Citation
Wolves at the door

Material Information

Title:
Wolves at the door contested space in the American west
Creator:
Zackary, Burditt A. ( author )
Place of Publication:
Denver, Colo.
Publisher:
University of Colorado Denver
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
1 electronic file : ;

Thesis/Dissertation Information

Degree:
Master's ( Master of Arts)
Degree Grantor:
University of Colorado Denver
Degree Divisions:
Department of Anthropology, CU Denver
Degree Disciplines:
Anthropology
Committee Chair:
Brett, John
Committee Members:
Koester, Steve
Otanez, Marty

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Wolves -- Control -- West (U.S.) ( lcsh )
Wolves -- Folklore ( lcsh )
Collective memory ( lcsh )
Collective memory ( fast )
Wolves ( fast )
Wolves -- Control ( fast )
United States, West ( fast )
Genre:
Folklore. ( fast )
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )
Folklore ( fast )

Notes

Review:
This project utilizes a multi-sited approach to explore the specifics of anti-wolf sentiment and policy among rural residents in Idaho and Wyoming. To fully explore current anti-wolf attitudes, interviews, participant observation, and archival research were conducted in the summer of 2012. Wolf populations have declined outside of Yellowstone National Park since their removal from protection under the Endangered Species Act in Idaho and Wyoming in 2011 and 2012 respectively. This project explores wolf policy within the context of local rural history, cultural performance, and the specifics of social memory. Using the concepts of embodied history and social memory, this research explores how rumor, myth, and human-animal bordering are related to anti-wolf sentiment in the American West.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references.
System Details:
System requirements: Adobe Reader.
Thesis:
Anthropology
General Note:
Department of Anthropology
Statement of Responsibility:
by Burditt A. Zackary.

Record Information

Source Institution:
|University of Colorado Denver
Holding Location:
|Auraria Library
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
880351526 ( OCLC )
ocn880351526

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Full Text
WOLVES AT THE DOOR
CONTESTED SPACE IN THE AMERICAN WEST
by
BURDITT A ZACKARY
B.S, Colorado State University, 2000
A thesis submitted to the
Faculty of the Graduate School of the
University of Colorado in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Masters of the Arts
Anthropology
2013


This thesis for the Master of the Arts degree by
Burditt A. Zackary
has been approved for the
Anthropology Department
by
John Brett, Chair
Steve Koester
Marty Otanez


Zackary, Burditt A (M. A., Anthropology)
Wolves at the Door: Contested Space in the American West
Thesis directed by Associate Professor John Brett
ABSTRACT
This project utilizes a multi-sited approach to explore the specifics of anti-wolf
sentiment and policy among rural residents in Idaho and Wyoming. To fully explore
current anti-wolf attitudes, interviews, participant observation, and archival research were
conducted in the summer of 2012. Wolf populations have declined outside of
Yellowstone National Park since their removal from protection under the Endangered
Species Act in Idaho and Wyoming in 2011 and 2012 respectively. This project explores
wolf policy within the context of local rural history, cultural performance, and the
specifics of social memory. Using the concepts of embodied history and social memory,
this research explores how rumor, myth, and human-animal bordering are related to anti-
wolf sentiment in the American West.
The form and content of this abstract are approved. I recommend its publication.
Approved: John Brett
ill


TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER
I. INTRODUCTION.......................................................1
II. RESEARCH DESIGN AM) SCOPE..........................................4
Data Collection..................................................6
Data Analysis ...................................................8
Research Sites and Demographic Context...........................9
III. LUPOCIDE: WOLF HATRED ON THE PERSISTANT FRONTIER.................12
Background......................................................12
The Wolf in Social Theory...................................... 13
A Brief History of Anglo-European Wolf Conflict.................15
Post-reintroduction Conflict in the American West...............17
Embodied History................................................20
Boundary Making.................................................27
Wolf-animal borders......................................28
Wolf-human borders.......................................30
IV. GHOST WOLVES: RUMOR, GHOSTS AND MYTHISTORY........................34
Rumor...........................................................35
Ghosts..........................................................37
Canis-impossiblus........................................38
The ghost wolves.........................................39
Resistance...............................................43
IV


Social Memory and Mythistory
45
V. CONCLUSION..........................................47
BIBLIOGRAPHY...........................................50
v


CHAPTER I
INTRODUCTION
Cori Hayden has called for ethnographies that trace outwards the webs of
relationships and objects through which knowledge about nature is granted the status of
fact (2003). The research explored here examines how contemporary rural residents
frame, contextualize and narrate wolves in their communities. How people collectively
narrate animal meaning has direct bearing on what is accepted as the normal practices of
human-animal encounters (Rappaport, 1968). This social treatment of animals is not
only one of structural policy design and institutional arrangements made by elite
disciplines (Latour, 2004); but for large megafauna such as wolves, it is a visceral
landscape encounter that is culturally specific and historically bound in the American
West.
In this thesis, I argue that the constantly changing and reshaped borders between
humans and wolves are both culturally specific and historically contingent. This research
explores how conceptions of heritage aggregate into community memory that informs
anti-wolf policy, wolf rumor, and wolf killing. While Nibert (2002) convincingly argues
that violence against animals in contemporary western civilization has much to do with
the logics of class based livelihood structures and global capitalism, my interest here is in
exploring how local communities of rural people contextualize a particular animal
through narratives of history and social memory. Wolf hatred and state-level wolf
conservation policy are directly linked to rural citizens perceptions of heritage, history,
and the mythologies of the frontier. It is the embodiment of heritage, examined in light of
Eric Wolfs (1982) argument that what attention to history allows you to do is look at
1


processes unfolding, intertwining, spreading out, that gives insight into why wolves
outside of Yellowstone National Park have been increasingly hunted and persistently
vilified in many rural communities. Examination of wolf perceptions among rural
residents in wolf-inhabited areas highlights the broader issue of human/animal conflict
and its link to community heritage and socially constructed animal meaning.
In this thesis, I examine two phenomena that emerged from my data;
contemporary wolf hatred and wolf sightings prior to their reintroduction. During my
fieldwork, I found salient and consistent narratives and symbols of frontier heritage. This
led me to conceptualize embodied history as a theoretical framework that can explain
both wolf hatred as well as ontological issues of wolf meaning and wolf rumor.
In the first chapter, I briefly cover the history of wolf attitudes in the Anglo-
European past and using ethnographic data further explore embodied history as a
framework to explain wolf hatred, landscape border design, and wolf killing. In the
second chapter, I turn to the narratives of recovery, conspiracy and resistance by rural
citizens. The broad consensus among ranchers and many full-time residents was that
there were various machinations of federal conspiracy and outright ignorance of wildlife
experts leading up to the 1995 reintroduction. The phenomenon of reported wolf
sightings prior to the 1995 reintroduction of wolves in the West is examined in light of
recent arguments regarding ontology and its role in ethnographic inquiry (Carrithers et al,
2010). I use Joseph Malis (1991, 2003) concept of mythistory within embodied
history in an attempt to explain how rumor and myth work in conjunction with anti-wolf
policy and action.
2


The theoretical specifics of how heritage and community values inform wildlife
policy and conservation efforts are as important as ever. With the current move across
the world for increasing decentralization of wildlife management policy, it is important to
understand the particularisms of local belief systems that produce local managers and the
acting bodies of community. The animal right to exist wild across human-dominated
landscapes is determined by facets of social life beyond livelihood and economic
considerations. Cristancho and Vining (2004) use the phrase culturally keystone
species to highlight the function of group belief in determining what animals are
allowed in what facet within communities.
Already there have been over one thousand wolves hunted, trapped and shot
since the Endangered Species Act was removed as a protective legal measure for the
wolves in the Western states (Idaho, Wyoming, Montana). In light of single-digit losses
of livestock in Wyoming each month for nearly half a year and less than 1% of the entire
livestock in Wyoming, Montana and Idaho ever being preyed upon by wolves, the
question emerges as to why wolves are vilified more than other predators. This research
does not look into questions regarding animal reintroduction failure, but the facts speak to
this occurring currently in both Wyoming and Idaho. Attempts at invigorating
ethnographic inquiry to include a new form of historiography and attention to social
memory provide some insight into why re-wilding landscapes with wolves has failed
beyond the gates of Yellowstone. Just as Walker (2005) argues that wolf
extinction/extirpation cannot be explained through ahistorical ecological science, I argue
that rural peoples actions regarding predators cannot be understood without insight into
how animals are socially constructed.
3


CHAPTER II
RESEARCH DESIGN AND SCOPE
To make the connections to both the beliefs and actions of rural citizens regarding
wolves in the West as well as the larger structures of wildlife policy and politics, a
multi-sited approach was used (Marcus, 1995). This is due in part to the large
geographic area that post-reintroduction wolf populations inhabit. In addition, the centers
of power of wolf policy, from a decision-making standpoint, are often far removed from
the local ranchers who have predation issues, as well as wolf packs themselves. For
example, the state legislature of Wyoming in Cheyenne is over 350 miles from ranchers
who graze in Sublette County, Wyoming. In order to attend community, governmental,
and non-profit public and private organized meetings about wolf policy, it was necessary
to spend less time in more places.
To explore the experiences and narratives of people living with and making
decisions regarding wolves in the American West, I used a two-fold methodology. First,
open-ended interviews were conducted with people who had specific proximal relations
to wolves, such as ranchers, hunting outfitters and small-town citizens. The goal was to
build the context from rural ranchers who had predations on their livestock outward into a
broader community. People who had expertise or were advocates in one form or another
regarding wolf policy and conflicts in the Rocky Mountains were also interviewed.
Second, archival research exploring contemporary policy papers from both governmental
and non-profit organizations, online documents and policy papers was used to
contextualize interview data. Within this portion of data collection, western museums in
4


Idaho, Colorado and Wyoming, and historical archives, both online and physical, from
the 19th and 20th centuries were all utilized to examine wolf attitudes and policy through
time. Open-ended interviews of rural residents in their own communities as well as
museums and archival research of their local historical documents are attempts to
acknowledge that political ecology must be anchored in empirical ethnography and
historical research, not 'a priori' assumptions (Sheridan, 1995).
As of 2012, the majority of wolves that live in the Rocky Mountain West are in
close proximity to rural communities. Currently, wolves move and cross between
national parks, grazing allotments, large wilderness areas and federal lands in northern
Wyoming, Montana, Oregon and Idaho. This area is a patchwork of federal, state, private
lands undergoing dynamic shifts in demography and subsequent livelihood restructuring,
creating landscapes of industrialization and post-industrialization called the New West
(Hines, 2010).
This study has as a unit of analysis landowners and residents that live and work
within wolf inhabited areas or who work on wildlife management issues. Following the
concept of bounding a population during interviews, participants self defined their
livelihood and group identity (LeCompte & Schensul, 1999). The focus on rural
residents in these areas has two main purposes. First, to get at the heart of human-wolf
conflict it is essential to speak with people in their local context. Second, since the
delisting of the wolf from the Endangered Species Act in Wyoming and Idaho, many of
the policies and management regimes are implemented and designed by these same rural
residents who advocate decentralized wolf policy. Through the observations and open-
ended interviews with people in direct contact with landscapes that are wolf inhabited,
5


wolf narratives and policy can be theorized with attention to the realities of bodies in
discursively constituted settings (O'Loughlin, 1995).
The addition of specific archival material, such as legislative documentation,
gives attention to how wildlife and wilderness concepts are narrated in historical text.
This allows for analysis across time regarding iterations of wildlife policy. These data
can shed light upon narratives surrounding regimes of power as well as allow for
rearrangements highlighting the articulations between historical and contemporary policy
(Zeitlyn, 2012).
Data Collection
In order to gain access to rural citizens and organizational specialists in wildlife
policy, I used a focused a priori approach with subsequent snowball sampling methods
(Bernard, 2006). Members of livestock associations, non-profit advocacy groups, and
governmental agencies were contacted by both email and phone. The majority of formal
interviews were done at the participants home or place of business. In initial contacts, I
explained that the research was based on policy and perceptions regarding wolves in the
Western US. All recorded interviews had written consent forms signed, and in the
instance of the three phone interviews, verbal consent was granted per my Institutional
Review Board.
In addition to situating myself in wolf conflict areas, I was able to contact two
organizations and attend two formal full-day events. These events were immensely
helpful in getting contacts and scheduling initial interviews in each community. I was
invited to an all-day seminar in Ketchum, Idaho, at the behest of the non-profit Defenders
of Wildlife. This event focused on the use of non-lethal methods on predator control in
6


the Sun Valley and Salmon River sheep and cattle ranching communities. In addition to
that event, I was invited by the Wyoming Livestock Association to an all-day ranch tour
and conservation awards seminar in Sublette County, Wyoming. Both of these events
occurred during the summer of 2012. These public and private events are essential to my
research design due to their importance in the snowball sampling methods I employed
(LeCompte & Schensul, 1999). As I made myself familiar to various people at the events,
I inquired about where predations were occurring and who would be willing to be
interviewed. I made subsequent phone calls to each of them before vising their land to set
up face-to-face interviews and explained by phone the nature of my research. Within the
small towns near predation areas, I frequented restaurants, bars, rodeos and small
businesses. Through these informal conversations, I was also able to branch out my
sample into the self-reported networks of community members.
Interviews with ranchers and other rural residents were mainly done at their
homes or walking around the land with them. Many ranchers and other participants had
large amounts of daily work and invited me to walk along with them while we talked
and I took notes. Recorded interviews ranged from 30 minutes in one instance to over
two hours for another; the average was approximately one hour. Additionally, dozens of
informal discussions and observations in multiple settings in both states were used as
contextual data.
Total on-site fieldwork in both states consisted of three weeks in Idaho and two
weeks in Wyoming. A total of 24 formal interviews were obtained. A selection of ten
ranchers, four hunters/business owners and ten other participants ranging from business
owners to schoolteachers were interviewed in depth. Every single participant was a
7


resident of a county that had former or current wolf populations. I was able to set up
interviews at both field sites with people working for the Bureau of Land Management
(BLM), US Department of Agriculture (USDA), US Forest Service (USFS), livestock
associations, fish and game board, two members of the Shoshone tribe on the Wind River
Reservation and one legislator from a district in northern Wyoming. Over twelve hours
of recorded interview data was transcribed focusing on the emergent themes. Participants
were interviewed in a semi-structured format, with questions focusing on wolf policy and
wildlife/wilderness perceptions.
Data Analysis
Discourse analysis regarding historical antecedents to contemporary wolf
populations and personal narratives allows for an explanation for specific policy positions
as well as aesthetic/ethical positions taken by participants (Bernard, 2006; LeCompte &
Schensul, 1999). Wolves in specific contexts can be investigated using hermeneutic
methods of discourse analysis, which calls for attention to ideas, actions and institutional
narratives (Lynn, 2010). In order to organize both some of the narrative and archival data,
I used the online qualitative analysis program DEDOOSE. Twelve interview transcripts
were analyzed using DEDOOSEs user defined text coding software, all other interview
coding was done using pen and paper.
I utilized LeCompte and Schensuls timeline of data analysis that recommends
data analysis in a specific order; first, open-ended analysis of emerging themes based on
observations and field notes; second, pattern recognition; third, constitutive analysis; and
finally, full triangulation leading to theoretical modeling (1999, pp. 153-159). I
8


employed an approximation of constructivist grounded theory by coding field data
emergently and sorting thematic elements in groups (Charmaz, 2006).
Research Sites and Demographic Context
The current debate regarding wildlife policy within rural communities that border
Yellowstone is highly politicized and emotionally charged. While most people who were
interviewed were outspoken and publically open about their opinions and experiences, a
few were hesitant to reveal personal identities due to the hotly contested nature of the
wolf issue. A few government and non-profit employees were considerate in their
willingness to be interviewed for this research but requested anonymity. In an effort to
protect individuals as well as specific towns and counties, I refer only to the self-defined
livelihood and state of residence. Observational data will only be referenced in regard to
state location. In many instances, whether data was collected in Idaho or Wyoming had
little bearing on the analysis of interview data. One exception to this is the unique insight
given into the design and implementation of Wyomings wolf hunting and predator zone.
Interviewees who discussed issues of policy design were asked permission to use more
specific identifiers in this analysis. Data that deals with specific wolf experiences and
sightings include place identification for clarification. Job titles for governmental
employees are withheld due to the small number of individuals in each government
agency in the research areas.
While the majority of interviewees were lifetime residents of rural counties that
had current wolf populations, there remain a few demographic and ecological differences
in the two field sites. Ketchum County and the Sawtooth/Salmon River areas of Idaho are
demographically oriented toward older residents and part-time residents. The Thompson
9


Creek molybdenum mine near Challis, Idaho, brings in large numbers of migrant workers
from surrounding states and communities. Many ranchers in these areas said that without
the mine, the surrounding counties would be worse off. Along the Salmon River there
were a few small man camps made up of temporary housing for the migrant workers.
World-class skiing, micro-breweries, and sushi restaurants were within driving distance
from the majority of Salmon River and Ketchum County interviewees. There were many
so-called hobby-ranches, ranches that produced little or no livestock, in the Salmon
River, Sawtooth, and Sun Valley areas of Idaho. These landowners were not interviewed
for this study. Rancher interviewees in Idaho were more likely to deal with the US Forest
Service for grazing allotment permits. Idaho ranchers also had a longer history of sheep
operations in the areas where interviewees lived. Cattle production was still prominent,
however, despite a historical preference for sheep in those areas.
Wyoming ranchers interviewed were exclusively cattle producers. These ranchers
deal with the Bureau of Land Management more often than the US Forest Service. Oil
and gas production are the main drivers of the economy in the areas of Wyoming where
this research was conducted. In west-central Wyoming, an increase in oil and gas
production has brought in higher numbers of young migrant workers from surrounding
communities and states. The Anticline oil/gas field near Pinedale, Wyoming, is the
third-largest oil/gas extraction operation in the United States and one of the areas largest
employers. The oil/gas Anticline operations lay 80% on publicly managed land.
Ranching outfits that utilize grazing allotments from the BLM for their operations
surround the Anticline gas/oil fields. Many of the interviewees in Wyoming mentioned
the income from the Anticline operations as a benefit to the community.
10


