Prodigal Dogs

Have gray wolves found a home in Colorado?

  • The sun sets over a duck pond on the High Lonesome Ranch near the Roan Plateau in Western Colorado. The ranch is being managed for wildlife ... maybe even wolves.

    JT Thomas
  • Wolf.

    Don Hammond/Design Pics/Corbis
  • Paul and Lissa Vahldiek, owners of the High Lonesome Ranch.

    JT Thomas
  • Montana wolf biologist Cristina Eisenberg, with High Lonesome hunting guide Todd Weiszbrod, has seen signs of wolves on the ranch.

    JT Thomas
  • Conservation biologist Michael Soule of the Wildlands Project looks at tracks in Kimball Creek on the ranch.

    JT Thomas
  • Scat believed to be from a wolf, photographed on the High Lonesome Ranch last spring by then ranch manager Doug Dean

    Courtesy Cristina Eisenberg

Last April, in a narrow mountain valley in northwestern Colorado, Cristina Eisenberg was searching for scat. The diminutive, dark-haired biologist and two members of her field crew had set up a kilometer-long transect through elk habitat, and the trio was walking slowly along the line. It was a raw day, cold and windy with spells of freezing rain, and the biologists had been moving through meadows for hours, looking for elk poop, deer poop, coyote poop, mountain lion poop. This was old-fashioned wildlife biology -- hardly glamorous work -- but in it lay the story of the landscape, of the pursuers and the pursued, and Eisenberg was absorbed in the tale.

Then, on the edge of an aspen grove, one of the biologists saw something unusual: a scat roughly as long and wide as a banana, tapered at the ends, perhaps two months old. When Eisenberg examined it, she saw that it contained hair from deer or elk and shards of bone, some almost as long as a fingernail. It smelled distinctively earthy, like a shady forest floor.

In the course of her research, Eisenberg had seen and handled thousands of scats just like this one, but not here, not in Colorado. Everything about it -- the size, the shape, the smell, the contents -- indicated a creature that had been extirpated from the state more than 70 years ago. Everything about it said wolf.

Within an hour and a half, the crew found a similar scat, some 500 yards away. Later that day, in another aspen grove about five miles away, they found two more. Less than a week later, Eisenberg's lead tracker, Dan Hansche, found a wolf-like scat with a similar, smaller scat laid on top -- suggesting, Eisenberg says, that an adult wolf had been teaching its pup to mark territory.

As the weather warmed last summer, the field crew found 11 more wolf-like scats, and Hansche documented a set of tracks with wolf characteristics. Then, at dawn on July 27, Eisenberg and another biologist were driving down a winding valley road, deep in a discussion about statistics, when Eisenberg spotted a black shape running across a bright green alfalfa field, perhaps 100 yards away. The stance, the gait and the set of the ears all suggested the wolves Eisenberg had spent so much time observing near her home in northwestern Montana.

This past November, during another trip to her Colorado study area, she found another set of wolf-like tracks, fresh prints that extended at least a quarter-mile up a snowy ranch road. All in all, Eisenberg and her crew found some 18 separate signs of wolf activity during visits over a seven-month period. This animal -- or animals -- was no mere passerby.

Officially, wild wolves do not live in Colorado. The nearest established population is in Wyoming, where gray wolves were introduced to Yellowstone National Park in 1995. But rumors of wolf sightings abound in Colorado, and in recent years, at least two wolves have died in the state. In 2004, a young radio-collared female wolf from Yellowstone was killed on Interstate 70 near Idaho Springs, about 30 miles west of Denver. In the winter of 2009, another young female collared wolf traveled a 1,000-mile-long route from the Yellowstone region to the Meeker, Colo., area, roughly 20 miles from where Eisenberg and her crew work. That wolf's death, in April, is still under investigation by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and neither state nor federal officials will comment on the matter.

Like most scientists, Eisenberg and her colleagues are cautious. For months, even among themselves, they half-jokingly spoke of "visitors from the North," reluctant to name a species as controversial as the gray wolf. They emphasize that DNA testing, now under way at a lab at the University of California, Los Angeles, is needed to back up their identification of the animal or animals that produced the scat and tracks. But whatever the animal is, it appears to be eating what wild wolves eat, and traveling over the landscape the way wild wolves do.

When wolves arrive in an ecosystem, everything changes: the ecology, the politics, relationships both animal and human. "We know more about wolves, and the management of wolves, than we do about many other forms of wildlife," says Douglas Smith, leader of the Yellowstone wolf project. "But we rarely get to put it into practice, because people freak out, flat-out freak out, when a wolf shows up."

Wolves herald a grand experiment -- and in Colorado, that experiment may already be under way.

Anonymous says:
Feb 08, 2010 12:50 PM
I learned something. Even though I got an 'A' in environmental conservation in college, I'd never heard about "trophic cascades".
HCN is the best for realistic and holistic understanding of the big picture, not to mention long-term life supporting information. Amid so much short-term, profit-centered journalism, HCN proves once again that the truth is revolutionary. Thanks for doing the due diligence.
Anonymous says:
Feb 08, 2010 12:54 PM
Michelle and HCN Editors: Outstanding reporting! This story is so well researched, full of place and character. Thank you for this very important contribution to educating us all about the complexity and value of healthy ecosystems. And thank you for not rehashing tired old fear-based arguments. This was a fresh approach to a long-running issue.
Pattie Logan
Anonymous says:
Feb 08, 2010 01:35 PM
Rich story, and well written. Maybe the wolves will eventually even teach us how to get along.
Anonymous says:
Feb 20, 2010 08:56 PM
What is it you hope to learn from wolves? How to kill all competing predators in your territory? How to kill any and all weak/injured of your own kind? How to eviscerate and then begin eating your prey before it dies? How about how to indiscriminately kill far more of the prey species than you can ever eat? I live deep in wolf habitat, and have witnessed each of these behaviors in wolves. Your notion of wolves is naive, misguided and ridiculously romanticized. Grow up and learn what you and others in Colorado face with the encroachment of the Canadian gray wolf into your state. It's not pretty.
Anonymous says:
Feb 25, 2010 03:40 PM
Cawoonache, I think you may have exaggerated some wolf behavior a little. Wolves do not kill for pleasure, but always with a reason. Indiscriminate killing of prey, far exceeding what they can eat, would be very rare and more like the behavior of wild dogs than of wolves.
Anonymous says:
Mar 27, 2010 01:56 PM

What real world experience do you have to dispute what I have written? I do not exaggerate, and I take offense to your backdoor accusation of lying. Wolves most certainly do kill indiscriminately. I have seen evidence of it, both with prey and with livestock. Yes, they kill for a reason. It's called predatory instinct. I suspect that your knowledge of wolf predatory behavior comes from what you've seen and heard on television. And perhaps from the propaganda of those organizations who use emotion rather than reason to promote their cause. Come on up to Montana or Idaho. Spend a few weeks in the back country. See for yourself the carcasses of deer and elk, sheep and cattle, many of them dead from evisceration but with none of their flesh eaten. See the dead does and cows, their unborn fawns and calves torn from their wombs and left intact. I have seen this and it's not pretty, but then nature frequently isn't.

Do not misunderstand. I am a creature of the back country. I know there is a place for wolves in the wild. But the emotion on both sides of the issue tends to cloud rational discussion of how they should be managed. Misguided Utopian notions of wolf behavior only serve to make it worse.

There is room out here for all of us. But let us not deny the true nature of predators. It is only through honest evaluation that we can overcome the emotion and learn to co-exist.


Anonymous says:
Feb 27, 2010 08:56 AM
 to; to teach us what? Dude!
If you see so much of what the wolf is doing around you! Why is it you do not see what they are teaching you! Do we not have unnessary
killing going on, world wide? Do we not distroy for no reason?
Sad that most humans who hate the wolf so much are the ones who can not see the distruction they as humans have done to Mother Earth, to one another,
The wolf is trying to survive, do you deni their right to do so?
I'm sure you are trying to survive also, as we all are.
Sad that we can not live in harmony,
After all, who moved into their land ,
Wolves are not the only ones to suffer our selfish wants!
Anonymous says:
Mar 27, 2010 02:38 PM
Read my reply to Dixie. You come off sounding like the emotion driven individual I was referring to. I never once said I hate wolves and most certainly do not seek to deny their right to exist. In my first post I merely pointed out some facts that most who clamor for wolves in Colorado are unaware of.

I don't hate anything, but I sure have a strong dislike for Utopian bullshit. Humans and wolves have inhabited this planet for millions of years. Sometimes in proximity with each other, sometimes apart. We did not move into their land any more than the wolves moved into ours. Population densities and distribution have ebbed and flowed for eons but through it all there have been humans and animals. I'm not sure what you mean by "live in harmony" but like so many other well meaning people you apparently suffer under the mistaken notion that just because humans have begun to define the natural world then we are somehow not a part of it. I reject that. I also reject the ridiculous and neurotic notion of collective guilt for the behavior and actions of all humans. I am a true conservationist. I do all that I am able to be a good steward of our home. My wants may well be selfish but they are most certainly not destructive of the planet.

As for learning from wolves, being a predator myself I've learned plenty from them, as well from other predators. Tell me, what have you learned from them? Not what have you learned from activist organizations or from the media. What have you learned from wolves?
Anonymous says:
Mar 30, 2010 02:22 AM
(in reply to "Teach us what?, posted by Cawoonache)

We don't need wolves to teach us any of those things- all those lessons we can learn from Wall Street- or Washington.
Anonymous says:
Apr 01, 2010 07:56 PM
Yeah, I know. Humans bad, animals good. Mitakuye oyasin, ya know?
Anonymous says:
Jun 30, 2010 04:26 PM
You said "What is it you hope to learn from wolves? How to kill all competing predators in your territory? How to kill any and all weak/injured of your own kind? How to eviscerate and then begin eating your prey before it dies? How about how to indiscriminately kill far more of the prey species than you can ever eat?"

The way you describes wolves makes them sound a lot like humans, who unfortunately do all of those things on a regular basis. I guess we have more in common than we thought. The main difference is that humans are better at doing those things.

Although, in the end, it seems like the trickster Coyote wins this round on all counts. Turns out the scat is coyote scat, after all. That's one of the consequences of our elimination of wolves - coyotes benefit. Eventually they will be every bit as large as wolves, but smarter, with a better understanding of humans. We won't be able to kill them off either, but it's just as well.

Anonymous says:
Jul 01, 2010 05:31 PM
Charlie you need to step away from the pipe. Your comment makes no sense. You said "The way you describes wolves makes them sound a lot like humans, who unfortunately do all of those things on a regular basis." Really Charlie? You know people who eviscerate and then begin eating prey before it dies? Riiight.

You then go on to say this about coyotes: "Eventually they will be every bit as large as wolves, but smarter, with a better understanding of humans." Does your alleged title of Naturalist give you some biologic evolutionary insight that informs you of this fantastic assertion? Coyotes will be as large as wolves, but smarter? I have seen thousands of coyotes and never, ever have I seen one even half the size of a wolf.

Step away from the pipe, Charlie.
Anonymous says:
Jul 01, 2010 05:44 PM

honestly i am confused by your comment. I don't know what the expression 'step away from the pipe' means... if you are implying that I smoke too much pot you are mistaken since I don't smoke pot. as for humans committing profound, pointless violence and brutality towards animals for no apparent reason, YES, unfortunately I have seen it, and while I am not as familiar with wolves, I can't imagine that anything a wolf could do would be that much worse than the things some humans do. In fact, one could say the humans are 'worse' because often they don't even eat the animal.

As for your comment about coyotes and their size, it is you that is misinformed, or that has been in the same place too long. Have you ever been to New England? Coyotes there are HUGE, already nearly the size of wolves. In fact, they are even partially related to wolves, due to interbreeding. Unlike wolves they are not particularly afraid of humans, and they do take deer that Western coyotes wouldn't even mess with. They are thriving in their new habitat, made it east in just a few decades, and there is no reason why they can't start moving west with their newfound size and directly compete with wolves.

