Visual display of the Aldo Leopold papers : 9/25/10-4 : Species and Subjects

				
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that I can find is that it gives only a few skimpy 
biographies of the notorious individual wolves 
of the western ranges, of which we have a dra- 
matic sample in Seton's Lobo, the King of the 
Currumpaw. I suspect that the publisher, rather 
than the authors, may be responsible for this, for 
no living man knows more about the famous kill- 
ers than Stanley P. Young. It is a pity that these 
biographies should be lost to history. They will 
be when the present generation of range-raised 
biologists discards its ropes and saddles. 
Viewed as conservation, The Wolves of North 
America is, to me, intensely disappointing. The 
next to the last sentence in the book asserts: 
"There still remain, even in the United States, 
some areas of considerabte size in which we feel 
that both the red and gray [wolves] may be al- 
lowed to continue their existence with little mo- 
lestation." Yes, so also thinks every right-minded 
ecologist, but has the United States Fish and 
Wildlife Service no responsibility for implement- 
ing this thought before it completes its job of 
extirpation? Where are these areas? Probably 
every reasonable ecologist will agree that some 
of them should lie in the larger national parks 
and wilderness areas; for instance, the Yellow- 
stone and its adjacent national forests. The Yel- 
lowstone wolves were extirpated in 1916, and 
the area has been wolfless ever since. Why, in the 
necessary process of extirpating wolves from the 
livestock ranges of Wyoming and Montana, were 
not some of the uninjured animals used to re- 
stock the Yellowstone? How can it be done now, 
when the only available stocks are the desert wolf 
 
of Arizona, and the subarctic form of the Canad- 
ian Rockies? 
Entirely unmentioned in this book is the mod- 
em curse of excess deer and elk, which certainly 
stems, at least in part, from the excessive decima- 
tion of wolves and cougars under the aegis of 
the present authors and of the Fish and Wildlife 
Service. None of us foresaw this penalty. I per- 
sonally believed, at least in 1914 when predator 
control began, that there could not be too much 
horned game, and that the extirpation of preda- 
tors was a reasonable price to pay for better big 
game hunting. Some of us have learned since 
the tragic error of such a view, and acknowl- 
edged our mistake. One must judge from the 
present volume that the Fish and Wildlife Serv- 
ice does not see any mistake. Its philosophy 
seems to be that the rifles can do the necessary 
trimming of the big-game herds. Yes-so they 
can-but they seldom do, at least not until the 
range is ruined and the herds are pauperized. 
The publisher of this book is the American 
Wildlife Institute, a conservation organization 
which has done invaluable pioneer work in fos- 
tering wildlife research. It is disappointing that 
thp Institute should not have encouraged, in 
this volume, some implementation of the idea 
that "the wolf may be allowed to continue his 
existence." 
The wolf will certainly disappear from the 
United States unless the official wildlife agencies 
exempt certain definite areas of wolf range from 
official extirpation. 
ALDO LEOPOLD, 
University of Wisconsin.