Ecologically speaking, on average, interviewees in Idaho raised livestock at a
higher altitude in a comparatively wet, forested landscape. Compared to the Wyoming
ranchers interviewed, Idaho ranchers had a much shorter season and utilized trucking
livestock in the winter months more often. Wyoming ranchers interviewed utilized a mix
of dry sagebrush river bottoms and forested watershed basins for grazing. Ranchers in
both Idaho and Wyoming utilized some combination of trucking and feedlot operations in
addition to public lands grazing.
While there are important and multi-faceted differences between land management
departments, demographics, ecotypes, and tax base income across the field sites, the
following analysis focuses on broader commonalities of perception and opinion regarding
wolves. All data were gathered within the communities surrounding the re-introductions
of 1995.
11


CHAPTER III
LUPOCIDE: WOLF HATRED ON THE PERSISTANT FRONTIER
77ie wolf is the arch type of ravin, the beast of waste and desolationTheodore
Roosevelt
Background
Anthropology has a rich history of animal/human ethnography (Mullin, 1999).
Recently, anthropology has been following the animal turn in critical studies with a call
for research into the multispecies systems humans inhabit (Kirksey & Helmreich,
2010). The relationship between animals and humans throughout history is of primary
importance when viewing contemporary conservation conflicts (Brantz, 2010). Wildlife
biology and human geography studies have focused on contemporary rural attitudes
regarding predators and public lands in the West (Boitani, 1995; Manfredo & Zinn, 1996;
Nie, 2008). The conflict between wolves and rural Western America has been framed as a
contest of social values between traditional nature/human divides as well as conflict
between groups of people over what nature means (Marvin, 2012; Coleman, 2004)
(Boitani, 1995). The majority of studies regarding human/wolf conflict performed by
non-anthropologists such as ecologists, wildlife biologists and natural resource academics
have focused on aggregate community opinion based on surveys and other quantifiable
methodologies (Browne-Nunez & Taylor, 2002).
Wolves exist primarily in rural areas the world over. Therefore, an obvious
commonality between both European and American studies of human/wolf conflict is
that the focus is on rural culture in order to explain both lupocide (wolf killing) and
lupophobia (fear of wolves). Anthropologists have investigated rural ranching culture and
its Anglo-European connections across the contemporary world (Ingold, 1980; Bennett,
12


1969; Hoelle, 2012). Contemporary anthropologists working in the rural ranching
communities of North America have begun to see the Western rural citizen class as an
important area of inquiry into landscape use and animal relations (Hines, 2010a; Hines,
2010b; Sheridan, 1995)
The Wolf in Social Theory
In order to ethnographically locate what Kirksey and Helmrich (2010) call the
material entanglements of animals and people, it is important to review the concept of
the wolf within contemporary social theory. As Robbins (2010) states, wolves are, to be
sure, one of the more difficult, persistent, and intriguing puzzles of nature and society.
Marvin (2010) argues, the real animal is the cultural animal. Recent attempts by social
scientists to theoretically ground wolves within western rural culture have led to varied
conclusions.
Buller (2008) contends that reintroduced wolf populations highlight cultural
systems of biosecurity found in the older land use regimes that favored agricultural
development on rural frontiers. These systems of predator control are in direct relation to
competing philosophies of nature that place the wolf within a category of undesirable
pest (Buller, 2008). Lynn (2010) takes a hermeneutic approach on wolf conflict. Wolves
can be seen as trapped symbols within various discourses, the most important of these
discourses being the conflicting ethical narratives embedded within wolf conservation
(Lynn, 2010). In these analyses, wolves are creatures that create philosophical and
ethical conflict, bringing to the fore human-animal contestations that have been under the
surface since the victories of conservation policy in the ending decades of the 20th
century. Kleese (2011) argues that this conflict is uniquely situated in late modernity
13


and places wolves as harbingers of unpleasant considerations about what is authentic in
the contemporary natural world.
The value of the wolf is socially constructed through anti-wolf sentiments that
reify historically specific western modes of production (Hines, 2012). This type of
discourse situates real wolves as a politically summoned symbolic pest: an unwanted
animal that disturbs the engines of western capitalism. The wolf then, while biologically
able to exist within ecosystems outside of Yellowstone, becomes tangled in a political
problem related to the larger economic-demographic war in the west (Brick & Cawley,
1996; Wilmot & Clark, 2005). Indeed, Buller (2008), in part sees anti-wolf sentiment as a
form of local resistance to non-local environmental groups who have broader agendas
regarding conservation. In this arena, suspicion and distrust of federally centralized
wildlife managerial authority is illuminated through the wolf as a "cipher" (Hines, 2012)
for understanding larger land use conflicts.
While the larger philosophical conflict between what Hines (2010a) (2010b) calls
the post-industrial middle-class and traditional ranching culture is a key component to
situating wolves within a larger social world (Scarce, 1998), wolves also have group
specific local histories that are integral to understanding conflict (Walker, 2005). The
most compelling theorization of American wolves comes from Robisch (2009). Robisch
places the American wolf on a historical spectrum with the poles between the demonizing
creature rooted in the beliefs of puritan colonists and the beloved totemic animal of
modernitys environmentalism. For Robisch, the American wolf is a creature that is
malleable through time by the metaphorical agency of humans. This is a definable point
of departure for theorizing wolves in America. The wolf out there on the western
14


landscape is a dialectic between the fleshy corporeal wolf of eco-science and the ghost
wolf of our fictive imaginations. In the narratives of rural citizens in this study, the
borders between real and metaphorical wolves were often articulated, blurred, and bound
together.
A Brief History of Anglo-European Wolf Conflict
Boitani argues that wolf extermination follows a pattern closely linked to
different early human ecology types and the interaction among cultures (1995, 3-8).
The landscape upon which most flesh and blood human-wolf conflict happens is
generally one inhabited by Anglo-American ranchers and their associated rural
communities. Ranching culture in the American West is directly derived from European
inherited cultural practices (Jordan, 1993).
Western traditions of wolf hatred did not start anew in colonial America. Wolf
demonization evidence is abundant in the tales and myths of medieval Europe
(Donaldson, 2006). In pre-Christian Europe, there is evidence of rich cultural symbolism
regarding wolves, from Roman cosmology to Germanic folklore (Marvin, Wolf, 2012;
Boitani, 1995; Donaldson, 2006). There is little evidence of intense wolf hatred and
organized large-scale wolf killing until the Middle Ages (Marvin, Wolf, 2012; Boitani,
1995; Donaldson, 2006). Scotland and England had exterminated their wolves by 1700,
and by the mid-1800s the wolves of central Europe were pushed to the hinterlands of the
Arctic Circle, the Russian steppe, the Pyrenees and rugged Italian Alps.
Certainly, the wolf was not an unfamiliar creature to the first waves of European
settlers and stockmen. The first wolf bounty in colonial America was recorded in
Jamestown in 1630. During the colonial era, wolf bounties in Pennsylvania were found
15


to account for up to 40% of local governmental budgets (Robbins, Hintz, & Moore,
2010). Land use conversion favoring livestock and agricultural practices followed the
increasing numbers of settlers moving west during the two centuries of intensified North
American settlement. Predators such as wolves, coyotes, mountain lions and bears were
increasingly hunted and vilified by rural communities whose dependence on livestock
animals for livelihood was a commonplace (Robinson, 2005). The removal of predators
had a material purpose allowing for increasing land expansion. Anderson (2004) argues
that domesticated species of European tradition, so called creatures of empire, were
integral actors in the construction of the geographies of land use and capitalism in early
America.
From the 1800s onward, the complex interplay between centralized federal
power, industrialization, and livestock-friendly public lands management policy, what
Robinson (2005) calls predatory bureaucracy, allowed for the complete extirpation of
wolves from the western United States. The last wolf in Yellowstone was shot in 1926
by a park ranger. Conclusive evidence shows that sometime in the 1930s, wolves were
extirpated from the northwestern United States (Coleman, 2004) (Robinson, 2005) (Fritts,
Bangs, & Gore, 1994). Yellowstone National Park was never intended to be a refuge for
wolves. Park rangers and local citizens actively practiced wolf hunting and trapping in
the early 20th century (Robinson, 2005). Wolves were not even a top zoological priority
in that era. Indeed the person credited with saving the American bison from extinction in
the 20th century, William Hornaday, called wolves despicable. Even as the leading
mammalian conservationist of his generation, Hornaday had little sympathy for wolves,
16


stating, There is no depth of meanness, treachery, or cruelty to which they do not
cheerfully descend (Barrow, 2009).
With such a sentiment defining the prevailing attitude of wolf policy during the
19th and 20th century, it is not surprising that wolves were extirpated from the Western
United States by the 1940s (Coleman, 2004) (Robinson, 2005). Over the next 60 years,
shifting attitudes regarding wildlife conservation led to wolf reintroduction into the
American West in 1995 (Fischer, 1995). Due to the efforts of the same centralized federal
authority that extirpated them in the previous decades, grey wolves were reintroduced to
Yellowstone National Park after nearly half a century of absence from the American
West (Robinson, 2005).
Post-Reintroduction Conflict in the American West
Over the past 18 years, wolves have migrated out of the national park and
wilderness boundaries into a socio-ecological patchwork of private and public lands
called the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (Keiter & Boyce, 1991). Conflict followed
very quickly. It took scarcely three months post-reintroduction for the first wolf to be
killed, at that time illegally, outside of Yellowstone. In that infamous incident, a Montana
man shot a male wolf, decapitated it, and hid the radio collar and the corpse (McNamee,
1997). Ongoing policy battles continued for over a decade. Livestock predations
fluctuated and were asymmetrically distributed, sometimes down to neighboring ranchers
reporting differing livestock losses.
Wolves in the Rocky Mountain West were removed from the protections of the
Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 2011. This was the first time a specific species was
removed from the ESA by a line item addition to the defense budget appropriations bill.
17


Idaho and Montana immediately designed their own hunting policies outside the borders
of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park. In October 2012, Wyoming followed,
designating a predator zone for 80% of the state allowing for the culling of wolves
back to 150 individuals. This should be seen within the context of confirmed livestock
kills before removal of ESA. In 2011, wolves in Wyoming killed 63 sheep and 60 cattle.
In that same period, 59 wolves were killed. As of January 2013, hundreds of wolves have
been hunted in Idaho and Wyoming. A grand total, according to Wyoming Fish and
Games own data, of eight cattle and one lamb have been lost from wolf predation since
October 2012. Since 1995, wolves have been documented to predate upon less than 1%
of cattle in the greater Yellowstone ecosystem. Even at the height of populations before
their removal from the protections of the ESA wolves never played a large role in the
morbidity and mortality of livestock herds overall.
Currently the push for de-regulated wolf management policy continues in
Wyoming, Idaho and Montana. Ongoing court battles and conservation NGO activism
continue in many states in many forms. Due to the removal from the ESA, wolf
management policy has become a balkanized political and ideological battle.
Economic concerns due to predation are insufficient to explain the contemporary
relationship between people and wolves in Idaho and Wyoming. Ranchers are
compensated for confirmed wolf kills. According to a member of the Wyoming state
legislature interviewed ranchers are compensated up to six times the market price for loss
to predation in some areas. Loss to respiratory illness, weather, and other predators such
as grizzly bears far outstrips any wolf predation. In Idaho and Wyoming wolf predation
kills less than 0.5%of the total number of cattle in each state.
18


Location and type of livestock was a reported predictor of how severe the
economic impact of wolf predation was on personal livelihood. Sheep herds are more
vulnerable to wolf predation. Two interviewed sheep ranchers expressed that losses of
sheep to wolves were significantly hurting their business. Cattle ranchers expressed that
a mixture of predators including bears as well as cyclical externalities such as labor cost
were significant contributors to livelihood hardship in the livestock business.
Indeed, the costs of wolf predation in monetary terms was not an oft-used
argument in explaining livelihood security issues. Many ranchers readily admitted that
the cyclical and stochastic valuation of livestock, fuel, labor, utilities, and specifically hay
were the primary stressors on their livelihood. A rancher in Idaho stated, Its a hard
business, the price of hay and labor are my biggest concerns most of the time lately.
The idea that ranchers hate wolves simply because the wolves eat their property did not
hold up to their own sophisticated elaborations of their economic reality.
Economic dynamics and populations of local predators near sheep livestock
operations have quantitatively been shown to be unrelated over time (Berger, 2006).
Livestock depredation by wolves has been shown to be a miniscule cost to ranching, with
costs at approximately .01% of ranchers gross income (Muhly & Musiani, 2009). In the
Northwestern states this small cost is outweighed by the increase in land values and
conversion of public and private rangelands for development (Muhly & Musiani, 2009).
This leaves the explanatory power of livelihood insecurity lacking when confronted with
contemporary data. There surely was a time when wolf predation cost livestock producers
immensely, but current wolf populations do not threaten western livestock producers
overall livelihoods.
19


Rancher position on wolf management policy in the rural West is much deeper
than input-output assessments of livestock production. Even when ranchers were given
persuasive arguments for wolf restoration by biological science, anti-wolf sentiments
became more concrete (Meadow et al., 2005). Wildlife experts working for the US
government admitted before reintroduction that the negative symbolic nature of wolves
has much to do with policy controversy in the rural West (Fritts et.al, 1994). In the
following sections, a historically focused cultural explanation for wolf hatred and anti-
wolf policy in the rural West is given.
Embodied History
What use is a wolf, I ask you? Have you seen one? Now, wolf people
come here and make money researching, but what does a wolf do for
anyone? The people that are interested in wolves could give a fuck about
our history. They have no interest whatsoever about what we feel and our
past is and what our future is. They could care less. -Rancher, Idaho
One of the most important themes to emerge from this research is the importance
of community heritage and history to rural residents. Many conversations that started
about wolves would end with detailed descriptions of their familys history with the land
and livestock. When interviewed, nearly every person made statements regarding the
importance of understanding the history of their community, their family and their
livelihood when discussing wolves. A long-time government agent who works in land
management stated, You have to see that the elimination of the wolf is something that
these communities see as a victory. Its something that their families did. One ranch
hand and laborer in Wyoming remarked, our grandparents had to deal with this
(wolves), and now we got to deal with it again. In nearly every ranch home, there were
family photos dating from the turn of the century. On one occasion, I was given a full
20


tour of a ranch house that included long explanations of who was in each photo on the
wall and how they fit into the familys livestock operation over the past century. It is
impossible to contextualize wolves within these communities without taking into account
the importance of frontier history within their social world. I argue that contemporary
narratives about previous generations way of life on the frontier is an important
component of human-animal relations. When asked directly about the constant use of the
word heritage and settle during previous interviews about wolves, a local
governmental employee stated:
You were here this weekend... went on the (local ranch) tour right?
Well, we have been here since the 1800s, and we celebrate that. A week
before that we had chuckwagon days. Wyoming is not an old state. 1890,1
think. So we are still close to those roots, so the communities that are here.
There may not be 200 -year-old places here like Virginia, the most may be
over 100. And so you are not far removed from those pioneers who
struggled to create what there is here.
The wolves in Idaho and Wyoming are best understood as situated on a
persistent frontier (Hines, 2007). Indeed, Hines argues that modernity itself, as a
utopian ideal, relies on the cultural myth of a pure frontier. This persistent frontier is a
landscape of embodied ideology with its roots in historical practice. Limerick (1987)
states that the history of the West is a study of a place undergoing conquest and never
fully escaping its consequences (p.26). In his seminal work Wilderness and the
American Mind, Nash argued that Anglo-Americans have a unique way of shaping
frontiers, inherited from puritanical roots that defined the new world as a wildness to
be labored into a new garden of Eden, a place of providence (Nash, 2001). The so-called
Turner thesis was well known and argued over at the turn of the 19th century and beyond.
Fredrick Turner contended that the American frontier created a uniquely pragmatic
21