Reading your first comments I thought you might have some interesting insight and counterpoints on the subject. From your last post, it seems instead that you are condescending, arrogant, and are not able to see past your geographic or temporal area. So yeah, I guess responding to your post as something other than troll bait was a waste of my time.

Say hi to Coyote when he gets back out west in his larger size. You might want to keep the pipe with you too - a metal one to keep Coyote away though, not the one you presumably have been smoking on.
Anonymous says:
Jul 12, 2010 12:24 AM
Given the condescending tone I took I suppose your snarky reply to my post was warranted. You may have seen by my previous posts that I have little tolerance for those who express disdain for humanity. I will attempt to take this to a level of civil discourse. I apologize for the “pipe” reference, and for my arrogant attitude. In my experience, people who tend to condemn all humans for the brutal behaviors of a few also tend to be Gaia-worshiping hippies with little real technical knowledge but plenty of emotional arguments- People who mistake the strength of their feelings for the strength of their argument. And among the many of them that I know, a significant number are pot heads. It appears I was mistaken when I pegged you for one of those, and for that too, I apologize. For the record, I do not smoke anything, nor do I take any other illicit drugs. I value my mind and my body far too much for that sort of nonsense.

I have spent some time in the northeast, and while I do not have anywhere near the experience with eastern wildlife that I do with western wildlife, I do have a number of eastern acquaintances and colleagues who are both biologists and woodsmen. They all echo your assertion that the eastern coyote is indeed larger than the western variety. In fact, I have found that there is quite a bit of research that indicates (as you have asserted) the eastern coyote has significant wolf DNA. You may also be aware that many eastern coyotes also carry domestic canine DNA as well.

According to the New Hampshire Fish and Game department the eastern coyote averages between 30 and 50 pounds.[…]/profile_eastern_coyote.htm All of the other eastern states wildlife agencies websites I checked list their resident coyotes in about the same weight range.

According to the US Fish and Wildlife Service the gray wolf averages between 80 and 100 pounds.

Nowhere in my (admittedly limited) research have I seen evidence that the eastern coyote has grown to be as large as the gray wolf. If you can cite a source that disputes this, I would be grateful to see it.

It might interest you to know that wolves do kill indiscriminately, and frequently do not eat what they kill. There is plenty of documented evidence of this. Author Jim Rearden, in his book about renowned Alaskan woodsman Frank Glaser, titled Alaska’s Wolf Man, quotes Mr. Glaser as having witnessed Alaskan wolves killing and then subsequently abandoning dozens of caribou at a time. Far more than they could ever eat.[…]/1575100479 Last August a wolf pack in Montana killed 120 sheep in one day. They didn’t eat the sheep, they just killed them.[…]1de-9aca-001cc4c03286.html. There are other documented cases of wolves in Montana killing large numbers of sheep and then leaving them. Unlike the cougar, who will often cache his kill to return again and again until he has consumed it, the wolf doesn’t return to his kill. He just makes another one.

Does that make wolves ‘worse’ than humans? Of course not. Nor are humans ‘worse’ than wolves for the same reason. Wasteful, purposeless killing is bad regardless of whom or what does it.

Current evidence does not support your contention that coyotes will ever compete against the gray wolf for prey or habitat. I am personally acquainted with wildlife field biologists who assert that wolves will not tolerate a coyote in their territory. The coyote, being a generally solitary animal, stands little chance of competing against a pack of gray wolves. If, in time, the western coyote does indeed grow in size comparable to the gray wolf, and then subsequently begins to exhibit pack behavior, then I suppose it is possible that the two species will compete directly. It is highly doubtful that will happen any time soon. Certainly not within our lifetimes.

