Photo Leghold traps hang from the wall of a local trapper’s gear shed

A Good Wolf (Official Teaser) from Ramey Newell on Vimeo.

The Eyes on Conservation Podcast is an interview series featuring conservations with top experts in the fields of conservation, wildlife and environmental justice.

Listen to filmmaker Ramey Newell discuss her documentary project to understand the complex situation unfolding in Denali National Park surrounding the management of this area’s wolf population. Ramey Newell is the documentary filmmaker behind the new film “A Good Wolf”. Learn more about this film, and how Alaska Wildlife Alliance is involved, by visiting our Denali Wolf film page!

Help us tell the story of Denali’s wolves!

Alaska Wildlife Alliance has invited filmmaker Ramey Newell to explore the ongoing controversy over hunting and trapping of wolves at the boundary of Denali National Park. A Good Wolf [working title] will be an independent feature-length documentary that explores diverging viewpoints within the context of the lengthy, emotionally charged, and continuing battle over how wolves (and bears) are managed in the Stampede Corridor.

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 explore three primary viewpoints over the course of the next year: wildlife activists, local hunters/trappers, and Denali National Park biologists. 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.
Leghold traps hang from the wall of a local trapper’s gear shed.

Leghold traps hang from the wall of a local trapper’s gear shed.


Denali National Park is said to be the historical epicenter of wolf controversy in America, which runs deep and wide. Transboundary wildlife issues are almost ubiquitous in National Parks across the country and have recently come to the forefront in places like Yellowstone, where reintroduced wolves are simultaneously lauded by environmentalists for their perceived positive ecological impacts, and intentionally targeted by hunters and ranchers at the park boundary. As the gray wolf faces federal delisting from the Endangered Species Act, the debate over its place among humans is rekindled. To unpack the deeper themes at play in this controversy, we can return to the unabated conflict at its epicenter.

via PODCAST & Documentary Film About Wolves of Denali National Park | Alaska Wildlife Alliance