American character (Limerick, 1987). Turner argued that it was the contact between
savagery and civilization that made the democratic citizen (Slotkin, 1992). Slotkin
(1992) calls the 19th century frontier a myth-ideological system that motivated the
early American colonizers. The following section highlights how persistent narratives of
history in rural communities have links to how nature and place are socially constructed
and embodied.
In explaining why wolves were seen as bad or unwanted, ranchers and
hunters often deployed family-centered histories of livelihood insecurity and frontier
living. A local ranch oil and gas conservation awards ceremony was preceded by a full
hour PowerPoint presentation that focused on the familys history with the land since the
late 1800s. Some more important consistencies in local historical representation in
interviews and observation were narratives of settlement. It was noticeable during
interviews that the word settle was used exclusively when describing the 19th centurys
movement of European peoples. More than once, the phrase our great-grandfathers
settled... was used in describing the local landscape. The term settle has connotations
of ending an argument and of taming a formerly wild landscape.
Hoefle (2004) argues that the history of the west is one of belligerent
imperialism that has carried over into a legacy of class conflict and violence. Violence
and settlement have often gone hand in hand in western colonial history (Slotkin, 1992).
Contemporary violence between humans and animals is related to this legacy (Nibert,
2002). Highlighting this common tendency to narrate violence as a solution to wolf
populations a rancher in Idaho said, I dont call the government. If I want to take care of
a wolf, its the three Ss: shoot, shovel and shut up. The violent reduction of wolf
22


populations was commonly narrated as the only solution to wolves. It should be noted
that many ranchers were against any use of poison or of trapping near hiking trails or
other public areas. In addition, there were sheep and cattle ranchers who actively worked
with non-profits in both Wyoming and Idaho to utilize non-lethal predatory management
technologies. Most notably, the non-profit Defenders of Wildlife works with ranchers on
utilizing non-lethal methods of predator control such as turbo-flandry, an electrified
wire with colorful flags on it. Despite this fact, Wyoming and Idaho management
policies both continue to prescribe hunting and trapping as the best way to manage
wolves outside of protected areas like Yellowstone. The possible failure of non-lethal
controls to influence wolf management policy in Wyoming and Idaho should be seen
within the context of rural traditions.
Stories and practices of wolf hunting for sport as well as symbols of masculine
power over nature are common in western culture (Emel, 1998; Lopez, 1978). The
discourses surrounding violent solutions to the specific difficulties of Western
colonization were most evident in history museums and public performance. A local
museum in Wyoming had handouts that told of the hard life the fur trappers had to endure
with mortal dangers coming from wildlife and Indians. Many patrons watched re-enactor
in fur trapper regalia describing how his life was dangerous and violent because of
the unsettled surroundings in the 19th century. Large displays of various makes of rifles
were a significant portion of the museum space. In fact, of the four museums visited,
guns and descriptions of them held a central position in narrating local history.
Interestingly, the perceived wrongdoings of animal extinction and native genocide were
blamed on other factors. Literature in this museum purported that the near extinction of
23


the buffalo was the fault of polygamous Native Americans who were greedily making too
many robes. At an outdoor reenactment of the settlement of the community, a large
crowd laughed and clapped at actors pretending to steal young native girls from their
village as teenage re-enactors shot blanks from muskets. The native actors were local
white people in red-faced makeup.
Local rodeos are sites of historical performance that showcase the traditional
skills of animal management. At the rodeo, the cowboys as well as the audience wore
ubiquitous cowboy attire situated in the imagery of a horse-centered free-range cattle
environment. While working on the range it was more common to see baseball caps and
ATVs than cowboy hats and horseback riders. These performances and historical
narratives through museum displays are congruent with the interview data that shows a
specific and collective view of violence and the representation of the animals and people
prior to colonization.
It is important to place these facets of contemporary and historical practice on a
wide spectrum. Certainly, history as experienced is not homogenous. The daily life of
many ranchers includes encounters with many styles and types of discourses and bodily
work. There are many occasions where horseback riding is essential, such as range riding
with herds on allotments. Specific skill sets and folklore that were useful for colonization
at the turn of the century have carried over in dynamic ways to the current generations
living in the rural West. It is this mixture of practice and historical narrative that is
essential to understanding wolf attitudes and perceptions. A former retired rancher
responded to the question as to whether wolves should be allowed to cross his property,
You got to preserve traditions. The land needs cattle.
24


Key here is the concept of traditional values. The existential threat that rural
communities feel is not unwarranted. The rural Western landscape, livelihood and
demographic makeup have been changing rapidly over the past two decades (Limerick et.
al, 2009).
What emerged during many interviews were strong rhetorical statements that
centered on heritage being eroded due to demography. Previous research has found that
long-term rural residents are openly concerned with demographic shifts towards
newcomers with differing class, education, and land use values that perceivably threaten
traditional rural/ranching culture (Hines, 2010a; Hines, 2010b; Scarce, 1998). This was
confirmed in many interviews in which ranchers disparaged elitists, outsiders and
wolf experts accusing them of moving into their community with seemingly no regard
for livestock livelihoods. Although wolves were vilified as destroyers of capital in the
form of livestock, larger forces were readily acknowledged. When asked about his view
of wolf conservation efforts a rancher in Idaho responded by summarizing the perceived
threats besides wolves to ranching livelihoods.
They want us gone. They want the ranchers gone. In fifty years
there wont be any more cattlemen on the upper Salmon. The lands too
expensive. The kids dont want to work this hard. Its hard here every
day...the federal government wants to make it all a recreation area.
Hoelle (2012), researching cattle ranchers in Brazil, states: Rancher criticism of
environmentalism is informed by their sense of history and commitment to traditional
ideals that reinforce their class position. This sense of history that relates to rancher
conservation position taking is also buttressed by the broader romantic image of the
cowboy as a person who stands between the untamed natural world and human order
(Worster, 1992). The symbol of the rugged Western male cowboy has been used to
25


promote specific business interests (Stoeltje, 2012). It has been argued that the unique
place that rancher-cowboys inhabit in stories and historiography give symbolic as well as
political power to contemporary livestock producers that is out of balance with their real
contributions economically and ecologically to the Western states (Wuerthner &
Matteson, 2002).
Fassin (2002), elaborating on research into HIV, theorizes that social facts are
embodied, and that these facts can be matters of life and death. Departing from early
attempts at theorizing embodiment, Fassin argues for a new concept that adds the
historical depth of relationships of power. This analysis of socially constructed facts is
useful in contextualizing wolf attitudes and community heritage. According to Fassin
(2002) the combination of the materialist political economic world, social conditions,
with the human centered constructivist social experience, leads to an embodiment of
history. This embodiment leads to physical actions and active cultural constructions.
Embodied history is grounded in fields of action and witnessing. Human
subjectivities, as defined by Ortner (2005), contain specific cultural and historical
consciousness that animate acting subjects. This field in my view is the
physical/material and also symbolic landscape upon which wolves and people struggle.
Ogden (2011) calls these places assemblages where humans and non-humans interact.
These assemblages are not merely framing devices for higher theory; they are a real place
constituted of physical actions. For Trouillot (1995) history is something we are both
physical actors in and subjects of. Events in the past can be reified and shifted into new
meanings and just as easily buried and forgotten in the interests of preserving social
26


structures (Trouillot, 1995). Through this understanding of history and landscapes, a
concept of embodied history emerges.
The narrative of history that the museums, rodeos and re-enactments hold within
them is one where nature is separated, oftentimes violently, from the civilized world of
humans. The fact that many interviewees emphasized a livelihood-centered conception
heritage highlights the conscious link many rural citizens make between previous
political economic structures and current wildlife policies regarding predators. Rural
communities traditions reinforce concepts of heritage and traditional values that in turn
drive wolf-human conflict.
Boundary Making
The wolf is not out of context in the rural West. It is out of bounds. Wolves
themselves have certain species-specific ways of border making. Wolves use howling,
urine and other signals within a social group to denote boundaries between each other and
other wolf packs (Steinhart, 1995). Wolves as individuals or in a group can move many
miles a day crossing varied natural and manmade boundaries (Steinhart, 1995). These
boundaries are aesthetic and political delineations that define what social category wolves
find themselves in. Within Yellowstone, the wolf is safe. It is a symbol of recovery and
ecosystem health for many people working in environmental conservation (Lopez, 1978;
Marvin, 2012). Centralized federal authority protects wolves there. Outside of
Yellowstone, it becomes a transgressor of established land management boundaries. The
wolves that move outside of Yellowstone are seen as a broken promise as well. Many
ranchers felt betrayed by the reintroduction. One hunting outfitter stated, They (Federal
government} lied. They said the would stay in Yellowstone and now they are all over.
27


However, some of the initial planners of the reintroduction contend that the intention was
for a continuous population of wolves connected through wilderness areas, public lands
and the national park, and that this fact was made known publically (Bangs & Fritts,
1996).
A few ranchers and locals advocated complete eradication of wolves outside of
Yellowstone. A lifetime hunter and ranch hand stated, we ought to shoot them all back
to Yellowstone. Even allowing for this policy, which Wyoming has nearly achieved, the
wolf is not safe from categorical vilification when it is inside Yellowstone. A member of
one of the state legislatures said;
No, they shouldnt be in Yellowstone. Its a landscape predator.
They move all around. They dont belong in our state now as things are.
As far as reintroduction is concerned, we didnt want them then, and we
dont want them now.
The issue of proper landscapes for wolves is more complex than their unwanted
physical presence on grazing allotments or private land. Their movement is a
transgression into a historically defined social space. I argue anti-wolf attitudes are
related to how rural residents define boundaries in two key ways. First, the boundary
between wolves and other animals is clearly defined on a hierarchy that is related to how
animal meaning is socially constructed. Second, the boundary between wolves and
humans is defined by the stories people exchange about how wolves behave and how
wolves react to humans.
Wolf-animal borders
During discussions, it became evident that other animals, both domestic and wild
were classified in wholly different schema from wolves. While wolves are one of many
local wild animals, they also are set as a completely unique type of animal. The most
28


salient example is the different classification between the two top main culprits in
livestock predation: wolves and bears. In Wyoming, many ranchers readily admitted that
grizzly bears had killed just as many if not more livestock each year than wolves. Unlike
wolves, not once in any interview were bears called useless or pests. Many
ranchers were distraught at increasing grizzly bear predation, but they did not advocate
their extirpation. A rancher said simply, I dont got a big problem with bears. They
belong here.
A hunter in Idaho wanted no steel foot trapping on national forest lands. His main
reason was that people who hike take their pet dogs and dogs should not be in danger of
getting snared in steel traps. The hunter explained, a steel trap is painful to a dog, and
thats just cruel to have happen to someones pet around here. There were key
differences between wolves and pet dogs. Some residents blamed conservation advocates
for confusing the two. A hunting outfitter explained, they think that the wolves are good
out there. Well, they are not. They arent fucking dogs. They are a pack killer.
Another common theme was one of dominance. Wolves were seen as a
domineering creature in conflict with other wild animals. In both Wyoming and Idaho,
wolves were said to kill for sport or fun. I heard tales of wolves eating calves half
way out of the birth canal as their mothers screamed in the night. Each time, of the three,
I heard that the story it occurred in the middle of the night. This same visceral story
came from people in both states. Many hunters and ranchers said, unlike bears or
mountain lions, wolves killed for fun and did not eat what they hunted. One rancher
told of a predated calf he found on his grazing allotment. He was very clear about why he
29


saw wolves as cruel, describing how he found it. In his vivid story, the calf s lungs
bubbled with blood from pulmonary puncture wounds, and he had to cut its throat.
In this sense, wolves were placed outside of the natural order of things. They
were given behavioral characteristics that hinted at a preternatural understanding of their
surroundings. While emotions and meanness were readily ascribed to horses, cattle and
family pets, the uncontrollable and uniquely social predatory nature of wolf predation
placed the species clearly outside what is allowable on the landscape.
Wolf-human borders
Recent research posits that wolves have a spacio-temporal awareness of human
populations (Lescureux, 2006). Studying hunters in northern Eurasia, Lescureux (2006)
argues that wolf/human co-existence depends on understanding the subtleties of
awareness between the two species. In Idaho and Wyoming, I found two broad
categories of people in this regard. The first group had direct experience with wolves
through various forms of contact on the landscape. These were mainly ranchers and
hunters. The second group was people who told second-hand stories of wolf enounters.
These were mainly small business owners and local government governmental
employees.
Encounters with wolves in a visceral, corporeal sense occurred in intimate ways
with the hunters interviewed. Wolves are seen as unique hunters that surpass bears or
mountain lions in skill. A hunter stated, They are the top predator here, no doubt. The
border between the human hunter and the wolf took on certain ineffable qualities. An
avid bow season elk hunter in Idaho said that the wolves always know when I am there.
The elk act different. You got to be twice the hunter now than before. Another hunter
30


said that the wolves he tracked used the same backcountry game tracks across
mountainsides their ancestors did in the 1800s. This specific hunter in Idaho described
the long, arduous method of tracking wolves. The wolf hunt in this description was
centered around using fresh snow tracks and paying close attention to crow and bird of
prey gatherings that signaled a fresh wolf kill. He also agreed that wolves had a human
awareness and always felt like the wolves knew he was near. He said, They have
another sense that we dont have. This concept was not uncommon. Many ranchers
themselves did not admire any of the wolves supposed abilities at human-sense. One
rancher said, They travel in packs. Theyre easier to kill than coyotes because of that,
more predictable.
The border between humans and wolves was not just one of personal experience;
it is a border socially constructed through certain beliefs about what wolves know and
how wolves behave. A businesswoman in Wyoming told me that she was afraid that the
wolves would lose fear of people. She was fearful of the consequences, stating;
Whats next? They let them get bigger packs and come in here... Im
afraid for the children, what would happen? Would we need to keep our
kids inside?
This fear was not uncommon. More than one person stated that wolves were
afraid of humans and were the victims of a sort themselves. A hunter stated, Its not
their fault. They are doing what they are meant to do. A local citizen stated, I think
they are curious and not afraidyet. But wait until we start being able to hunt more.
They havent become what they really are yet. This sentiment regarding wolves
learning how to act from human violence came up again during a discussion with a local
31


governmental employee in Wyoming. Responding to questions about how the hunting
zone would affect wolves, he stated;
For one thing, they would be educated a little bit. Mans never been
allowed to teach them respect. (Laughs) I mean, we dont hunt them. I
would be for a management plan that provided the opportunity to harvest
them and keep them respectful of the interactions with people. I think they
have no fear. We are precluded from teaching them anything.
This statement highlights the overall belief that wolves are political transgressors.
They do not follow the land management systems that have evolved over two centuries of
western colonialism. The overall conception is that wolves can learn through violence. In
this type of narrative, it is fear and respect that is missing in the wolves. Wolves do not
only kill livestock on public and private lands; they cross the border of production versus
wilderness. Their designation as an endangered species outside of Yellowstone directly
put them into a position that intruded upon the industries of capitalism. While ranchers
had grievances of wolves crossing into private lands and allotments on public lands, there
was a larger issue of wolves affecting statewide industry. In Wyoming, a predator zone
has 80% of the state as a no-wolf zone. The line is drawn with a seasonal hunting zone
buffer south of Yellowstone. A state legislature representative said that the line was a
holding pattern placed in full recognition that it was a compromise because we would
not have got what we wanted if we didnt have flex hunting zones. After that statement,
a prominent local livestock advocate present concurred, its true. Its a compromise with
the feds. If it was up to some of the stockmen, thered of never been a reintroduction.
This implied that the policy wanted by local communities perhaps would have been
different and not included the buffer hunting zones outside Yellowstone. These human-
constructed borders are in many ways demarcations that are invisible to wolves. They
32


change within months due to political processes, such as the removal of ESA protection.
Social memory and the narratives of wolf behavior and meaning are in constant
articulation with historical processes and social border constructions of animal-wolf and
wolf-human. This is in addition to the perceived livelihood insecurity of traditional rural
culture in these areas. The decentralization of wolf management has highlighted the
importance of how rural communities go about constructing political and social borders
between humans and animals. Stories, rumor and myth of animals are utilized to further
the traditional livelihoods and identities in local communities.
33


CHAPTER IV
RUMOR, GHOSTS AND MYTHISTORY
In this chapter, I discuss the narratives about wolves prior to their reintroduction.
The opinion of many people interviewed is that there was and is a conspiracy of the
federal government to repopulate the West with predators. In addition to this, many
people stated that the current wolves in their communities were not native and had
displaced indigenous subspecies of wolf. The local explanation of wolf history in the
years of 1930-1995 differs wildly from the official governmental and scientific accounts.
Rumors about the role of centralized authority in wolf-human conflict scenarios bring to
the fore issues of social resistance (Skogen et. al, 2008). The widespread nature of
these narratives allows for some exploration of the phenomena of collective memory
(French, 2012). The narratives surrounding native wolves during the 40-year extirpation
era center on the existence of a wolf that the majority wildlife biology cannot see. The
debates about what is and is not real lead to considerations of ontology in ethnographic
representation (Carrithers et. al, 2010; Heywood, 2012).
It is important to consider the differences between the facts and social truth when
analyzing these narratives. Evidence from standard positivist biological science is in
direct opposition to some local narratives about what happened before reintroduction and
what wolves did exist. It is not the place of this study to say outright with complete
certainty which narrative is accurate or inaccurate. What is key is that the set of facts and
assertions put forth by rural residents and wildlife biologists lead to larger accepted social
truths. The scientifically defined facts of wildlife biology were used in the
reintroduction efforts implementation (Robinson, 2005). The experienced and lived
34


facts of some rural residents were used as resistance to and opposition to wolves
(Urbigkit, 2008). Following Trouillots (1995) claim that people in situations of
differential power often make claims to historical authenticity, or historicity, (French,
2012)/ It became apparent in the data that rural communities had specific concepts of
what the facts of history were in the context of local governance versus federal authority
outside of Yellowstone.
Rumor
It should be stated outright that while many people felt that there was a conspiracy
against ranching and rural communities, this was not unfounded paranoia. Non-profits
such as Defenders of Wildlife and Western Watersheds Project regularly use litigation in
order to pursue agendas of wolf conservation and grazing reduction respectfully. The
battles over land use are being fought through the courts by non-profits and governmental
agencies. Ranchers viewed these maneuvers as coming from outsiders with no
respect for their way of life. The overall sentiment was that the various non-profit
environmental groups were just furthering the anti-rancher green agenda of the federal
government. The federal government was not seen as an ally for rural communities
interests in any interview with ranchers or hunters. Unwarranted or not, suspicion of the
true motives of researchers and governmental employees was nearly ubiquitous. Many
times this suspicion and distrust became a personal experience. Upon arrival at local
home, a hunter demanded to see my student ID and take his own notes before letting me
inside. Before an interview with an experienced ranch hand, he demanded that no
recordings be made of his voice because he was suspicious that somehow the feds could
get the recording.
35


