SUBSCRIBE | NEWSLETTERS | MAPS | VIDEOS | BLOGS | MARKETPLACE | CONTESTS
TRY BACKPACKER FREE!
SUBSCRIBE NOW and get
2 Free Issues and 3 Free Gifts!
Full Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
City:
State:
Zip Code:
Email: (required)
If I like it and decide to continue, I'll pay just $12.00, and receive a full one-year subscription (9 issues in all), a 73% savings off the newsstand price! If for any reason I decide not to continue, I'll write "cancel" on the invoice and owe nothing.
Your subscription includes 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Or click here to pay now and get 2 extra issues
Offer valid in US only.

Also on Backpacker.com


Enter Zip Code

Backpacker Magazine – December 2007

The Wolf Watchers: Researching Wolves In Idaho

Inside Idaho's Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness, humans and wolves learn to co-exist.

by: Jason D.B. Kauffman

PAGE 1 2

Disappointed, we walked slowly back to camp, hoping for a final glimpse. As we crested the grassy swell where the alpha male had appeared, four tawny, marmot-sized animals scrambled for cover just 15 yards to our right. "Pups," Jim whispered. For all his decades of experience, he looked as excited as a first-year biology student. Remarkably, we had passed by the den several times, but hadn't noticed a telltale mound of dirt. Not wishing to disturb the pack any more, we dropped below the ridge to return to camp.

Arriving at our tents, we encountered the perfect epilogue: Plainly visible on a tent flap were two dusty paw prints with the distinctive four-toes-and-claw-pattern of Canis lupus. We concluded that a wolf, perhaps the elusive alpha male, had visited our empty camp and sat back on its haunches to shadowbox the tent. Despite the mysterious calling card, we all slept well that night. The wolves of Idaho, we realized, were conducting some research of their own.

Research in the Rough

Jim and Holly Akenson have managed the University of Idaho's Taylor Ranch Field Station, a 65-acre enclave in the middle of the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness, for more than a decade. Located on the south bank of Big Creek, the largest tributary of the Middle Fork of the Salmon, the ranch is an ideal base for students, interns, and scientists seeking a wilderness setting for their research. This past summer, the ranch hosted projects investigating the habitat and behavior of prairie rattlesnakes, Chinook salmon, and steelhead trout. In May, a dozen high school students from McCall, ID, arrived at the ranch to spend several days assisting the Akensons with their research, including several hikes to track and locate wolves and cougars. This summer's active research season allowed the ranch to live up to its nickname as "American's wildest classroom."

Measured from the nearest road, Taylor Ranch is the most remote permanently inhabited residence in the lower 48 states. The shortest approach routes are a 32-mile jaunt along Big Creek from the west, or a 42-mile trek from the southeast (hiked by the author). Most scientists, supplies, and mail arrive by air, landing on a narrow airstrip maintained by a mule team. Several other grass landing strips lie within six miles of the station. The privately-owned research facility is located at the junction of several hiking trails, but does not provide lodging for recreational visitors. Find out more at www.cnrhome.uidaho.edu/taylorranch.htm.


PAGE 1 2

Subscribe to Backpacker magazine
Sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter
Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
City:
State:
Zip:
Email (req):
Reader Rating: -

READERS COMMENTS

Star Star Star Star Star
www.chinanfljerseysalecheap.com
Jun 06, 2013

Erery customer satisfied with our china nfl jerseys, they are promised best quality in the market, and our service is the best. Good jerseys is the life of our company. Hope to do more business with you. Hope you can have a try for our jerseys.
http://www.chinanfljerseysalecheap.com
china nfl jerseys wholesale, cheap jerseys from china, 2013 new style nfl jerseys sale, cheap new nfl jersey, mlb jerseys for sale
http://www.chinanfljerseysalecheap.com/Nike-NFL-Jerseys-c124.html
cheap nike nfl jersey, nfl jersey on sale
http://www.chinanfljerseysalecheap.com/MLB-Jerseys-c94.html
baseball jerseys for sale, cheap mlb jerseys
http://www.chinanfljerseysalecheap.com/NBA-Jerseys-c77.html
nba jerseys cheap for sale, cheap nba jerseys

ADD A COMMENT

Your rating:
Your Name:

Comment:

My Profile Join Now

Most recent threads

Trailhead Register
White Collar Blues
Posted On: Jul 24, 2014
Submitted By: Roscue2
The Political Arena
Bad Year for Air Travel
Posted On: Jul 24, 2014
Submitted By: Ecocentric

Go
View all Gear
Find a retailer

Special sections - Expert handbooks for key trails, techniques and gear

Check out Montana in Warren Miller's Ticket to Ride
Warren Miller athletes charge hard and reflect on Big Sky country, their love for this space and the immense energy allotted to the people who reside in Montana.

Boost Your Apps
Add powerful tools and exclusive maps to your BACKPACKER apps through our partnership with Trimble Outdoors.

Carry the Best Maps
With BACKPACKER PRO Maps, get life-list destinations and local trips on adventure-ready waterproof myTopo paper.

FREE Rocky Mountain Trip Planner
Sign up for a free Rocky Mountain National Park trip planning kit from our sister site MyRockyMountainPark.com.

Follow BackpackerMag on Twitter Follow Backpacker on Facebook
Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 3 FREE GIFTS
Survival Skills 101 • Eat Better
The Best Trails in America
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Backpacker
and my 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Full Name:
City:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
State:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions