HOWL Colorado

It’s Wolf Awareness Week. What can you do?

The International Wolf Center in Minnesota published this article on their site. I like it, so I am reposting with a link on

Wolf Awareness Week is a time to recognize the importance of wolves as an integral part of our natural landscapes and to engage others to become interested and active in wolf survival. Each year, the third week of October is proclaimed Wolf Awareness Week (WAW) across the Nation.

There is a multitude of ways that you can join in this celebration! It can be as simple as starting a discussion over coffee or as elaborate as hosting a wolf awareness ball – the ideas are limitless!

Many organizations have worked very hard to provide educational resources for just this week. All it takes is a little initiative to investigate what’s available to you.

If finances or location are an issue, don’t worry. Wolf awareness opportunities come in many forms. The following are ideas that you can incorporate into your own celebration of WAW and even beyond. Make Wolf Awareness Week a year-round activity and even take it global!

One of the biggest threats to wolf survival in the United States and elsewhere is the loss of wildland area. These are areas such as forests, prairies, brush lands, tundra and deserts where human presence is minimal and human tolerance would allow coexistence with other species such as wolves. The following can help reduce pressure on our wildland spaces and contribute to wolf survival:

(1) Reduce, (2) Reuse, (3) Recycle – in that order. The less we humans use the earth’s resources, the less pressure we put on the wild species also trying to survive on those same resources.
Be more aware of where your food products are produced. You can help wolves by choosing responsible, environmentally friendly producers who support wolf and wildlands conservation.
Think globally, act locally – get involved in your local environmental projects or volunteer for an environmental organization near you. Everything is connected, so every improvement to the environment ultimately helps wolves.

Another looming threat to wolf survival is a lack of knowledge about the wolf. This absence of accurate, objective information contributes to the culture of fear in which wolves exist.

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Knowledge is the antidote to fear.” The more we humans understand wolves, the more we understand why they exist, what their purpose is and how we can better coexist with them.

However, the barrier to understanding can often come in the form of an unwillingness to listen. The sometimes-cavernous rift between opposing wolf interest groups is often due to a lack of productive, respectful communication.

Martin Luther King, Jr. recognized this need for communication during his efforts for human rights. His statement can also be applied to determining why people have difficulty understanding each other over the various wolf issues.

“Men often hate each other because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they can not communicate; they can not communicate because they are separated.”

This separation requires an invisible wall to be torn down between opposing viewpoints. Assuming wolves are the good guys and humans are the bad guys and vice-versa doesn’t move the discussion of wolf survival along at all. It’s ok to disagree but an open mind can, in turn, open doors to ensuring wolf survival.

During WAW, take charge and move the discussion forward by being open to communication with those whom you disagree with. It’s not always easy but it definitely helps wolves!

Learning more about wolves from accurate, objective sources is another great way to become more wolf aware. Take that knowledge to people you know and spread the awareness.

Since 1990, the Timber Wolf Alliance, an educational organization that supports wolf recovery in the Upper Great Lakes region, has been organizing the creation of an annual Wolf Awareness Week poster. The poster features original artwork on the front and provides a wealth of wolf information on the back. The poster is distributed to schools, libraries, nature centers and interested citizens.

Many environmental organizations offer electronically-distributed news. Find an organization that meets your standards for objectivity and accuracy and sign up. Stay informed on current issues AND conserve natural resources!

Be alert to news reports of environmental issues that you receive. It’s hard for media outlets to devote time or space to fully explaining issues, so take initiative and investigate if the story doesn’t seem to be balanced.

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