Discussions regarding the distrust of the federal government by rural residents
occasionally led to stories about clandestine reintroduction efforts before 1995. In Idaho,
this story was told only once in passing. The rancher mentioned that he had heard wolves
were released in Yellowstone in the 1960s. In Wyoming, the conspiracy reintroduction
narrative was more common. A retired second generation rancher said in response to my
question about federal reintroduction conspiracies:
You know. I dont know. But Ive heard they flew grizzlies into the Grand
Tetons back in the 80s. I dont know about wolves. Some say the same
thing about them. But the fact is they {grizzly bears} suddenly started
killing our cattle, and there was no other way to explain it.
A few other ranchers took the rumor of these secret reintroductions into
conspiratorial territories. One rancher when asked why secret reintroductions were
performed said, They {federal government} want us gone. This opinion was not as
clear-cut and common as the narratives of distrust regarding the federal government.
Most ranchers never mentioned it, and in later interviews when I inquired about these
conspiracies of reintroduction, many just shrugged it off. More common was the notion
that the 1995 wolf reintroductions were part of a larger anti-rancher, anti-rural policy
coming from federal authority. Summing up a common theme, a rancher in Idaho said,
They just have it in for us.
There is evidence of similar rumor and conspiracy narratives in other countries
that have human-wolf conflict. In Western Europe, wolves have slowly been migrating
south from Scandinavia and from the interior of the Alps, helped by conservation policies
(Camion-Vincent, 2005). In France, Sweden, and Italy these similar rumors of
clandestine wolf reintroduction were found among ranchers and rural citizens (Camion-
Vincent, 2005). A French farmer is quoted in Skogel (2008, 116) stating, They want to
36


destroy the farmers. The wolf is a means to destroy them. In Norway and Sweden, there
were also many farmers and hunters who believed that centralized governmental
authorities had conspired to re-introduce wolves in secret (Skogen & Krange, 2003;
Skogen et. al, 2008).
Ghosts
One morning, I walked into a federal agency building in Idaho early for a
information gathering meeting with a forestry grazing expert. At the front desk, I told
them who I was, and idle chat had me revealing why I was there. The man at the front
desk immediately shifted in his chair when I said that I was trying to figure out how
ranching was doing after the 1995 reintroduction of wolves. He said in a stern voice,
You know they didnt reintroduce them. They introduced them.
Idaho had its native wolves and they were driven off by the Canadian
wolf. The Canadian wolf is not from here.
The woman sitting next to the man, also a governmental employee for a land
management department, followed up with, They dumped them on us. They arent
native here. This was my first encounter with this native wolf in discussions in rural
communities. In my interview transcripts and field notes, it emerged that this specific
wolf prior to 1995 had been said to exist in both Idaho and Wyoming in various numbers
and forms.
In titling this subsection ghosts, I am not arguing that the creature described in
the following accounts did not exist. I utilize the idea of ghost to highlight the difficult
nature of tracking down what does and does not exist.
37


The discourse surrounding pre-introduction wolves of Idaho and Wyoming emerged from
interview data. As it became apparent that this was a common theme, I began to
investigate counter-claims and comparative cases.
Canis-impossiblus
When I was looking into claims of native wolves that avoided extirpation more
than once I was told ask {X}. This person has a lifetime experience in hunting,
trapping, wolf kill site investigation, wolf hunting and collaborative work with federal
agencies and wildlife biology. When given the chance to have a discussion with this top
expert, I took the opportunity to inquire about native wolf claims I had been hearing.
After carefully laying out some evidence he ended stating about the local claims,
Wolves that were up the mountains and never were driven out? They say that all the
time. We call that thing canis-impossiblus
According to the majority wildlife biologists, historians and federal investigators
wolves were completely extirpated from the areas that include Idaho and Wyoming
sometime in the early 1930s (Bangs & Fritts, 1996; Robinson, 2005; Coleman, 2004).
Extensive field research investigating claims of wolf populations in the 1960s and
1970s found no evidence of wolf habitation in the Western US (Bangs & Fritts, 1996).
While reports of lone or lobo wolves in the Western states continued after 1930, no
hard evidence was found for their existence until some wolves denned in northern
Montana in 1982 (Pletscher, 1997). This specific population was the only recorded
breeding pack of wolves in the US until reintroduction in 1995 (Pletscher, 1997).
While there are book-length claims of subspecies of wolves in the Western US as
well as previous native inhabitants (Urbigkit, 2008), the general consensus is that the
38


wolves that were flown in from Canada are the exact same species of wolf that were
completely extirpated in the early 20th century (Robinson, 2005) (Ewing & Cooley,
2012).
The ghost wolves
In both Idaho and Wyoming, I heard stories of wolves that were survivors of the
extirpation. Some said they were lobos that came back only to the North after the 1970s
due to the ban on poisoning and the Endangered Species Act. However, the majority
stated that there had always been wolves deep in the wilderness. The reasons for their
survival and descriptions of their physical appearance and behavior had key
commonalities and differences. By far, the most detailed description of the wolves that
survived and lived in these areas came from an avid hunter, former rancher, and lifetime
resident of Idaho. The description given touches on many of the commonalities I found
in the data. The following description is lightly edited and leaves out generalizing
follow-up questions and answers in order to give a more full summation:
Resp: We had wild wolves, which was interesting, but they were a
different subspecies. They were a little small timber wolf that would mate
and run two or three pups. We trapped and hunted all our life in this
country, we seen wolf, we seen wolf tracks on the Upper Salmon River.
Invr: Youre saying on the Upper Salmon, before the
reintroduction, from when you were little til 95 you had timber wolves?
Resp: We had timber wolves. We did not trap them, but we seen
them while we were trapping. We ran old sleds up and down every
drainage from about basin creek a few miles south of Stanley, to the East
Fork and up the East Fork almost every drainage to the headwaters
forever. Me and my older two brothers. Most of the timber wolves we
seen were right here in the upper reaches of the main Salmon. They
weren't a pack animal. They were mostly lobo'sloners. In fact, there was
only two times in my sightings...that was in February when they would be
breeding that we seen wolves running with females. Those dogs matured
about 75 pounds. They were just about double the size of a coyote. Well,
39


theres a lot of difference between a 75-pound dog and 100-pound dog.
Or 104-pound dog. People have a misconception of wolves, even these
Canadian wolves. The little old wolf back then...I never heard of a single
incident when they would lose livestock to these lobo timber wolves.
Now, in the 30s they did.
The wolf in this description, like many others, is not a predator of livestock. It
breeds less and is smaller than current wolves. It leaves humans and their animals alone.
It does not run or hunt in packs. Interestingly, the description ends by linking this wolf to
the wolves of the distant past in order to separate the Canadian wolf from the native.
Also interestingly, this same, continuous species of wolf changed its hunting behavior.
They were a problem in the 1930s but afterwards were not bothersome. In another
interview with a rancher and his wife, the following exchange occurred:
Female. Resp: Well, I saw a wolf up there before they ever
introduced them.
Male Resp: Yeah, we had wolves before they were ever before
they introduced them.
Intvr: Really?
Resp: Yeah, we had the black timber wolf here, but they was more
like a coyote. They was more wild. They wasnt increasing that
much, and we had them, and they introduced the great
Canadian wolf in here, which is, they say, they introduced them.
It was not only ranchers and hunters who described seeing these wolves. Local
business owners and workers described these wolves, not only firsthand, but throughout
local history. A local stated that he had never heard or seen wolves before the
reintroduction but that it was common knowledge that they were in the wilderness
areas. This person also stated that he had heard of a man in town who captured a wolf
after the ESA in the early 1970s and took a picture. The story continued that some men
40


got nervous, killed the wolf, and lost the picture. This was one of two times I was told of
lost or missing photographic evidence of the native wolves prior to 1995. I called and did
a phone interview twice with a longtime wilderness outfitter with two decades
experience leading hunting trips into the Idaho backcountry. The man stated that during
the public hearing period before reintroduction in 1995, he had taken his pictures of the
native Idahoan wolf to the meetings and the federal biologists ignored him. He said he
could send me some copies, but he had misplaced the photos. During the same interview,
he described the native wolf:
Resp: Smaller bodied animal, near Emmet, North Fork, Tripod. They were
a little less aggressive, closer to the ecosystem, very definitely. The deer
and elk herd were stable then. You had to know how to find them and they
werent easy to spot.
Invr: What do you think happened to these wolves after 1995?
Resp: I warned them {federal government biologists}, and what happened
is that the timber wolf was driven extinct by the grey wolf. I had brought
pictures and told them and they didnt listen.
One person with firsthand experience contradicted the majority opinion that the
native wolves were smaller and fearful of humans. A hotel owner stated:
I saw two to three big black ones camping when I was little. They
was always up there. We saw them crossing the river. My dad kept us
away from them. He had seen them before in the 60s, too. They were
huge, huge much bigger than the ones now.
This native wolf was found across a wide range of territory. In Idaho, I was told
it was in the entire Frank Church Wilderness Area as well as portions of the Upper
Salmon. In Wyoming, the native wolf was said to inhabit the entire Gros Vente Range
into the Wind River Range.
41


The common elements of this native wolf included; it did not hurt livestock, it
was a loner and bred less, and it did not hunt the elk or deer herds in a damaging way.
The differences were in size and color. The majority of people who reported seeing these
wolves reported them to be smaller than current wolves; however, one woman, as
explained, said they were much larger. About half of the reports said the wolves were
gray or brown; the other half described them as black.
Wolves have a unique way of becoming ghosts compared to other animals in
Western civilization. Accounts exist of researchers in Alaska and Canada spending
decades tracking and working on wolf biology while having personal encounters that
numbered less than three or four in a career (Steinhart, 1995). Unseen and ethereal
wolves are found in American literature (Robisch, 2009). They are symbolic creatures of
unique and super-animal abilities such as preternatural cunning and rapid movement
(Donaldson, 2006). Describing the complicated metaphorical and ecological interaction
humans have had with wolves since pre-history, Lopez (1978) states, We create
wolves.
The fact remains that wildlife biologists and conservationists could not see this
wolf. In the peer-reviewed literature and casual discussion this wolf was a ghost,
missing, unreal and unfounded. For many ranchers, hunters and rural citizens it is a real,
flesh-and-blood wolf that was driven out by the non-native Canadian wolves. Similar to
opinions regarding conservation and land use, the ghost wolf leaves people with little
middle ground. In many interviews, it was put forth as either real or not real, no in-
between.
42


The differences between rural citizens sightings and experiences with wolves
compared to wildlife biologists has been chronicled in Europe (Camion-Vincent, 2005, p.
114). As recent as 2002, a field biologist working in rural Italy was sent to investigate
reports of wolves entering a village. In his report the biologist is frustrated by his
inability to see the same wolves as the locals; as quoted in Camion-Vincent (2005,
P-114);
I have been there a week later, and the Mayor certified they had
been on the village square, that the wolves had entered the village, that
they would end eating children and little girls.. .In fact it had snowed and
we checked the wolves passage. The tracks are really by the villages last
house, where they are no further than a hundred meters away I admit, but
the wolf has not crossed the village square!
While rumors of reintroduction conspiracies had correlates in social research,
research into the belief that wolves survived extirpations despite evidence to the contrary
could not be found elsewhere in wolf literature. However, there is a compelling paper
about extinct animal sightings that has some relation to this phenomenon. Smith (2012)
found that Australians have been reporting sightings of extinct Tasmanian tigers on the
island of Tasmania. He asks if it could be a manifestation of collective guilt from the
trauma of colonial abjection or perhaps yearning by wildlife managers to atone for the
past (Smith, 2012). Sightings of extinct or extirpated animals have no definitive
explanations.
Resistance
Skogen et al. (2008) contend that wolf rumor and wolf stories are a form of
cultural resistance that is one of many ways subordinate groups challenge social
trends. Skogen et al. (2008, p. 131) continue;
43


These forms of resistance are effective insofar as they provide a sense of
autonomy and help bolster rural pride, but they have very limited impact
outside the cultural level. They do not result in the political influence that
would be needed to change the course of development in rural areas-or
even the carnivore management regime.
I argue that this assessment of social resistance in rural communities is incorrect.
While rumor is indeed a form of resistance, it also has certain measureable effects upon
policy and actions against wolves. Brosius (2006) contends that the poetics of landscapes
and aesthetic definitions of nature have direct links to the policies and regimes of control
that cultural groups seek to maneuver within. A salient example of this link between
aesthetic cultural beliefs and policy is in a bill passed in 2001 by the Idaho State
legislature (Idaho State Legislature, 2001). This bill had no effect at the time due to
wolves still being under the protection of the ESA. Its language and phrasing regarding
wolves is in direct reflection of the themes that emerged during fieldwork in 2012. The
following line item phrasings are specific examples of this;
WHERAS, wolf recovery is predicated on the false political premise of
intrinsic worth greater than humans; and WHERAS, fifteen Canadian gray
wolves were dumped in central Idaho in 1995.. WHERAS, the Canadian
gray wolf is not indigenous to the state of Idaho... .wolves must be
removed by whatever means necessary.
The bill from 2001 is an example as to how groups can make their aesthetic land
use and animal belief systems felt politically. In addition to this example lawsuits were
brought foreword before the reintroduction that argued a native indigenous wolf existed
and would be pushed out by the wolves to be placed in Yellowstone (Robinson, 2005).
It is up for debate as to weather American rural ranchers, farmers and
communities can be viewed as subalterns in any way comparable to their European
44


counterparts. The data from interviews show that rumor and wolf stories are oftentimes
contextually centered on resisting centralized federal authority. However, these same
narratives often came from local residents who themselves had power to design wildlife
management policies and enforce them locally. This leaves the explanation of wolf
rumor and myth as merely neutered social resistance in a difficult spot. Resistance is
often viewed as coming from the powerless, or less powerful, towards groups and
institutions with more power Do beliefs about what happened in the past and what is
real necessarily have to be linked to specific occasions of political or physical
resistance? Perhaps there is a component of resistance within the rumors and narratives of
federal conspiracies. But what of this unique or not so unique Anglo-American ghost
wolf that still haunts the past? I feel that this American ghost wolf is only partly a form
of cultural resistance played out upon geographies and social spaces. This resistance
through social memory is not only of bullets and policies, but a narrative against the
larger forces of the federal government and the changing demographic and economic
situation across the West. Overall distrust of the ideologies of environmentalism and the
conservation agendas of governmental departments could perhaps manifest itself into a
milieu of social memory phenomena.
Social Memory and Mythistory
The ghost wolf is not necessarily a myth in that it was never linked in interviews
to any overall cosmology or social structure, which have been argued to be essential
components of a myth (Leach, 2000). As well, it was not something that happened in a
distant past accessed only through metaphor and parable. It is a creature experienced
within current lived history.
45


Rather than analyzing the ghost wolf as a myth it is more useful to view it as a
phenomena of social memory. While groups of people, communities, and cultures cannot
as conceptual units remember, aggregate members of these groups can exchange
narratives that create widely experienced memories (Climo & Cattell, 2002). This is
where the concept of mythistory is useful.
Mythistory is a syllogism constructed by historians (Mali, 2003, Mali, 1991,
McNeill, 1986). Its theoretical purpose is to take into account the stories, fables, and
beliefs of people into the facts of historiography. While this research is not about
historiography, the narratives that describe the ghost wolf are ones that redefine history as
viewed by rural residents. Mali (2003) argues that the concern with what actually
happened leaves out how things happen. The how in the case of mythistory is a
recursive loop from history back to myth in order to begin again as mythistory (Mali,
2003, p. 293). Mali (2003) contends that myth and history are combined and utilized
politically by groups of people to reform the concepts of heritage and history. As
described earlier, the arguments surrounding native wolves were indeed used in political
discourse before reintroduction and after.
Seen in this light, the ghost wolves can be explained as a phenomenon of social
memory that has a certain functionalism. By remembering wolves that were never
extirpated, communities have leverage on other discourses. The ghost wolf is a
corrective against larger changes happening in the American West. Many rural residents
privilege local knowledge above experts. The ghost wolf is an emergent social
memory that not only reifies local knowledge and ontological animal hierarchies but also,
46


in a sense, removes the historical accusation that their ancestors commited near
extinction-level violence towards wolves in the near past.
47


CHAPTER V
CONCLUSION
In exploring rural residents narratives about wolves, this project furthers the
understanding of animal-human conflict. Human-animal conflict etiology is neither
wholly material, nor wholly semiotic. The driver of anti-wolf policy and action is more
than livestock predation. Wolf hatred, vilification, demonization and killing are
widespread in some areas because historic facts and narrative fictions blend together into
social memories. History and social memory form the outlines of how animal meaning is
socially constructed. Embodied history takes social facts as malleable and historically
contingent. Embodied history as a framework also allows for a political analysis that is
rooted in the materials of everyday life and performance. While attention to historical
discourse and beliefs can lead to insights into animal ontologies, it cannot predict action.
There can be no overarching theory that can predict and explain each associated
phenomena linked to wolf issues in the West. This research brings to the fore more
questions than simple explanations. Many of the narratives in this research bring into
question recent attempts at placing traditional ecological knowledge and ecological
memory to the fore of ecosystem management praxis (Nazarea, 2006). Decentralization
of conservation efforts has been shown, in this instance, to produce policies that reflect
local sentiments and histories regarding animals and land use. Additionally, the concept
of the subaltern and resistance theory are muddied when issues of power and ranching
culture are taken into account. What is important is that theoretical stances on human-
48


animal issues based on human cultural/social construction take into account how history
is embodied and entangled in daily encounters.
Species are forced into human-dominated landscapes at increasing rates in our
contemporary world. What is unique about wolves in the contemporary American West is
that they are having conflicts with humans because of the efforts of humans. Gray wolves
in the past had conflicted with ranchers and Anglo settlers before and lost that encounter.
Now they have been brought back, or dumped as the Idaho State Legislature called it.
Despite of and due to the efforts of humans, wolves now encounter rural residents in
Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, and Oregon. It is not only flesh and blood people wolves
encounter; they cross borders both political and symbolic. They encounter a species
humansthat have not only technological advantages but also the metaphorical advantage
of symbolism and cultural history that define how nature is acted upon. Haraway (2008)
states, A great deal is at stake in such meetings, and outcomes are not guaranteed. There
is no teleological warrant here, no assured happy or unhappy ending, socially,
ecologically, or scientifically.
Beyond the classic anthropological dichotomy that animals are either mostly
good to eat or good to think with lay the ineffable nature of humans and animals
entangled histories. These entanglements create both evolutionary and cultural history.
As with prehistory (Grayson, 2001), contemporary contact zones between the us and
the animal can lead to love, domestication, ambivalence or abject violence. In the
minds of people, real wolves can become symbols of purity and hope in the face of
industrialized modernity as well as of demonic evil and the enemies of modern
civilization. Unbeknownst to the real corporeal wolves living and breathing out there,
49


they are a symbolic other to which humans place larger arguments about how the land
is used and protected and who gets to make those decisions. How wilderness as an
aesthetic value and civilization as an ideal are divided along borders will end up deciding
who will survive into the next era of history in the American West.
50


