Eli Francovich – The Return of the Wolves

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ELI FRANCOVICH: THE RETURN OF THE WOLVES

ON BIG BLEND RADIO: Journalist and author Eli Francovich, discusses his new book, “The Return of Wolves: An Iconic Predator’s Struggle to Survive in the American West.” Watch here in the YouTube player or download the podcast on Acast.

 

Following a February 10, 2022, court order, gray wolves in the contiguous 48 states and Mexico – with the exception of the Northern Rocky Mountain population – are now protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) as threatened in Minnesota and endangered in the remaining states.

After being nearly eradicated in the 1990s, the gray wolf has made an astonishing comeback in Washington state, delighting conservationists but infuriating ranchers. Eli Francovich is a journalist who covers the environment, conservation, and outdoor recreation in Washington. For Francovich, there is perhaps no better metaphor for the fundamental tension in contemporary American behavior.

In his new book, “The Return of Wolves: An Iconic Predator’s Struggle to Survive in the American West” (Timber Press: April 11, 2023), Francovich combines interviews, extensive research, and on-the-ground reporting to reveal the deep social and political struggles at the core of this debate over the endangered species. Ultimately, he endeavors to find a solution that will appease both parties—and perhaps mend an ever-widening division in American culture.

As he covered the wolf’s reintroduction in The Spokesman-Review, Francovich found that the public’s passionate response revealed a more complex underlying story. It was clear this was not just a fraught issue, but a microcosm of American politics: a study into what happens when questions of science are pit against questions of belief. Determined to find common ground, Francovich sought the input of local ranchers, politicians, environmentalists, and everyday folks caught in the middle, ultimately finding an answer in the time-honored tradition of range riding.

By communicating with groups from all walks of life, he comes to realize that our political climate, much like the precarious ecosystems of wolves, is a delicate dance of compromise, sacrifice, and a desire to survive. In The Return of Wolves, Francovich sinks his teeth into the topic of wolf conservation and what it can teach us about our society. As he says, “striking a balance in wolf land would go a long way toward kneading the dough of society back together.”

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ON BIG BLEND RADIO: Journalist and author Eli Francovich, discusses his new book, "The Return of Wolves: An Iconic Predator’s Struggle to Survive in the American West."

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