Vietnam Veteran, Writer, Filmmaker, Outdoorsman
I am a Vietnam veteran, writer, and filmmaker who has spent good chunks of four decades in grizzly bear occupied country in Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho. In the course of travelling the high country, I was fortunate enough to spot wolverines and their tracks many times—about thirty wolverines in all. I witnessed a single wolverine death at a goat carcass delivered by a grizzly.[pullquote]The conservation of these wild, sometimes dangerous animals is of absolute importance to modern humans, to the survival of our own species, and to rational thought.[/pullquote]
People who have spent a great deal of time with grizzly bears in the wild sometimes think they glimpse a flash of recognition, a sentience, in the eye of a wild bear; that some understanding passes between them. I have been guilty of such impressions—or illusions.
For those of us who have been lucky enough to catch sight of a wolverine close up, the thought of any human brotherhood with that totally feral face never comes up. This is a creature too wild; the gigantic Mustelidae lives far beyond our wildest anthropomorphic dream. The “little bear” is totally dependent on lingering spring snow, which will shrink back each year from the fickle ferocity of global warming. Bushwhack out of Many Glacier if you want to see one; there’s only about 250 left south of Canada.
The conservation of these wild, sometimes dangerous animals is of absolute importance to modern humans, to the survival of our own species, and to rational thought. The Endangered Species Act has been at the forefront of attempting to do just that—saving wildlife as best we can, species by species.