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WOLVES AT THE DOOR CONTESTED SPACE IN THE AMERICAN WEST by BURDITT A ZACKARY B.S, Colorado State University, 2000 A thesis submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of the University of Colorado in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Masters of the Arts Anthropology 2013

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! "" This thesis for the Master of the Arts degree by Burditt A Zackary has been approved for the Anthropology Department by John Brett Chair Steve Koester Marty Ota–ez July 24, 2013

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! """ Zackary, Burditt A (M.A. Anthropology) Wolves at the Door: Contested Space in the American West Thesis directed by Associate Professor John Brett ABSTRACT This project utilizes a multi sited approach to explore the specifics of anti wolf sentiment and policy among rural residents in Idaho and Wyoming. To fully explore current anti wolf attitudes interviews, participant observation, and archival research were conducted in the summer of 2012. Wolf populations have declined outside of Yello wstone National Park since their removal from protection under the Endangered Species Act in Idaho and Wyoming in 2011 and 2012 respectively This project explores wolf policy within the context of local rural history, cultural performance, and the specifi cs of social memory. Using the concepts of embodied history and social memory this research explores how rumor, myth, and human animal bordering are related to anti wolf sentiment in the American West. The form and content of this abstract are approved. I recommend its publication. Approved: John Brett

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! "# TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER I. INTRODUCTION . ..1 II. RESEARCH DESIGN AND SCOPE .. 4 Data Collection 6 Data Analysis . 8 Research S ites and D emographic C ontext ... 9 III. LUPOCIDE: WOLF HATRED ON THE PERSISTANT FRONTIER . 12 Background 12 The Wolf in Social T heory 13 A Brief History of Anglo European Wolf C onflict ... 15 Post reintroduction C onflict in the American West ... 17 Embodied H istory .. 20 Boundary Making .. 27 W olf animal borders . 28 W olf human borders .. 30 IV. GHOST WOLVES: RUMO R, GHOSTS AND MYTHISTORY..34 Rumor ... . 35 Ghosts 37 Canis impossiblus . .38 The ghost wolves ...39 Resistance .. 43

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! # Social Memory and Mythistory . 45 V. CONCLU S ION 47 BIBLIOGRAPHY .. 50

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! $ CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION Cori Hayden has called for ethnographies that "trace outwards the webs of relationships and objects through which knowledge about nature is granted the status of fact" (2003). The research explored here examines how contemporary rural residents frame, contextualize and narrate wolves in their communities. How people collectively narrate animal meani ng has direct bearing on what is accepted as the normal practices of human animal encounters (Rappaport, 1968) This social treatment of animals is not only one of structural policy design and instit utional arrangements made by elite disciplines (Latour, 2004) ; but for large megafauna such as wolves, it is a visceral landscape encoun ter that is cult urally specific and historically bound in the American West. In this thesis I argue that the constantly changing and reshaped borders between humans and wolves are both culturally specific and historically contingent. This research explores how concept ions of heritage aggregate into community memory that informs anti wolf policy, wolf rumor, and wolf killing. While Nibert (2002) convincingly argues that violence against animals in contemporary western civilization has much t o do with the logics of class based livelihood structures and global capitalism my interest here is in exploring how local communities of rural people contextualize a particular animal through narratives of history and social memory. Wolf hatred and state level wolf conservation pol icy are directly linked to rural citizens perceptions of heritage, history, and the mythologies of the frontier. It is the embodiment of heritage, e xamined in light of Eric Wolfs' (1982) argument that "what attention to history allows you to do is look at

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! % processes unfolding, intertwining, spreading out," that gives insight into why wolves outside of Yellowstone National Park have been increasing ly hunted and persistently vilified in many rural communities. Examination of wolf perceptions among rural residents in wolf inhabited areas highlights the broader issue of human/animal conflict and its link to community heritage and socially constructed animal meaning. In this thesis I examine two phenom ena that emerged from my data ; contemporary wolf hatred and wolf sightings prior to their reintroduction. During my fieldwork I found salient and consistent narratives and symbols of frontier heritage. This led me to conceptualize "embodied hi story" as a theoretical framework that can explain both wolf hatred as well as ontological issues of wolf meaning and wolf rumor In the first chapter I briefly cover the hi story of wolf attitudes in the Anglo E uropean past and using ethnographic data further explore "embodied history" as a framework to explain wolf hatred landscape border design, and wolf killing In the second chapter I turn to the narratives of recovery, conspiracy and resistance by rural citize ns. The broad consensus among ranc he rs and many full time residents was that there were various machinations of federal conspiracy and outright ignorance of wildlife experts leading up to the 1995 reintroduction. The phenomen on of reported wolf sightings prior to the 1995 reintroduction of wolves in the West is examined in light of recent arguments regarding ontology and its role in ethnographic inquiry (Carrithers et al 2010) I use Joseph Mali's ( 1991, 2003 ) concept of "mythistory" within "embodied history" in an attempt to explain how rumor and myth work in conjunction with anti wolf policy and action

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! & The theoretical specifics of how heritage and community values inform wildlife policy and conse rvation efforts are as important as ever. With the current move across the world for increasing decentralization of wildlife management policy it is important to understand t he particularisms of local belief systems that produce local managers and the acting bodies of community. The animal right to exist "wild" across human dominated landscapes is determined by facets of social life beyond livelihood and economic considerations. Cristancho and Vining (2004) use the phrase "culturally keystone species" to highlight the function of group belief in determining what animals are allowed in what facet within communities Already there have been over one thousand wolves hunted, trapped and shot since the Endange re d S pecies Act was removed as a protective legal measure for the wolves in the Western states (Idaho, Wyomin g, Montana) In light of single digit losses of livestock in Wyoming each month for nearly half a year and less than 1% of the entire livestock in Wyoming, Montana and Idaho ever being preyed upon by wolves the question emerges as to why wolves are vilified more than other predators This research does not look into questions regarding animal reintroduction failure, but the facts speak to this occurring currently in both Wyoming and Idaho. Attempts at invigorating ethnographic inquiry to include a new form of historiography and attention to social memory provide some insight into why re wilding landscapes with wolves has failed beyond the gates of Yellowstone Just as Walker (2005) argues that wolf extinction /extirpation can not be explained throug h ahistorical ecological science, I argue that rural people s actions regarding predators can not be understood without insight into how animals are socially constructed.

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! CHAPTER II RESEARCH DESIGN AND SCOPE To make the connections to both the beliefs and actions of rural citizens regarding wolves in the West as well as the larger structures of wildlife policy and politics, a "multi sited" approach was used (Marcus, 1995) This is due in part to the large geog raphic area that post reintroduction wolf populations inhabit. In addition, the centers of power of wolf policy, from a decision making standpoint, are often far removed from the local ranchers who have predation issues, as well as wolf packs themselves. F or example, the state legislature of Wyoming in Cheyenne is over 350 miles from ranchers who graze in Sublette County, Wyoming. In order to attend community, governmental, and non profit public and private organized meetings about wolf policy, it was nece ssary to s pend less time in more places. To explore the experiences and narratives of people living with and making decisions regarding wolves in the American West I used a two fold methodology First, open ended interviews were conducted with people wh o had specific proximal relations to wolves such as ranchers, hunting outfitters and small town citizens The goal was to build the context from rural ranchers who had predations on their livestock outward into a broader community. People who had expertise or were advocates in o ne form or another regarding wolf policy and conflicts in the Rocky Mountains were also interviewed. Sec ond, archival research exploring contemporary policy pa pers from both governme ntal and non profit organizations, online documents and policy papers was used to contextualize interview data. Within this po r tion of data collection w estern museums in

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! ( Idaho, Colorado and Wyoming and historical arc hives both online and physical from the 19 th and 20 th centuries were all utilized to examine wolf attitudes and policy through time. O pen ended interviews of rura l residents in their own communities as well as museums and archival research of their local historical do cuments are attemp t s to acknowledge that "political ecology must be anchored in empirical ethnography and histo rical research, not `a priori' assumptions" (Sheridan, 1995). As of 2012, t he majority of wolves that live in the Rocky Mountain West are in close pro ximity to rural communities Currently wolves move and cross between national parks, grazing allotments, large wilderness areas and federal lands in northern Wyoming, Montana Oregon and Idaho This area is a patchwork of federal, state, private lands undergoing dy namic shifts in demography and subsequent livelihood restructuring creating landscapes of industrialization and post industrialization called the "N ew West" (Hine s, 2010) This study has as a unit of analysis landowners and residents that live and work within wolf inhabited areas or who work on wildlife managem ent issues. Following the concept of "bounding" a pop ulation during interviews participants self define d their livelihood and group identity (LeCompte & Schensul, 1999) The focus on rural residents in these areas has two main purposes F irst to get at the heart of human wolf conflict it is essential to speak with people in their local context S econd since the delisting of the wolf from the Endangered Species Act in Wyoming and Idaho many of the policies and management regimes are implemente d and designed by these same rural residents who advocate decentralized wolf policy Through the observation s and open ended interview s with people in direct contact with landscapes that are wolf inhabited

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! ) wolf narratives and policy can be theorized with "attention to the realities of bodies in discursively constituted settings" (O'Loughlin, 1995) The addition of specific archiv al material such as legislative documentation, gives attention to how wildlife and wilderness concepts are narrated in historical text This allows for analysis across time regarding iterations of wildlife policy These data c an shed light upon narratives surrounding regimes of power as well as al low for rearrangements highlighting the articulat ions between historical and contemporary policy (Zeitlyn, 2012) Data Collection In order to gain access to rural citizens and org anizational specialists in wildlife policy I used a focused a priori approach with subsequent "snowball" sampling methods (Bernard, 2006) Memb ers of l ivestock a ssociations, non p rofit advocacy groups and g overnmental a gencies were contacted by both email and phone The majority of formal interviews were done at the participants home or place of business. In initial contacts I exp lained that the research was based on policy and perce ptions regarding wolves in the W este rn US. All recorded interviews had written consent forms signed, and in the instance of the three phone interviews verbal consent was granted per my I nstitutional R eview B oard In addition to situating myself in wolf conflict areas I was able to contact two organizations and attend two formal full day events. These events were immensely helpful in getting contacts and scheduling initial interviews in each community. I was invited to a n all day seminar in Ketchum Idaho at the behe st of the non profit Defenders of Wildlife This event focused on the use of "non lethal" methods on predator control in

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! the Sun Valley and Salmon River sheep and cattle ranching communities. In addition to that event I was invited by the Wyoming Livesto ck Association to an all day ranch tour and conservation awards seminar in Sublette C ounty Wyoming. Both of these event s occurred during the summer of 2012. These public and private events are essential to my research design due to their importance in the "snowball" sampling methods I employed (LeCompte & Schensul, 1999) As I made myself familiar to various people at the events, I inquired about where predations were occurring and who would be willing to be interviewed I made subsequent phone calls to each of them before vising their land to set up face to face interviews and explained by phone the nature of my research. Within the small towns near predation areas I frequented restaurants, bars, rodeos and small business es T hrough these informal conversations I was also able to branch out my sample into the self reported networks of community members. Interviews with ranchers and other rural residents were mainly done at the ir homes or walking around the land with the m. Many ranchers and other participants had large amounts of daily work and invited me to "walk along" with them while we talked and I took note s. Recorded interviews ranged from 30 minutes in one instance to over two hours for another ; the average was approximately one hour Additionally dozens of informal discuss ions and observations in multiple settings in both states were used as contextual data. Total on site fieldwork in both states consisted of three weeks in Idaho and two week s in Wyoming. A total of 24 formal interviews were obtained. A selection of ten ranchers four hunters/business owners and ten other participants ranging from business owners to schoolteachers were interviewed in depth. Every sing l e participant was a

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! + resident of a county that had former or current wolf populations. I was able to set up interviews at both field sites with people working for the Bureau of Land Management ( BLM ) US Department of Agriculture ( USDA ) US Forest Service ( USFS ) livestock asso ciation s, f ish and g ame board, two members of the Shoshone tribe on the Wind River R eservation and one legislator from a district in northern Wyoming. Over twelve hours of recorded interview data was transcribed focusing on the emergent themes. P articipan ts were interviewed in a semi structured format, with questions focus ing on wolf policy and wildlife/wilderness perceptions. Data Analysis Discourse analysis regarding historical antecedents to contemporary wolf populations and personal narratives allows for an explanation for specific policy positions as well as aesthetic/ethical positions taken by participants (Bernard, 2006; LeCompte & Schensul, 1999) Wolves in specific contexts can be inv estigated using hermeneutic methods of discourse analysis, which calls for attention to ideas, actions and institutional narratives (Lynn, 2010) In order to organize both some of the narrative and archival data I used the online qualitative analysis prog ram DEDOOSE Twelve interview transcripts were analyzed using DEDOOSE's user defined text coding software, all other interview coding was done using pen and paper. I utilized LeCompte and Schensul's timeline of data analysis that recommends data analysi s in a specific order; first open ended analysis of emerg ing themes based on observations and field notes ; second pattern recognition ; third constitutive analysis ; and finally full triangulation leading to theoretical modeling (1999, pp. 153 159) I

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! employed a n approximation of constructivist grounded theory" by coding field data emergently and sorting thematic elements in groups (Charmaz, 2006) Re search Sites and Demographic C ontext The current debate regarding wildlife policy within rural communities that border Yellowstone is highly politicized and emotionally charged. While most people who were intervie wed were outspoken and publically open about thei r opinions and experiences a few were hesitant t o re veal personal identities due to the hotly contested nature of the wolf issue A few government and non profit employees were considerate in their willingness to be interviewed for this research but requested anonymity. In an effort to protect individ uals as well as specific towns and counties I refer only to the self defined livelihood and state of residence Observational data will only be referenced in regard to s tate location. In many instances whether data was collected in Idaho or Wyoming had little bearing on the analysis of interview data One exception to this is the unique insight given into the design and implementation of Wyoming 's wolf hunting and predator zone. Interviewees who discussed issues of policy design were asked permission to use more specific identifier s in this analysis. D ata that deals with specific wolf experiences and sightings include place identification for clarification. Job titles for governmental employees are withheld due to the small number of individuals in e ach government agency in the research areas. While the majority of interviewees were lifetime residents of rural counties that had current wolf populations there remain a few demographic and ecological differences in the two field sites. Ketchum C ounty and the Sawtooth/Salmon R iver areas of Idaho are demographically oriented toward older residents and part time residents. The Thompson

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! $! Creek molybdenum mine near Challis, Idaho brings in large numbers of migrant workers from surrounding states and communi t ies. Many ranchers in these areas said that without the mine, the surrounding counties would be worse off. Along the Salmon R iver there were a few small "man camps" made up of temporary housing for the migrant workers. World class skiing, micro breweries and sushi restaurants were within driving distance from the majority of Salmon River and Ketchum C ount y interviewees. There were many so called "hobby ranches", ranches that p roduced little or no livestock, in t he Salmon River Sawtooth and Sun V alley areas of Idaho. These landowners were not interviewed for this study. Rancher interviewees in Idaho were more likely to deal with the US Forest Service for grazing allotment permits. Idaho ranchers also had a longer history of sheep operations in the area s where interviewees lived. Cattle production was still prominent however despite a historical preference for sheep in those areas. Wyoming ranchers interviewed were exclusively cattle producers. These ranchers deal with the Bureau of Land Management m ore oft en than the US Forest Service. Oil and gas production are the main driver s of the economy in the areas of Wyoming w h ere this research was conducted In west central Wyoming an increase in oil and gas production has brought in higher numbers of you ng migrant workers from surrounding communities and states. The "A nticline" oil/gas field near Pinedale Wyoming is the third largest oil/gas extraction operation in the United States and one of the area s largest employ ers. The oil/gas Anticline operati ons lay 80% on publicly managed land. Ranching outfits that utilize grazing allotments from the BLM for their operations surround the Anticline gas/oil fields Many of the interviewees in Wyoming mentioned the income from the Anticline operations as a benefit to the community.

