What exactly is a “good wolf”? That depends on who you ask. A century ago, many Americans would have echoed a common government bounty slogan, “A good wolf is a dead wolf.” But times have changed. Now, if you are a wildlife activist, a good wolf is probably a wild one, free to live its life unhindered by human interference. For a hunter or fur trapper in rural Alaska, the answer might have more to do with providing sustenance and livelihood for you and your family. To a scientist, good wolves might be the ones that provide useful data. If you are a visitor to Denali National Park, a good wolf might be the one that crosses the road in front of your tour bus for a photo opportunity.
But this film is about much more than wolves. It’s about the complexities and difficulties of balancing competing human interests on public lands. It explores opposing ideas about wild predators’ place among humans, and what (if any) responsibility we might have to manage them within natural ecosystems. And it illuminates fundamental differences in how people determine the value of wildlife, wilderness, and National Parks.
A Good Wolf will follow the activities of three primary characters over the course of the next year: a wildlife activist, a local hunter/trapper, and a Denali National Park biologist. Their stories and work will give viewers a compelling glimpse into the various ways residents relate to animals and each other in this isolated and often harsh landscape. Through these interwoven narratives, and with the help of additional expert interviews, we will be able to better understand the historical and contemporary issues at play, including political, regulatory, scientific, and cultural influences.
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