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

policy to favor deer over elk whet damage to edjacent property is of 
material importance and where the hunter demand is great. Elk should be 
favored on large areas of back country where the hunting effort is not 
heavy. Dear are gradually acquiring a status as a gcmie animal. 
Small game is alv'ays in demand and management in cooperation with 
state agencies dictates a flexible progrm and cannot be adequately handled

by statc-wide bag limits on open and closed seasons. Fur-bearers are 
importmt but have not reached the point in numbers justified by the 
habitat. There is needed better law enforcement, better regulation of 
trappers, closing depleted areas, harvest of surplus on a sustained yield

basis by the establishment of management units, exclusive trapping privi-

leges for a number of years, limited take and a better control of marketing.

Rodents and predators should be managed as part of nature's plan and-control

undertaken only jointly with interested agencies. 
On the majority of the National Forests public demand for fishing 
will exceed the sug ply of fish and the continuous production of good fish-

ing is of high priority. The maintenance of adequate sustained flow of 
water, reduction of pollution, and the damaging effects of erosion, re- 
habilitation and maintenance of suitable conditions for the production 
of natur7al food a-d shelter will be undertaken by tie Forest Service for

National Forest lakes and streams to the exient al!lowablc under existing

State and Federal laws. 
The lakes and streams when sufficiertly surveyed will be developed 
by plans for the im1provement of environment, of stock and of distribution

=nd control of take. In coopration with States and other interested 
agencies, ef'forts ill be made to bring production -ad harvest into accord.

This ill involve improvement of enviroiment, stocldn-, wider distrIbution

of fishing, reduction of drain through control of se'asons, creel lits, 
types of lurc, or number of fishermen -ad closing waters to -_id natural
Gare refuges are sometLes desirable but manacement areas will usually 
better serve the purpose. Areas for vanishirkc' species of nirals or plants

may be closed to trespass where such action is d-.emed necessary. 
Big game ad livestock can only occupy the suric area successfully if 
both are carefully controlled or managed as to numbers end distribution.

The effects of curtailed pooultion of domestic livestock on big game 
ranges should be given careful consideration and especially the effect on

local dependent comunities and populations. 
The Forest Service considers gare ancd fish and fur-bearers on the 
lands which it adnisters as legitimate crops to be grovn and harvested 
very much as arc other crops in cooperation with the States and other agencies

concerned. The care of the land, waters and vegetation requires likewise

the proper harvesting of the wildlife crop. The Uational Forests have always

and will be probably recognized as large public hunting, fishing and trapping

areas. Gatm, fish, ?rd fur are recognized as renewable resources and the

objective of -mnagement is to provide an annual sustained yield to be utilized

by the public. Yuch of the forest lands in the United States will remain

in private ovmnership. These lands likewise will contribute economic and

social wildlife values Mhen properly mauaged, and their various uses coordi-


A I,~y 
Vol. 43, No. 1, January, 1945 
ilorarv ot 
,  lbo leopQI; 
The Wolves of North America. By Stanley 
P. Young and Edward H. Goldman. 660 pp. 
Illus. American Wildlife Institute. Wash- 
ington, D. C. 1944. $6. 
This book is notable, not only as the outstand- 
ing contemporary treatise on an outstanding 
animal, but as a mirror which reflects the 
thought of our generation on a wide gamut of 
conservation problems. 
The book consists of two parts, treating suc- 
cessively of the ecology of the wolf, and his 
taxonomy. This review does not purport to cov- 
er the taxonomic field, and most lay readers will 
in any event focus their attention on the wolf's 
behavior, rather than on his bones. 
Viewed as history, the work is a masterly job. 
It assembles an exhaustive array of interesting 
quotations on the age-old rivalry between men 
and wolves as predators on the world's livestock 
and big-game herds. Some of these historical 
excerpts go back to the ancients; most of them 
deal with the American scene. They convey to 
the reader a vivid picture of wolf troubles and 
wolf-control strategems, beginning with the earli- 
est settlers on the Atlantic seaboard, and ending 
with the motorized cowboy of the modern West. 
While populations are especially hard to esti- 
mate in so mobile a mammal as the wolf, one 
gets the impression that wolves were incredibly 
abundant in the buffalo days, were severely deci- 
mated by commercialized poisoning for their fur 
in the 1870's, regained abundance in the 1880's 
when cattle and sheep replaced the buffalo as a 
dependable food supply, held their own for two 
more decades during a regime of graft-riddled 
bounty systems, and were finally wiped off the 
map when the U. S. Biological Survey, in 1914, 
began its federally supported predator-control 
campaign, during which bounties were discarded 
in favor of salaried trappers. The senior author 
had a large share in organizing this campaign, 
and has directed it since 1928. 
One of the most interesting points in this long 
and dramatic history is the heavy demand for 
wolf furs during the commercial poisoning peri- 
od. It appears that the Russian army at that time 
used wolfskins for part of its winter uniform, 
and thus levied tribute on all the world's wolf- 
The only fault I can find with Mr. Young's 
history of the wolf is that his materials are so 
abundant that he lacks space to evaluate them 
critically. Some questionable assertions are quot- 
ed with the implication that the author accepts 
them as facts, whereas in some other chapter he 
implies the contrary. Thus Catesby (p. 175) is 
allowed to assert, without challenge by the au- 
thor, that the "Indians . . . had no other dogs" 
than domesticated wolves prior to the introduc- 
tion of European dogs. Certainly Lewis and 
Clarke found dogs which were far from wolf- 
like among all the western Indians. 
Viewed as science, The Wolves of North Am- 
erica reflects the naturalist of the past, rather 
than the wildlife ecologist of today. This is dem- 
onstrated not in what the authors say, but in 
what they omit. At no point in the book do they 
evince any consciousness of the primary ecologi- 
cal enigmas posed by their own work. For ex- 
ample: Why did the heavy wolf population of 
presettlement days fail to wipe out its own mam- 
malian food supply? 
The existence of some compensatory mechan- 
ism, whereby the wolf controlled its own num- 
bers, is an almost inevitable deduction from the 
known facts. The wolf stood at the apex of the 
animal pyramid; he had no predatory enemies; 
his efficiency as a killer was dramatically high. 
What held him down? Diseases or parasites car- 
ried from one wolf to another, directly or in- 
directly? Fighting within his own ranks? Some 
kind of intraspecific "birth-control"? Or did he 
indeed wipe out his food supply in long alter- 
nating cycles? Such questions are not discussed 
in this volume. They are extremely pertinent to 
the modern question: Are we really better off 
without wolves in the wilder parts of our forests 
and ranges? 
Viewed as literature, this book has much to 
commend it. Its stile is simple, direct, sometimes 
fluent, never burdened with that curse of mod- 
ern biology: "scientific" English. The only fault