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! $$ Ecologically speaking, on average, interviewees in Idaho raised livestock at a higher al titude in a comparatively wet forested landscape. Compared to the Wyoming ranchers interviewed, Idaho ranchers had a much shorter season and utilized trucking livestock in the winter months more often. Wyoming ranchers interviewed utilized a mix of dry sagebru sh river bottoms and forested watershed basins for grazing. Ranchers in both Idaho and Wyoming utilized some combination of trucking and feedlot operations in addition to public lands grazing. While there are important and multi faceted differences between land management departments demographics, ecotypes, and tax base income across the field sites the following analysis focuses on broader commonalities of perception and opinion regarding wolves. All data were gathered within the communities surrounding the re introductions of 1995

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! $% CHAPTER III LUP O CIDE: WOLF HATRED ON THE PERSISTANT FRONTIER The wolf is the arch type of ravin the beast of waste and desolation ." Theodore Roosevelt Background Anthropology has a rich history of animal/human ethnography (Mullin, 1999) Recently anthropology has been following the "animal turn" in critical studies with a call for research into the "multispeci es" systems human s inhabit (Kirksey & Helmreich, 2010) The relationship between animals and humans throughou t history is of primary importance when vi ewing contemporary conservation conflict s (Brantz, 2010) Wildlife biology and h uman g eography s tudies have focused on contemporary rural attitudes regarding predators and public lands in the West (Boitani, 1995; Manfredo & Zinn, 1996; Nie, 2008) The conflict between wolves and rural Western America has been framed as a contest of social values between "traditional" nature/human divides as well as conflict between groups of people over what nature means (Marvin, 201 2; Coleman, 2004) (Boitani, 1995) The majority of studies regarding human/wolf conflict performed by non anthropologists such as ecologists wildlife biologists and natural resource academics have focused on aggregate community opinion based on surveys and other quantifiable methodologies (Browne Nunez & Taylor, 2002) Wolves exist primarily in rural areas the world over. Therefore an obvious commonality between both European and American studies of human/wolf conflict is that the focus is on rural culture in order to explain both lupocide (wolf killing) and lupophobia (fear of wolves). Anthropologists have investigated rural ranching culture and its Anglo European connections across the contemporary world (Ingold, 1980; Bennett,

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! $& 1969; Hoelle, 2012) Contemporary anthropologists working in the rural ranching communities of N or th America have begun to see the Western rural citizen class as an im portant area of inquiry into landscape use and an imal relations (Hines, 2010a ; Hines, 2010b ; Sheridan, 1995) The Wolf in Social T heory In order to ethnographically locate what Kirksey and Helmrich (2010) call the "material entanglements" of animals and people it is important to review the concept of the wolf within contemporary social theory As Robbins (2010) state s "wolves are, to be sure, one of the more difficult, persistent, and intriguing puzzles of nature and society." Marvin (2010 ) argues the real animal is the cultural animal." Recent attempts by social scientists to theoretically ground wolves within western rural culture have led to varied conclusions. Buller (2008) contends that reintroduced wolf populations highlight cultural systems o f biosecurity fou nd in the older land use regimes that favored agricultural development on rural frontiers These systems of predator control are in direct relation to "competing philosophies of nature" that place the wolf within a category of undesirable pest (Buller, 2008) Lynn (2010) takes a hermeneutic approach on wolf conflict Wolves can be seen as trapped symbols within various discourses, the most important of these discourses being the conflicting ethical narratives embedded within wolf conservation (Lynn, 2010) In these analyses wolves are creatures that create phi losophical and ethical conflict, bringing to the fore human animal contestations that have been under the surface since the victories of conservation p olicy in the ending decades of the 20 th century Kleese (2011) argues that this conflict is uniquely situated in "late modernity"

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! $' and places wolves as harbingers of unpleasant considerations about what is "authentic" in the contemporary natural world. Th e value of th e wolf is socially constructed through anti wolf sentiments that reify historically specific western modes of production (Hines, 2012). This type of discourse situates real wolves as a politically summoned symbolic pest : an unwanted animal that disturbs the engines of western capitalism. The wolf then, while biologically able to exist within ecosystem s outside of Yellowstone, becomes tangled in a political problem related to the larger economic demogra phic "war" in the we st (Brick & Cawley, 1996; Wilmot & Clark, 2005) Indeed, Buller (2008), in part sees anti wolf sentiment as a form of local resistance to non local environmental groups who have broader agendas regarding conservation. In this arena, suspicion and distrust of federally centralized wildlife managerial authority is illuminated through the wolf as a "cipher" (Hines, 2012 ) for understanding larger land use conflicts While the larger philosophical c onflict between what Hines (2010a) (2010b) calls the "post indus trial middle class" and traditional ranching culture is a key component to situating wolve s within a larger social world (Scarce, 1998), wolves also have group specific local histories that are integral to understanding conflict (Walker, 2005) The most compelling theorization of American wolves comes from Robisch (2009). Robisch places the American wolf on a historical spectrum with the poles between the demonizing creature rooted in the beliefs of puritan colonists and the beloved totemic animal of modernity's enviro nmentalism. For Robisch the American wolf is a cre ature that is malleable through time by the metaphorical agency of humans. This is a definable point of departure for theorizing wolves in America. The wolf "out there" on the western

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! $( landscape is a dialectic between the fl eshy "corporeal" wolf of eco science and the "ghost wolf" of our fictive imaginations. In the narratives of rural citizens in this study the borders between real and metaphorical wolves w ere often articulated, blurred, and bound together. A Brief History of Anglo European Wolf Conflict Boitani argues that wolf extermination follows a pattern closely linked to different early human ecology types and the interaction among cultures" (1995 3 8). The landscape upon which most flesh and blood human wolf conflict happens is generally one inhabite d by Anglo A merican ranchers and their associated rural communities. Ranching culture in the A merican W est is direct ly derived from E uropean inheri ted cult ural practices (Jordan, 1993). Western t raditions of wolf hatred did not start anew in colon ial America. Wolf demonization evidence is abundant in the tales and myths of medieval Europe (Donaldson, 2006) In pre Christ ian Europe there is evidence of rich cultural symbolism regarding wolves, from Roman cosmology to Germanic folklore (Marvin, Wolf, 2012; Boitani, 1995; Donaldson, 2006) There is little evidence of intense wolf hatred and organized large sca le wolf killing until the Middle A ges (Marvin, Wolf, 2012; Boitani, 1995 ; Donaldson, 2006) Scotland and England had exterminated their wolves by 1700, and by the mid 1800s the wolves of central Europe were pushed to the hinterlands of the A r c tic C ircle, t he Russian steppe, the Pyrenees and rugged Italian Alps Certainly the wolf was not an unfamiliar creature to the first waves of European settlers and stockmen. The first wolf bounty in colonial America was recorded in Jamestown in 1630. During the co lonial era wolf bounties in Pennsylvania were found

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! $) to account for up to 40% of local governmental budgets (Robbins, Hintz, & Moore, 2010) Land use conversion favoring livestock and agricultural practices followed the increasing numbers of settlers moving west during the two centuries of intensified N orth American settlement. Predators such as wolves, coy otes, mountain lions and bears were increasingly hunted and vilified by rural communities whose depend ence on livestock animals for livelihood was a commonplace (Robinson, 2005) The removal of predators had a material purpose allowing for incr easing land expansion. Anderson (2004) argues that domesticated sp ecies of European t radition, so called "creatures of empire", were integral actors in the construction of the geographies of land use and capitalism in early America From the 1800's onward the complex interplay between centralized federal power, industrialization and liv estock friendly public lands management policy what Robinson (2005) calls "predatory bureaucracy", allowed for the complete extirpation of wolves from the w estern United S tates The last wolf in Yellowstone was shot in 1926 by a park ranger. Conclusive evidence shows that sometime in the 1930 's wolves were extirpated from the northwestern United States (Coleman, 2004) (Robinson, 2005) (Fritts, Bangs, & Gore, 1994) Yellowstone National P ark was never intended to be a refuge for wolves. Park rangers and local citizens actively practiced wolf hunting and trapping in the early 20 th century (Robinson, 2005) Wolves were not even a top zoolog ical priority in that era. Indeed the person credited with saving the America n b ison from extinction in the 20 th century William Hornaday called w olves "despicable". Even as the leading mammalian cons ervationist of his generation Hornaday had little sympathy for wolves

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! $* stating, "There is no depth of meanness, treachery, or cruelty to which they do not cheerfully descend (Barrow, 2009) With such a sentiment defining the prevailing attitude of wolf policy during the 19 th and 20 th century it is not surprising that w olves were extirpated from the W estern United States by the 1940 's (Coleman, 2004) (Robinson, 2005) Ove r the next 60 years shifting attitudes regarding wildlife conservation led to wolf re introduction i nto the American W est i n 1995 (Fischer, 1995) Due to the efforts of the same centralized federal authority that extirpated them in the previous decades, grey wolves were reintr oduced to Yellowstone National Park after nearly half a century of absence from the America n West (Robinson, 2005) Post Re introd uction C onflict in the American West Over the past 18 years wolves have m igrated out of t he national park and wilderness boundar ies into a socio ecological patchwork of priv a te and public lands called the "Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem" (Keiter & Boyce, 1991) Conflict followed very quickly. It took scarcely three months post re introduction for the first wolf to be killed, at that time illegally outside of Yellowstone In that infamous incident a Montana ma n shot a male wolf, decapitated it, and hid the radio collar an d the corpse (McNamee, 1997) Ongoing policy battles continued for over a decade. Livestock predations fluctuated and were asymmetrically distributed, sometimes down to neighboring ranchers reporting differing livestock losses Wo lves in the Rocky Mountain West were removed from the protections of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 2011. This was the first time a specific species was removed from the ESA by a line item addition to the defense budget appropriations bill.

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! $+ Idaho and Montana imm ediately designed their own hunting policies outside the borders of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park. In October 2012 Wyoming followed, designating a "predator zone" for 80% of the state allowing for the culling of wolves back to 150 individuals This should be seen within the context of confirmed livestock kills before removal of ESA In 2011 wolves in Wyoming killed 63 sheep and 60 cattle. In that same period 59 wolves were killed. As of January 2013 hundreds of wolves have been hunted in I daho and Wyoming. A grand total, according to Wyoming Fish and Game's own data, of eight cattle and one lamb have been lost from wolf predation since October 2012. Since 1995 w olves have been documented to predate upon less than 1% of cattle i n the greate r Yellowstone ecos ystem Even at the height of populations before their removal from the protections of the ESA wolves never played a large role in the morbidity and mortality of livestock herds overall. Currently the push for de regulated wolf management policy continues in Wyoming, Idaho and Montana Ongoing court battles and conservation NGO activ ism continue in many states in many forms. Due to the removal from th e ESA, wolf management policy has become a balkanized political and ideological battle. Economic concerns due to predation are insufficient to explain the contemporary relationship between people and wolves in Idaho and Wyoming Ranchers are compen sated for confirmed wolf kills. According to a member of the Wyoming state legislature interview ed ranchers are compensated up to six times the market price for loss to predation in some areas Loss to respiratory illness, weather, and other predators such as grizzly bears far outstrips any wolf predation. In Idaho and Wyoming wolf predation kills l ess than 0.5% of the total number of cattle in each state.

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! $, Location and type of livestock was a reported predictor of how severe the economic impact of wolf predation was on personal livelihood. Sheep herds are more vulnerable to wolf predation. Two inte rviewed sheep ranchers expressed that losses of sheep to wolves were significantly hurting their business. Cattle ranchers expressed that a mixture of predators including bears as well as cyclical externalities such as labor cost were significant contribu tors to livelihood hardship in the livestock business. Indeed, the costs of wolf predation in monetary terms was not an oft used argument in explaining livelihood security issues. Many ranchers readily admitted that the cyclical and stochastic valuat ion of livestock, fuel, labor, utilities, and specifically hay were the primary stressors on their livelihood. A rancher in Idaho stated, "It's a hard business, the price of hay and labor are my biggest concerns most of the time lately." The idea that ra nchers hate wolves simply because the wolves eat their property did not hold up to their own sophisticated elaborations of their economic reality Economic dynamics and populations of local predators near sheep livestock operations have quantitatively been shown to be unrelated over time (Berger, 2006) Livestock depredation by wolves has been shown to be a miniscule co st to ranching, with costs at approximately .01% of ranchers' gross income (Muhly & Musiani, 2009) In the N orthwest ern states this small cost is outweighed by the increase in land values and conversion of public and private rangelands for development (Muhly & Musiani, 2009) This leaves the explanatory power of livelihood insecurity lacking when confronted with contemp orary data. There surely was a time when wolf predation cost livestock producers immensely, but current wolf populations do not threaten western livestock producers overall livelihoods

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! %! Rancher position on wolf management policy in the rural W est is muc h deeper than input output assessments of livestock production. Even when ranchers were given persuasive arguments for wolf restoration by biological science, anti wolf sentiments became more concrete (Meadow et al 2005). Wildlife experts working for t he U S government admitted before reintroduction that the "negative symbolic nature" of wolves has much to do with policy controversy in the rural W est (Fritts et.al, 1994). In the following section s a historically focused cultural explanation for wolf ha tred and anti wolf policy in the rural W est is given. Embodied History What use is a wolf, I ask you? Have you seen one? Now wolf people come here and make money researching, but what does a wolf do for anyone ? The people that are interested in wolves could give a fuck about our history. They have no interest whatsoever about what we feel and our past is and what our future is. They could care less. Rancher, Idaho One of the most important themes to emerge from this research is the importance of comm unity he ritage and history to rural residents Many conversations that started about wolves would end with detailed descriptions of their family's history with the land and livestock. When in terviewed nearly every person made statements regarding the im portance of understanding the history of their community, th eir family and their livelihood when discussing wolves. A long time government agent who works in land management stated, You have to see that the elimination of the wolf is something that these communities see as a victory. It s something that their families did ." One ranch hand and laborer in Wyoming remarked, our grandparents had to deal with this (wolves), and now we got to deal with it again." In near ly every ranch home there were family photos dating from the turn of the century. On one occasion I was given a full

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! %$ tour of a ranch house that included long explanations of who was in each photo on the wall and how they fit into the famil y's livestock operation over the past century. It is i mpossible to contextualize wolves within these communities without taking into account the importance of frontier history within their social world. I argue that c ontemporary narratives about previous generations way of life on the frontier is an importan t component of human animal relations. When asked directly about the constant use of the word "heritage" and "settle" during previous interviews about wolves a local governmental employee stated: You were here this weekendwent on the (local ranch) tour right? Well we have been here since the 1800s and we celebrate th at. A week before that we had chuckwagon days. Wyoming is not an old state. 1890 I think. So we are still close to those roots, so the communities that are here. There may not be 200 year old places here like Virginia, the most m ay be over 100. And so you are not far removed from those pioneers who struggled to create what there is here. The wolves in Idaho and Wyoming are best understood as situated on a persistent frontier" (Hin es, 2007) Indeed Hines argues that modernity itself, as a utopian ideal, relies on the cultural myth of a pure frontier. This "persistent frontier" is a landscape of embodied ideology with its roots in historical practice Limerick (1987) states that t he history of the West is a "study of a place undergoing conquest and never fully escaping its consequences (p.26). In his seminal work Wilderness and the American M ind Nash argued that Anglo Americans have a unique way of shaping frontiers, inherited from puritanical roots that defined the new world as a "wildness" to be labored into a new garden of Eden, a place of providence (Nash, 2001) The so called Turner thesis was well known and argued over at the turn of the 19 th century and beyond. Fredrick Turner contended that t he American frontier created a uniquely pragmatic

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! %% American character (Limerick, 1987) Turner argued that it was the con tact between "savagery and civilization" that made the democratic citizen (Slotkin, 1992) Slotkin (1992) calls the 19 th century frontier a "myth ideological system" that motivated the early American colonizers T he followi ng section highlights how persistent narratives of history in rural communities have links to how nature and place are socially constructed and embodied. In explaining why wolves were seen as "bad" or "unwanted" ranchers and hunters often deployed family centered histories of livelihood insecurity and frontier living. A local ranch oil and gas conservation awards cere mony was preceded by a full hour PowerPoint presentation that focused on the family's history with the land since the late 1800s. S ome mor e important consistencies in local historical representation in interviews and observation w ere narratives of "settlement". It was noticeable during interviews that the word "settle" was used exclusively when describing the 19 th centu r y's movement of European peoples. More than once the phrase "our great grandfathers settled was used in describing the local landscape. The term "settle" has connotations of ending an argument and of taming a formerly wild landscape. Hoefle (2004) argues that the history of the west is one of "belligerent imperialism" that has carried over into a legacy of class conflict and violence. Violence and settlement have often gone hand in hand in western colonial history (Sl otkin, 1992) C ontemporary violence between humans and animals is related to this legacy (Nibert, 2002) Highlighting this common tendency to narrate violence as a solution to wolf populat ions a ran cher in Idaho said, I don't call the government. If I want to take care of a wolf it's the three S's : s hoot, shovel and shut up." The violent reduction of wolf

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! %& populations was com monly narrated as the only solution to wolves. It sho uld be noted that many ranchers were agains t any use of poison or of trapping near hiking trails or other public areas In addi tion there were sheep and cattle ranchers who actively worked with non profits in both Wyoming and Idaho to utilize n on lethal predatory management technologies. Most notably the non profit Defenders of Wildlife work s with ranchers on utilizing non leth al methods of predator control such as "turbo flandry a n electrified wire with colorful flags on it Despite this fact Wyoming and Idaho management policies both con tinue to pre scribe hunting and trapping as the best way to manage wolves outside of protected areas like Yellowstone. The possible failure of non lethal controls to influence wolf management policy in Wyoming and Idaho should be seen within the context of rural traditions. Stories and practices of wolf hunting for sport as well as symbols of masculine power over nature are common in western culture (Emel, 1998 ; Lopez, 1978) The discourses surrounding violent solutions to the specific difficulties of We stern colonization were most evident in history museums and public performance. A local museum in Wyoming had handouts that told of the hard life the fur trappers had to endure with mortal da ngers coming from wildlife and Indians Many patrons watched re enactor in fur trapper regalia describing how his life was "dangerous" and "violent" because of the unsettled surroundings in the 19 th century. Large displays of various make s of rifles were a significant portion of the museum spa ce. In fact, of the fo ur museums visited guns and descriptions of them held a central pos i tion in narrating local history. Interestingly the perceived wrongdoings of animal extinction and native genocide were blamed on other factors. Literature in this museum purported that the near extinction of

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! %' the buffalo was the fa ult of polygamous Native A mericans who were greedily making too many robes. At an outdoor reenactment of the settlement of the community a large crowd laughed and clapped at actors prete nding to steal young native girls from their village as teenage re enactors shot blanks from muskets The "native" actors were local white people in red faced makeup. Local rodeos are sites of historical performance that showcase the traditional skills of animal management A t the rodeo the cowboys as well as the audience wore ubiquitous cowboy attire situated in the i magery of a horse centered free range cattle environment While working on the range it was more common to see base ball caps and ATVs th an cowboy hats and horseback riders. These performances and historical narratives through museum displays are congruent with the interview data that shows a specific and collective view of violence and the representation of the animals and people prior to colonization. It is important to place these facets of contemporary and historical practice on a wide spectrum. Certainly, history as experienced is not homogenous. The daily life of many ranchers includes encounters with many styles and types of discourses and bodily work. There are many occasions where horseback riding is essential, such as range riding with h erds on allotments. S pecific skill sets and folklore that were useful for colonization at the turn of the century have carried over in dyn amic ways to the current generations living in the rural W est. It is this mixture of practice and historical narrative that is essential to understanding wolf attitudes and perceptions. A former retired rancher responded to the question as to whether wol ves should be allowed to cross his property "You got to preserve trad itions. The land needs cattle."

