Produced by Alan Lacy

After the screening there will be a panel discussion and Q&A with:
Gray Area: Wolves of the Southwest Producer Alan Lacy; HSUS Wisconsin State Director Melissa Tedrowe; Robert Mann – Ho-Chunk Nation Elder; Foxlights Inventor & Owner Ian Whalan; Randy Jurewicz, retired WI DNR Wolf Program Administrator, and emcee Rachel Tilseth.
Tickets: $10.00 Advance/$12.00 Day Of Show. Advance tickets only available on-line at and by phone at (608) 241-8633, with $1.00 convenience charge

For more details click HERE
Then, head north to Ashland Wisconsin for more Wolf Week events –
Carter NiemeyerWolf Awareness Week Featured Speaker Carter Niemeyer
In the context of wolves becoming well-established nationwide and worldwide, Carter Niemeyer will offer thoughts about the future of wolf management initiatives and the roles that people might play in these initiatives.

Niemeyer was a state trapper and wolf management specialist for most of his career. He contributed to wolf reintroduction initiatives in Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho and has consulted internationally on wolf issues. Since his retirement in 2006, he has published two memoirs titled Wolfer and Wolf Land.

Sponsored by the Northland College Timber Wolf Alliance, this event is free and open to the public. For more details click HERE
Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute
1411 Ellis Ave. 
Ashland, WI

Sneak Peek: “American Wolf” A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West by Nate Blakeslee

“American Wolf” takes you into the lives of Yellowstone’s wolves from the view point of one of the most “tenacious” wolf watchers, Rick McIntyre. McIntyre learns through observing O-Six and her family just how similar these iconic predators are to our domesticated dogs. Blakeslee introduces the reader to the conflicts between ranchers, trophy hunters and conservationists presenting the history of Yellowstone National Park’s wolves. “A never-ending battle between man and wolf.” ~Rachel Tilseth, founder of Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin.  Crown Publishing sent Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin an advance copy to read and review. For a sneak peek, go to Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin’s blog

Days after Crown acquired the book, Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way Productions picked up the rights, with Scott Cooper (Black Mass) set to direct.

WDR Presents 10/10/2017 at 9:00 PM EST: Alan Lacy, Producer of “Gray Area – Wolves of the Southwest.”


Official Trailer for Gray Area:  Wolves of the Southwest

Producer: Alan Lacy

Host Rachel  Tilseth will take you on a journey with Alan Lacy and the Mexican Gray Wolf through his stunning documentary “Gray Area: Wolves of the Southwest” Tuesday October, 10, 2017 at 9:00 PM (EST).

Alan Lacy brings his passion for all things wild to his new film, “Gray Area: Wolves of the Southwest”. His fascination with the critically endangered Mexican gray wolf, and his desire to do something to help, spurred him on the journey of producing this (his first) film. Since those beginnings in 2011, Alan has tracked the Mexican gray wolf from a captive breeding program through release into the wild, and brought his love of photography and storytelling to document the efforts of men and women dedicated to restoring these magnificent apex predators to their natural habitat. He has furthered the cause with a website devoted to raising awareness of the Mexican gray wolf’s natural history and its endangered status, as well as gathering support for this film and wolf recovery. Alan has a background in aviation, and recently relocated with his wife to Portland, Oregon. They spend their free time exploring the Cascades of Washington and Oregon.

Host: Rachel Tilseth

“I have learned a lot over the course of producing this film, about wolves, about filmmaking, and about people. I believe we all can make a difference, we just have to start doing.”  ~ courtesy


The Film is finished! Keep an eye out here for upcoming screenings of the multi-award winning film Gray Area: Wolves of the Southwest! Our documentary is currently entered into several film festivals, and awaiting decisions from many more!  Stay tuned for future dates to come! 

  • October 18, 2017 – 7:00 pm – Madison, Wisconsin – Wisconsin Wolf Awareness Week
    • Tickets: $10.00 Advance/$12.00 Day Of Show. Advance tickets only available on-line at
      and by phone at (608) 241-8633, with $1.00 convenience charge
  • October 22, 2017 – 8:00 pm – New York, New York – Wildlife Conservation Film Festival. Tickets:
    • Cinema Village Theater
      22 East 12th Street & University Place
      New York, NY 10003
  • October 28, 2017 – 6:15 pm – Rotterdam, Netherlands – Wildlife Film Festival Rotterdam
  • October 29, 2017 – 12:45 pm – Rotterdam, Netherlands – Wildlife Film Festival Rotterdam
  • November 9, 2017 – Time TBD – Saint Louis, Missouri – Saint Louis International Film Festival
  • More Dates Coming Soon!…

What People Are Saying…

Gray Area: Wolves of the Southwest is a timely and thought provoking film that effectively conveys the critically imperiled status of the Mexican gray wolf and ongoing controversies that continue to impede recovery of Mexican gray wolves to the American Southwest. The film exposes a cultural conflict of human attitudes, values and beliefs regarding management of multi-use public lands and the legally required restoration of an endangered top predator. the science in support of the ecological importance of restoring Mexican wolves and the critical genetic issues that need to be effectively addressed are well presented. Balanced and fairly portrayed, Gray Area raises key questions that must be addressed head-on if long-term recovery of the highly endangered Mexican gray wolf is to succeed.

– Camilla Fox – Project Coyote  courtesy