El Lobo

Readings on the Mexican Gray Wolf

In many ways the opponents of wolves seem so much like the wolves themselves that it is wildly ironic: though their numbers are small, they seem to retain a core fierceness that cannot be ignored—nor would you want to, for fear is one of the most primal emotions of any place. It’s never going to go entirely away—not in a wild, healthy ecosystem.' —from 'The Feds' by Rick Bass

After roaming the desert Southwest for thousands of years, the Mexican gray wolf was, almost in the blink of an eye, driven to the brink of extinction. El Lobo collects writings that explore how this subspecies of wolf was brought so close to the edge of annihilation.

The first section, 'To the Brink,' includes essays that describe wolf biology, the campaign to exterminate wolves from the Southwest, and the wolf’s role in Native American cultures and in Mexican folklore. The second section, 'And Back,' illustrates a turnaround in attitudes and policy and includes Aldo Leopold’s famous essay 'Thinking Like a Mountain,' Rick Bass’s astute analysis of the political divide, and Sharman Apt Russell’s carefully woven plea in which she shares her experience with Pueblo Indian children meeting a wolf in their school auditorium. These essays, from both sides of the contested issue, resonate with passion, conviction, and the desire to save a world that is mightily at risk.

Tom Lynch is assistant professor of English at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. He has published widely on subjects ranging from ecocriticism to Australian nature writing.

Table of Contents:

Introduction: Rewilding the West | Tom Lynch

To the Brink
Wolf and Mountain Hunt Together | Grenville Goodwin
shee'e | Amadeo M. Rea
Great Beast God of the East | James C. Burbank
Will Big Trotter Reclaim His Place? | Steve Pavlik
The Long and Dismal Howl | The Long and Dismal Howl
Wolf. Canis lupus | A. Starker Leopold
Timber Wolf. (Canis lupus) | Ben Tinker
Wolf Boy | Estela Portillo Trambley
Wolf Cunning | G.W. "Dub" Evans
Thinking Like a Mountain | Aldo Leopold

And Back
The Mexican Wolf (Canis lupus bailey) | Roy T. McBride
Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan (excerpts) | Norma Ames
Reintroducing the Missing Parts | Dale D. Goble
A Tale of Two Wolves | David E. Brown
The Physics of Beauty | Sharman Apt Russell
The Feds | Rick Bass
El Lobo's Homecoming | Joan Moody
Road Trip with Mexican Wolves | Jane Susan MacCarter
Caught Twixt Beasts and Bureaucrats | J. Zane Walley
Strip Mall Lobos | Alexander Parsons
The Wasting of Catron County | J. Zane Walley
Living with Wolves | Johnny D. Boggs
Signs of the Wild | Dashka Slater
Caught between the Pack and the Hard Case | Laura Schnegerger
Welcoming Home an Old Friend | Peter Friederici
Mexican Wolf Fate Teeters between Science and Politics | Michael J. Robinson
The Mexican Wolf | Tom Dollar
Mexican Wolf Guardian Reports | Jon Trapp

Will the Wolf Survive? | David Hidalgo and Louie Pérez (Los Lobos)

About the Editor

Praise and Reviews:

"While this book will certainly be of great interest to scholars of the American West and to those who study wolves, it should appeal equally to the general reader interested in wolves and other wildlife, land-use issues, and current issues of the Southwest."—Karla Armbruster, Webster University

"By the end of the book, a reader who started not knowing much about wolves in general or wolf reintroduction programs is educated scientifically, historically, and emotionally."
Western American Literature