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! %( Key here is the concept of traditional values The existential threat that rural communities feel is not unwarranted. The rural W estern landscape, livelihood and demographic makeup have been changing rapidly over the past two decades (Limerick et. al, 2009) What emerged during many interviews were strong rhetorical statements that ce ntered o n heritage being eroded due to demography Previous research has found that long term rural residents are openly concerned with demographic shifts towards newcomers with differing class, education, and land use values that perceivably threaten traditional rural/ranching culture (Hines, 2010 a; Hines 2010b ; Scarce, 1998) This was confirmed in many interviews in which ranchers disparaged "elitists", "outsiders" and "wolf experts" accusing them of moving into their community with seemingly no regard for livestock livelihoods. Although wolves were vil ified as destroyers of capital in the form of livestock, larger forces were readily acknowledged. W hen asked about his view of wolf conservation efforts a rancher in Idaho responded by summarizing the perceived threats besides wolves to ranching livelihood s They want us gone. They want the ranchers gone. In fifty years there won t be any more cattlemen on the upper Salmon. The land s too expensive T he kids don't want to work this hard. It s hard here every day ... the federal government wants to make it a ll a recreation area Hoelle (2012), researching cattle ranchers in Brazil states: "Rancher criticism of environmentalism is informed by their sense of history and commitment to traditional ideals that reinforce their class position." This sense of history that relates to rancher conservation position taking is als o buttressed by the broader romantic image of the cowboy as a person who stands between the untamed natural world and human order (Worster, 1992) The symbol o f the rugged W estern male cowboy has been used to

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! %) promote specific business interests (Stoeltje, 2012) It has been argued that the unique place that rancher cowboys inhabit in stories and historiography give symbolic as well as political power to contemporary livestock prod ucers that is out of balance with their real contributions economically and ecologically to the W estern states (Wuerthner & Matteson, 2002) Fassin (2002), elaborating on research into HIV, theorizes that social facts are embodied, and that these facts can be "matters of life and death." Departing from early attempts at theorizing "embodiment" Fassin argues for a new concept that adds the "historical depth of relationships of power." This a nalysis of socially constructed facts is useful in contextualizing wolf attitu des and community heritage. According to Fassin (2002) t he combination of the materialist political economic world, "social conditions", with the human centered constructivist "social experience leads to an embodiment of history. This embodiment leads to physical actions and active cultural constructions. Embodied history is grounded in fields of action and witnessing. Human subje ctivities, as defined by Ortner (2005) contain specific "cultural and historical consciousness" that "animate acting subjects This "field" in my view is the physical/material and also symbolic landscape upon which wol ves and people struggle. Ogden (2011) calls these places "assemblages" where humans and non humans interact. These assemblages are not merely framing devices for higher theory ; they are a real place constituted of physical actions For Trouillot ( 1995) history is something we are both phy sical actors in and subjects of Events in the past can be reified and shifted into new meanings and just as easily buried and forgotten in the interests of preserving social

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! %* structures (Trouillot, 1995) Through this understanding of history and landscapes a concept of "embodied history" emerges. The narrative of history that the museums, rodeos and re enactments hold within them is one where nature is separated, oftentimes violently, from the civiliz ed world of humans. The fact that many interviewees emph asized a livelihood centered conception heritage highlights the conscious link many rural citizens make between previous political economic structures and current wildlife policies regarding predators. Rural communities traditions reinforce co ncepts of heritage and traditional values that in turn drive wolf human conflict. Boundary Making The wolf is not out of context in the r ural West. It is out of bounds Wolves themselves have certain species specific ways of border making. Wolves use howling, u rine and other signals within a social group to denote boundaries between each other and other wolf packs (Steinhart, 1995) Wolves as individuals or in a group can move many mi les a day crossing varied natural and manmade boundaries (Steinhart, 1995) The se boundaries are aesthetic and political delineations that define what social category wolves find themselves in. Within Yellowstone the wolf is safe. It is a symbol of recovery and ecosystem health for many people working in environmental conservation (Lopez, 1978; Marvin, 2012) Centralized federal authority protects wolves there Outside of Yellowstone it becomes a transgressor of established land management boundaries The wolves that move out side of Yellowstone are seen as a broken promise as well. Many ranchers felt betrayed by the reintroduction. One hunting outfitter stated "They {Federal government} lied. They said the would stay in Yellowstone and now they are all over."

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! %+ However, some of the initial planners of the re introduction contend that the intention was for a continuous population of wolves connected through wilderness areas, public l ands and the national park and that this fact was made known publically (Bangs & Fritts, 1996) A few ranchers and locals advocated complete eradication of wolves outside of Yellowstone. A lifetime hunter and ranch hand stated, we ought to shoo t them all back to Yellowstone Even allowing for this policy, which Wyoming has nearly achieved, t he wolf is not safe from categorical vilification when it is inside Yellowstone. A member of one of the state legislatures said; No, they shouldn't be in Yell ow stone. It's a landscape predator. They move all around. They don't belong in our state now a s things are. As far as re introduction is concerned we didn't want them then, and we don't want them now. The issue of proper landscapes for wolves is more complex than their unwanted physical presence on grazing allotments or private land. Their moveme nt i s a transgression into a historically defined social space. I argue anti wolf attitudes are relate d to how rural residents define boundaries in two key ways. First the boundary between wolves and other animals is clearly defined on a hierarchy that is related to how animal meaning is socially constructed Second the boundary between wolves and humans is defined by the stories people exch ange abo ut how wolves behave and how wolves react to humans Wolf animal borders During discussions it became evident that other animals, both domestic and wild were classified in wholly different schema from wolves. While wolves are one of many local "wild animals" they also are set as a completely unique type of animal. The most

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! %, salient example is the different classification between the two top main culprits in livestock predation : wolves and bears. In Wyoming many ranchers readily admitted that grizzly bears h ad killed just as many if not more li vestock each year than wolves. Unlike wolves not once in any interview were be ars called "useless" or "pests" Many ranchers were distraught at increasing grizzly bear predation but they did not advocate their exti rpation A rancher said simply I don't got a big proble m with bears T hey belong here." A hunter in Idaho wanted no steel foot trapping on national forest lands. His main reason was that people who hike take their pet dogs and dogs should not be in danger of getting snared in steel traps. The hunter explained, a steel trap is painful to a dog and that's just cruel to have happen to someone's pet around here." There were key differences between wolves and pet dogs Some residents blamed conservatio n advocates for confusing the two. A hunti ng outfitter explained "they think that the wolves are good out there. Well they are not. They aren't fucking dogs Th ey are a pack killer." Another common theme was one of dominance. Wolves were seen as a domineering creature in confl ict with other wild animals. In both Wyoming and Idaho wolves were said to "ki ll for sport" or "fun". I heard tales of wolves eating calves half way out of th e birth canal as their mothers screamed in the night Each time, of the three, I heard that the story it occurred in "the middle of the night." This same visceral story ca me from people in both s tates. M any hunters and ranchers said unlike bears or mount ain lions, wolves "killed for fun" and did not eat what they hunted. One ranc her told of a predated calf he found on his grazing allotment. He was very clear about why he

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! &! saw wolves as cruel describing how he found it. In his vivid story the calf's lung s bubbled with blood from pu lmonary puncture wounds and he had to cut its throat. In this sense wolves were placed outside of the natural order of things. They were given behavioral characteristics that hinted at a preternatural understanding of their surroundings While emotions and meanness were readily ascribed to horses, cattle and family pets the uncontrollable and uniquely social predatory nature of wolf predation placed the species clearly outside what is allowable on th e landscape. Wo lf h uma n borders Recent research posits that wolves have a "spacio temporal" awareness of human populations (Lescureux, 2006) S tudying hunters in northern Eurasia Lescureux (2006) argues that wolf/human co existence depends on understa nding the subtleties of awareness between the two species In Idaho and Wyoming I found two broad categories of people in this regard. The first group had direct experience with wolves through various forms of contact on the landscape. These were mainly ranchers and hunters. The second group was people who told second hand stories of wolf enounters. These were main ly small busines s owners and local government governmental employees. Encounters with wolves in a visceral corporeal sense occurred in in timate ways with the hunters interviewed. Wolves are seen as unique hunters that surpass bears or mountain lions in skill A hunter stated T hey are the top predator here, no doubt." The border between the human hunter and the wolf took on certain ineffa ble qualities. An avid bow season elk hunter in Idaho said that "the wolves always know when I am there T he elk act different. You got to be twice the hunte r now than before." Another hunter

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! &$ said that the wolves he tracked used the same backcountry "gam e tracks" across mountainsides their ancestors did in the 1800s. This specific hunter in Idaho described the long, arduous method of tracking wolves. The wolf hunt in this description was centered around using fresh snow tracks and paying close attention to crow and bird of prey gatherings that signaled a fresh wolf kill. He also agreed that wolves had a human awareness and always felt like the wolves knew he was near. He said, T hey have another sense that we don't have. This concept was not uncommon Many ranchers themselves did not admire any of the wolves supposed abilities at human sense. One rancher said, T hey travel in packs T hey re easier to kill than coyotes because of that, more predictable ." The border between humans and wolves was not just one of personal experience ; it is a border socially constructed through certain beliefs about what wolves know and how wolves behave. A businesswoman in Wyoming told me that she was afraid that the wolves would lose fear of people. She was fear ful o f the consequences stating; W hat's next ? T hey let them get bigger packs and come in here... I' m afraid for the children, what would happen? Would we need to keep our kids inside? This fear was not uncommon More than one person stated that wolves were afraid of humans and were the victims of a sort themselves. A hunter stated, "It s not their fault T hey are doing what they are meant to do." A local citizen stated, "I think they are curious and not afraid yet B ut wait until we start being able t o hunt more. They haven't become what they really are yet." This sentiment regarding wolves learning how to act from human violence came up again during a discussion with a local

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! &% governmental employee in Wyoming. Responding to questions about how the hunt ing zon e would a ffect wolves he stated; For one thing they would be educated a little bit. Man s never been allowed to teach them respect ( L aughs ) I mean we don 't hunt them. I would be for a management plan that provided the opportunity to harvest them and keep them respectful of the interactions with people. I think they have no fear W e are precluded from teaching them anything. This statement highlights the overall belief that wolves are political transgressors They do not follow the land management systems that have evolved over two centuries of western colonialism. The overall conception is that wolves can learn through violence In this type of narrative it is fear and respect that is missing in the wolves Wolves do not only kill livestock on public and private lands ; the y cross the border of production versus wilderness. Their designation as an endangered species outside of Yellowstone directly put them into a position that intruded upon the industries of capitalism. While ranchers had grievances of wolves crossing into private lands and allotments on public lands, there was a larger issue of wolves a ffecting statew ide industry. In Wyoming a "predator zone" has 80% of the state as a no wolf zone. The l ine is drawn with a seasonal hunting zone buffer south of Yellowstone. A state legislature representative said that the line was a "holding pattern" placed in full recognition that it was a compromise because we would not have got what we wanted if we di dn't have flex hunting zones." After that statement a prominent local livestock advocate present concurred, it s true I t's a compromise with the feds. If it was up to some of the stockmen there'd of never been a re introduction." This implied that the policy wanted by local communities perhaps would have been different and not included the buffer hunting zones outside Yellowstone These human constructed borders are in many ways demarcations that are invisible to wol ves. They

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! && ch ange within months due to political processes such as the removal o f ESA protection Social memory and the narratives of wolf behavior and meaning are in constant articulation with historical processes and social border constructions of animal wolf and w olf human. This is in addition to the perceived livelihood insecurity of traditional rural culture in these areas. The de centralization of wolf management has highlighted the importance of how rural communities go about constructing political and social b orders between humans and animals Stori es, rumor and myth of animals are utilized to further the traditional liv elihoods and identities in local communities

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! &' CHAPT ER IV RUMOR, GHOSTS AND MYTHISTORY In this chapter I discuss the narratives about wolves prior to their reintroduction. The opinion of many people interviewed is that there was and is a cons piracy of the federal government to repopulate the West with predators. In addition to this many people stated that the current wolves in their communities were not nat ive and had displaced indigenous subspecies of wolf. The local explanation of wolf history in the years of 1930 1995 differs wildly from the official governmental and scientific accounts. Rumors about the role of centralized authority in wolf human conflict scenarios bring to the fore issues of social resistance" (Skogen et. al, 2008) The widespread nature of these narratives allows for some exploration of the phenomena of coll ective memory (French, 2012) The narratives surrounding native wolves during the 40 year extirpation era center on the existence of a wolf that the majority wildlife biology cannot "see". The debates about what is and is not real lead to considerations of ontology in ethnographic representation (Carrithers et. al, 2010 ; Heywood, 2012) It is important to consider the differen ces between the facts and social truth when analyzing these narratives. Evidence from standard positivist biological science is in direct opposition to some local narratives about what happen ed before reintroduction and what wolves did exist. It is not the place of this study to say outright with complete certainty which narr ative is accurate or inaccurate What is key is that the set of facts and assertions put forth by rural residents and wildlife biologists lead to larger accepted social truths. The scientifically defined facts of wildlife biology were used in the reint roduction efforts implementation (Robinson, 2005) The experienced and lived

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! &( facts of some rural residents were used as resistance to and opposition to wolves (Urbigkit, 2008) Following Trouillot s (1995) claim that people in situations of differential power often make claims to historical authenticity, or historicity (French, 2012) / I t became appar ent in the data that rural communities had specific concept s of what the facts of history were in the context of local governance versus federal authority outside of Yellowstone. Rumor It should be stated outright that while many people felt that there was a conspiracy against ranching and rural communities this was not unfounded paranoia. Non profits such as Defenders of Wildlife and Western Watersheds Project regularly use litigation in order to pursue agendas of wolf conservation and grazing reduction respectfully. The battles over land use are being fo ught through the courts by non profits and governmental agencies. R anchers viewed these maneuvers as coming from "outsiders" with no "respect" for their way of life The overall sentiment was that the various non profit environmental groups were just f urt hering the anti rancher "green" agenda of the federal government. The federal government was not seen as an ally for rura l communities interests in any interview with ranchers or hunters Unwarranted or not suspicion of the true motives of researchers a nd governmental employees was nearly ubiquitous. Many times this suspicion and distrust became a personal experience. Upon a rrival at local home a hunter demanded to see my student ID and take his own notes before letting me inside. Before an interview with an experienced ranch hand he demanded that no recordings be made of his voice because he was suspicious that somehow "the feds c ould get the recording."

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! &) Discussions regarding the distrust of the federal government by rural residents occasionally led to stories about clandestine rein troduction efforts before 1995. In Idaho this stor y was told only once in passing. The rancher mentioned that he had heard wolves were released in Yellowstone in the 1960s. In Wyoming the conspiracy reintroduction narrative was more common. A retired second generation rancher said in response to my question about federal reintroduction conspiracies : You know. I don't know. But I ve heard they flew grizz l ie s into the Grand Tetons back in the 8 0s. I don't k n ow about wolves. Some say the same thing about them But the fact is they {grizzly bears} suddenly started killing our cattle and there was no other way to explain it. A few other ranchers took the rumor of these secret reintroductions into conspiratorial territories. One rancher when asked why secret reintroductions were performed said T hey {federal government} want us gone." This opinion was not as clear cut and common as the narratives of distrust regarding the federal government. Most ranchers never mentioned it, and in later interviews wh en I inquired about these conspiracies of reintroduction many just shrugged it off. More common was the notion that the 1995 wolf reintroductions were part of a larger anti rancher anti rural policy coming from f ederal authority. Summing up a common th eme, a rancher in Idaho said, T hey just have it in for us." There is evidence of similar rumor and conspiracy narratives in other countries that have human wolf conflict In Western Europe wolves have slowly be en migrating south from Scandinavia and from the interior of the Alps, helped by conservation policies (Camion Vincent, 2005) In France Sweden and Italy these similar rumors of clandestine wolf reintroduction were found among ranchers and rural citizens (Camion Vincent, 2005) A Fre nch farmer is quoted in Skogel (2008 116 ) stating, "They want to

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! &* destroy the farmers. The wolf is a means to destroy them ." In Norway and Sweden there were also many farmers and hunters who believed that centralized governmental authorities had conspired to re introduce wolves in secret (Skogen & Krange, 2003 ; Skogen et. al, 2008). Ghosts One morning I walked into a federal agency building in Idaho early for a information gathering meetin g with a forestry grazing expert At the front desk I told them who I was and idle chat had me revealing why I was there. The man at the front desk immediately shifted in his chair when I said that I was trying to figure out how ranching was doing after the 1995 reintroduction of wolves. He said in a stern voice, You know th ey didn't re introduce them. T hey introduced them. Idaho had it's native wolves a nd they were driven off by the Canadian wolf. The Canadian wolf is not from here. The woman sitting next to the man, also a governmental employee for a land management depart ment followed up with, They dumped them on us. They aren't native here." This was my first encounter with this "native" wolf in discussions in rural communities. In my interview transcripts and field notes it emerged that this specific wolf prior to 1 995 had been said to exist in both Idaho and Wyoming in various numbers and forms. In titling this subsectio n "ghosts I am not arguing that the creature described in the following accounts did not exist. I utilize the idea of ghost to highlight the di fficult nature of tracking dow n what does and does not exist.

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! &+ The discourse surrounding pre introduction wolves of Idaho and Wyoming emerged from interview data. As it became apparent that this was a common theme I began to investigate counter claims a nd comparative cases Canis impossiblus When I was looking into claims of native wolves that avoided extirpation more than once I was told "ask { X } ". This person has a lifetime experience in hunting, trapping wolf kill site investigation, wolf hunting and collaborative work with federal agencies and wildlife biology. When given the chance to have a discussion with this top expert I took th e opportunity to inquire about native wolf claims I had been hearing. After carefully laying out some evid ence he ended stating about the local claims, Wolves that were up the mountains and never were driven out ? They say that all the time. We call that thing canis impossiblus According to the majority wildlife biologists historians and federal investigators wolves were completely extirpated from the areas that include Idaho and Wyoming sometime in the early 1930s (Bangs & Fritts, 1996 ; Robinson, 2005 ; Coleman, 2004) Extensive field research investigating claims of wolf populations in the 1960's and 1970's found no evidence of wolf habitation in the Western US (Bangs & Fritts, 1996) While reports of lone or "lobo" wolves in the Western states continued after 1930 no hard evidence was found for their existence until some wolves denned in northe rn Montana in 1982 (Pletscher 1997). This specific population was the only recorded breeding pack of wolves in the US until reintroduction in 1995 (Pletscher, 1997). While there are book length claims of subspecies of wolves in the Western US as well as previous native inhabitants (Urbigkit, 2008) the general consensus is that the

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! &, wolves that were flown in from Canada are the exact same species of wolf that were completely extirpated in the early 20 th century (Robinson, 2005) (Ewing & Cooley, 2012) The ghost wolves In both Idaho and Wyoming I heard stories of wolves that were survivors of the extirpation. Some said they were lobos that came back only to the North after the 1970s due to the ban on poisoning and the Endangered Species Act However, the majority stated that there had always been wolves deep in the wilderness. The reasons for their survival and descriptions of their physical appearance and behavior had key commonali ties and differences. By far the most detailed description of the wolves that survived and lived in these areas came from an avid hunter, former rancher, and lifetime resident of Idaho. The description given touches on many of the commonalities I found in the data. The following description is lightly edited and leaves out generalizing follow up questions and answers in order to give a more full summation: Resp: We had wild wolves which was interesting but they were a different subspecies T hey were a little small timber wolf that would mate and run two or three pups. We trapped and hunted all our life in this country, we seen wolf, we seen wolf track s o n the U pper S almon River Invr: You re saying on the Upper Sa lmon, before the reintroduc tion, from when you were little til 95 you had timber wolves? Resp: We had timber wolves. We did not tra p them, but we seen them while we were trapping. We ran old sleds up and down every drainage from about basin cr ee k a few miles south of Stanley, to the East Fork and up the East Fork almost every drainage to the headwaters forever. Me and my older two brothers. Most of the timber wolves we seen were right here in the upper reaches of the main Salmon They weren't a pack animal. They were mostly lobo' s loners In fact there was only two times in my sightings...that was in February when they would be breeding th at we seen wolves running with f emales. Those dogs matured about 75 pound s. They were just about double the size of a coyote. Well

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! '! there s a lot of difference between a 75 pound dog and 100 pound dog. Or 104 pound dog. People have a misconception of wolves, even these Canadian wolve s. T he little old wolf back then...I never heard of a single incident when they would lose livestock to these lobo timber wolves. Now in the 30s they did. The wolf in this description, like many others, is not a predator of livestock. It breeds less and is smaller than current wolves. It leaves humans and their animals alone. It does not run or hunt in pack s. Interestingly the description ends by linking this wolf to the wolves of the distant past in order to separate the "Canadian" wolf from the native. Also interestingly this same, continuous species of wolf changed its hunting behavior. They were a p roblem in the 1930s but afterwards were not bothersome. In another interview with a rancher and his wife the following exchange occurred: Female. Resp: Well I saw a wolf up there before they ever introduced them. Male Resp: Yeah we had wolves bef ore they were eve r -before they introduced them. Intvr: Really ? Resp: Yeah we had the black timber wolf here, but they was more like a coyote. They was more wild. They wasn't increasing that much and we had them and they introduced the grea t Canadian wolf in he re wh ich is, they say they introduced them. It was not only ranchers and hunters who described seeing these wolves. Local business owners and workers described these wolves n ot only firsthand, but throughout local history. A local stated that he had never heard or seen wolves before the reintroduction but that it was "common knowledge" that they were in the wilderness areas. This person also stated that he had heard of a man in town who captured a wolf after the ESA in the early 1970s and took a picture. The story continued that some men

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! '$ got nervous, killed the wolf and lost the picture. This was one of two times I was told of lost or missing photographic evidence of the native wolves prior to 1995. I called and did a ph one interview twice with a longtime wilderness outfitter with two decades experience leading hunting trips into the Idaho backcountry. The man stated that during the public hearing period before reintroduction in 1995 he had taken his pictures of the na tive Idahoan wolf to the meetings and the federal biologists ignored him. He said he could send me some copies but he had misplaced the photos. During the same interview he described the native wolf: Resp: Smaller bodied animal, near Emmet, North Fork, Tripod. They were a little less aggressive, closer to the ecosystem, very definitely. The deer and elk herd were stable then. You had to know how to find them and they weren't easy to spot. Invr: What do you thi nk happened to these wolves after 1995? Resp: I warned them {federal government biologists} and what happened is that the timber wolf was dr iven extinct b y the grey wolf. I had brought pictures and told them and they didn't listen. One person with firsthand experience contradicted the majo rity opinion that the native wolves were smaller and fearful of humans. A hotel owner stated: I saw two to three big black ones camping when I was little. They was always up the re. We saw them crossing the river. My dad kept us away from them. He had se en them bef ore in the 60s too. They were huge, huge much bigger than the ones now This native wolf was found across a wide range of terri tory. In Idaho I was told it was in the entire Frank Church W ilderness A rea as well as portions of the Upper Salmon. In Wyoming the native wolf was said to inhabit the entire Gros Vente R ange into the Wind River Range

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! '% The common elements of this native wolf included; it did not hurt livestock, it was a loner and bred less and it did not hunt the elk or dee r herds in a damaging way. The differences were in size and color. The majority of people who reported seeing these wolves reported them to be smaller than current wolves ; however one woman, as explained, said they were much larger. About half of the r eports said the wolves were gray or brown; the other half described them as black. Wolves have a unique way of becoming "ghosts" compared to other animals in Western civilization. Accounts exist of researchers in Alaska and Canada spending decades trac king and working on wolf biology while having personal encounters that numbered less than three or four in a career (Steinhart, 1995) Unseen an d ethereal wolves are found in American literature (Robisch, 2009) They are symbolic creatures of unique and super animal abilities such as preternatural cunning and rapid movement (Donaldson, 2006) Describing the complicated metaphorical and ecological interaction hu mans have had with wolves since pre history Lope z ( 1978 ) states, We create wolves." The fact remains that wildlife biologists and conservationists could not "see" this wolf. In the peer reviewed literature and casual discussion this wolf was a "ghos t", missing, unreal and unfounded. For many ranchers, hunters and rural citizens it is a real, flesh and blood wolf that was driven out by the non native Canadian wolves. Similar to opinions regarding conservation and land use the "ghost" wolf leaves pe ople with little middle ground. In many interviews it was put forth as either real or not real, no in between.

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! '& The differences between rural citizens sightings and experiences with wolves compared to wildlife biologists has been chronicled in Europe (Camion Vincent, 2005, p. 114) As recent as 2002 a field biologist working in rural Italy was sent to investigate reports of wolves entering a village. In his report the biologist is frustrated by his inability to see the same wolves as the locals ; as quoted in Camion Vincent ( 2005, p.114); I have been there a week later, and the Mayor certified they had been on the village square, that the wolves had entered th e village, that they would end eating children and little girlsIn fact it had snowed and we checked the wolves passage. The tracks are really by the village's last house, where they are no further than a hundred meters away I admit, but the wolf has not crossed the village square! While rumors of re introduction conspiracies had correlates i n social research rese arch into the belief that wolves survived extirpations despite evidence to the contrary could not be found elsewhere in wolf literature. However, t here is a compelling paper about extinct animal sightings that has some relation to th is phenomenon Smith (2012) found that Australians have been reporting sightings of extinct Tasmanian tigers on the island of Tasmania. He asks if it could be a manifestation of collective guilt from the "trauma of colonial abjection" or perhaps yearning by wildlife managers to atone for the past (Smith, 2012) Sightings of extinct or extirpated animals have no definitive explanations. Resistance Skogen et al (2008) contend that wolf rumor and wolf stories are a form of cultural resistance" that is one of many ways "subordinate groups challenge social trends". Sk ogen et al (2008, p.131) continue;

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! '' These forms of resistance are effective inso far as they provide a sense of autonomy and help bolster "rural pride," but they have very limited impact outside the cultural level. They do not result in the political influence that would be needed to change the course of developm ent in rural areas or even the carnivore management regime. I argue that this assessment of social resistance in rural communities is incorrect. While rumor is indeed a form of resistance, it also has certain measureable effects upon policy and actions against wolves. Brosius (2006) contends that the poetics of landscapes and aesthetic definitions of nature have direct links to the policies and regimes of control that cultural groups seek to maneuver within. A salient example of this link between aesthetic cultural beliefs and policy is in a bill passed in 2001 by the Idaho State legislature (Idaho State Legislature, 2001) This bill had no effect at the time due to wolves still being under the protection of the ESA. Its language and phrasing regarding wolves is in direct reflection of the themes that emerged during fieldwork in 2012. The following line item phrasings are specific examples of this; WHERAS wolf recovery is predicated on the false political premise of intrinsic worth greater than humans; and WHERAS, fifteen Canadian gray wolves were dumped in central Idaho in 1995WHERAS, the Canadian gray wolf is n ot indigenous to the state of Idaho.wolves must be removed by whatever means necessary. The bill from 2001 is an example as to how groups can make their aesthetic land use and animal belief syst ems felt politically. In addition to this example lawsuits were brought foreword before the reintroduction that argued a native indigenous wolf existed and would be pushed out by the wolves to be placed in Yellowstone (Robinson, 2005) I t is up for deb ate as to weather American rural ranchers, farmers and communities can be viewed as subalterns in any way comparable to their European

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! '( counterpar ts T he data from interviews show that rumor and wolf stories are oftentimes contextually centered on resisting centralized federal authority. However, these same narratives often came from local residents who themselves had power to design wildlife management policies and enforce them locally. This leaves the explanation of wolf rumor and myth as merely neutered social resistance" in a difficult spot. Resistance is often viewed as coming from the powerless, or less powerful, towards groups and institutions with more power Do beliefs about what happened in the past and what is "real" necessarily have to be link ed to specific occasions of political or physical resistance? Perhaps there is a component of resis tance within the rumors and narratives of federal conspiracies But what of this unique or not so unique Anglo American ghost wolf that still haunts the past ? I feel that this American ghost wolf is only partly a form of cultural resistance played out upon geographies and social spaces. This resistance through social memory i s not only of bullets and policies but a narrative against the larger forces of the federal government and the changing demographic and economic situation across the West. Overall distrust of the ideologies of environmentalism and the conservation agendas of governmental departments could perhaps manifest itself into a milieu of social m emory phenomena. Social Memory and Mythistory The ghost wolf is not necessarily a myth in that it was never linked in interviews to any overall cosmology or social structure which h ave been argued to be essential components of a myth (Leach, 2000) As well it was not something that happened in a distant past accessed only through metaphor and parable. I t is a creature experienced within current lived history.

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! ') Rather than analyzing the ghost wolf as a myt h it is more useful to view it as a phenomena of social memory. While groups of people, communities, and cultures cannot as conceptual units "remember", aggregate members of these groups can exchange narratives that create wi dely experienced memories (Climo & Cattell, 2002) This is where the concept of "mythistory" is useful. Mythistory is a syllogism constructed by historians (Mali, 2003 Mali, 1991 McNeill, 1986) Its theoretical purpose is to take into account the stories, fables, and beliefs of people into the facts of historiography. While this research is not about historiography the narratives that describe the ghost wolf are ones that re define history as viewed by rural residents. Mali ( 2003 ) argues that the concern with what actually happened leaves out how things happen. The "how" in t he case of mythistory is a recursive loop "from history back to myth in order to begin again as mythistory (Mali, 2003, p. 293)." Mali (2003) contends that myth and histo ry are combined and utilized politically by groups of people to reform the concepts of heritage and history. As described earlier the arguments surrounding native wolves were indeed used in political discourse before reintroduction and after. Seen in this light the ghost wolves can be explained as a phenomenon of social memory that has a certain functionalism. By remembering wolves that were never extirpated communities have leverage on other discourses. The ghost w olf is a corrective agai nst larger changes happening in the American West. Many rural residents privilege local knowledge above "experts". The ghost wolf is a n emergent soc ial memory that not only reifies local knowledge and ontological animal hierarchies but also

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! '* in a sense removes the historical accusatio n that their ancestors commited near extinction level violence towards wolves in the near past

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! '+ CHAPTER V CONCLUSION In exploring rural residents narratives about wolves this project furthers the understanding of animal human conflict. Human animal conflict etiology is neither wholly material, nor wholly semiotic. The driver of anti wolf policy and action is more than livestock predation. Wolf hatred, vilification, demo nization and killing are widespread in some areas because historic facts and narrative fictions blend together into social memories. History and social memory form the outlines of how animal meaning is socially constructed. Embodied history takes social f acts as malleable and historically contingent. Embodied history as a framework also allows for a political analysis that is rooted in the materials of everyday life and performance. While attention to historical discourse and beliefs can lead to insights into animal ontologies, it cannot predict action. There can be no overarching theory that can predict and explain each associated phenomena linked to wolf issues in the West. This research brings to the fore more questions than simple explanations. Many o f the narratives in this research bring into question recent attempts at placing "traditional ecological knowledge" and "eco logical memory" to the fore of e cosystem management praxis (Nazarea, 2006) Decentralization of conservation efforts has been shown, in this instance, to produce policies that re flect local sentiments and histories regarding a nimals and land use. Additionally t he concept of the subalter n and resistance theory are muddied when issues of power and ranching culture are taken into account. What is important is tha t theoretical stances on human

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! ', animal issues based on human cultural/ social construction take into account how history is embodied and entangled in daily encounters. Species are forced into human dominated landscapes at increasing rates in our contemporary world. What is unique about wolves in the contemporary American West is that they are having conflicts with humans because of the efforts of humans. Gray w olves in the past had conflicted with ranchers and Anglo set tlers before and lost that encounter. Now they have been brought back, or "dumped" as t he Idaho State Legislature called it. Despite of and due to the efforts of humans wolves now encounter rural residents in Idaho, Wyoming, Montana and Oregon It is not only flesh and blood people wolves encounter ; they cross borders both political and symbolic. They encounter a species humans -that have not only technological advantages but also the metaphorical advantage of symbolism and cultural history that defin e how nature is acted upon. Haraway ( 2008 ) states A great deal is at stake in such meetings, and outcomes are not guaranteed. There is no teleological warrant here, no assured happy or unhappy ending, socially, ecologically, or scientifically." Beyon d the classic anthropological dichotomy that animals are eith er mostly "goo d to eat" or good to think with" lay the ineffable nature of humans and animals entangled histories. These entanglements create both evolutionary and cultural history. As with p rehistory (Grayson, 2001) contemporary contact zones between the "us" and "the animal" can lead to love, domestication, ambivalence or abject violence. In the minds of people real wolves can become symbols of purity and hope in the face of industrialized modernity as well as of demonic evil and the enemies of modern civilization. Unbeknownst to the real corporeal wolves living and breathing out there

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! (! they are a symbolic "other" to which humans place larger arguments about how the land is used and protected and who gets to make those decisions. How wilderness as an aesthetic value and civilizat ion as an ideal are divided along borders will end up deci d ing who will survive into the next era of history in the American West

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! (* Wuerthner, G., & Matteson, M. (Eds.). (2002). Welfare Ranching. The Subsidized Destruction of the American West. San Rafael, CA: Island Press. Zeitlyn D. (2012). Anthropology in and of the Archives: Possible Futures and Contingent Pasts. Archives as Anthropological Surrogates. Annual Review of Anthropology 41 461 480. Zimmermann, A., Walpole, M., & Leader Williams, N. (2005). Cattle ranchers att itudes to conflicts with jaguar Panthera onca in the Pantanal Brazil. Oryx 39 (4), 406 412.