Finally, I say hello to all animals I am fortunate enough to encounter, from grizzlies to ground squirrels, from porcupines to people. Unless I am actively (and of course legally) engaged in a hunt for food, I present no threat to any of them. That is, until or unless my or my family’s safety is threatened. At that point you may rest assured that I will indeed be carrying, and prepared to use, a pipe of sorts. Only this one comes with a trigger and a magazine filled with 230 grain jacketed hollow points.
Anonymous says:
Jul 13, 2010 07:58 PM
Well, I do accept your apology, thanks. The truth is last month I lost two family members to lung cancer, so I have no intention to smoke anything, i'm glad you don't either, and I advise others to avoid it as well. It is really tragic to lose loved ones in such a pointless way.

I am not a fan of people who make blanket statements of things they don't understand or naively classify animals as 'better' than people either. Wolves, humans, and all other animals are neither good or bad (though they may do bad things), they just are. I actually do think wolves and humans have similar social structures in some ways but that is another topic and beside the point.

In my opinion most of the environmentalists who romanticize wolves have something in common with the worst polluters and developers - they perceive a separation between humans and other elements of nature, that just doesn't exist. That leads either to thinking they have to 'save' nature or thinking they can do whatever they want to it without facing consequences, both of which are false. I believe we need to aknowledge our role as the main species in most ecosystems, but also understand these systems as best we can and act accordingly, not to 'save' nature but because things generally work better when we don't go and screw them up. Most ecosystems seem to work best without things being removed, and I do think it is better to have wolves when we can have wolves. There are going to be plenty of places where it just won't make sense to have wolves, and that probably includes some places where people are trying to reintroduce them. Maybe wolf hunting IS the best way to have wolves, but also manage them properly (were they hunted by humans in the past, before Europeans came around? If not they surely don't 'need' human management for their own sake though we may need to for other reasons). As a personal bias I have a hard time with killing something you don't have a use for that isn't threatening your life or directly threatening your way of life (like attacking a cow at that moment) but that is an ethical view not a scientific view and may have no bearing on what is best for these areas.

Eastern coyotes definitely aren't as big as grey wolves (yet). I don't think they will actually outcompete wolves where wolves are established. I just think if wolves aren't allowed to live in an area, you will probably just get larger coyotes, that honestly are a lot smarter around humans and harder to manage if their populations get out of control/they start causing problems.

I think it is odd that wolves slaughter lots of sheep they aren't going to eat, and i wonder if there is a reason for this specifically, or if it is just an embedded wolf behavior, and I also wonder if there is something sheepherders can do to prevent this without eradicating all of the wolves.

Current Western land uses like hunting and ranching DO need to remain viable, not only for cultural and economic reasons but for conservation reasons as well! I personally would much rather purchase meat from someone who is doing these things sustainably, as I know many people are, than someone who isn't (or a cow from a stockyard in California). I wonder if there is a way to create a way for consumers to know this without creating another nightmare like the organic certification is turning into. Also ranching is affected by so many complicated issues, everything from the structure of government subsidies to the proliferation of invasive species... it's just really hard to untangle all that stuff.
Anonymous says:
Feb 08, 2010 03:58 PM
This wonderful, hopeful story turned my bad day into a good one. Thanks!
Anonymous says:
Feb 08, 2010 11:57 PM
Thanks, Michelle! It's really a treat to read such journalistic grace applied to the landscape of home. Not to mention the thrill of imagining wolves back inside that Colorado landscape. With the hundreds of thousands of acres of beetle-killed conifers in western Colorado - and the potential aspen habitat that represents - wolves could really play a formative role on the future of the backcountry in the coming years. It's about time.

Anonymous says:
Feb 09, 2010 09:55 AM
Beautifully researched and written story, Michelle (and HCN)! It's a treat to read the story through your words, and so appropriate that five years after the anthology Comeback Wolves was published that you're the one to report this. Thank you.
Anonymous says:
Feb 09, 2010 04:12 PM
Thanks to HCN for the voice of science and reason on the role of first order predators in our western ecosystem a much needed antidote forour testosterone controlled society.
Anonymous says:
Feb 09, 2010 10:50 PM
I very much appreciated the beautiful writng and all the interesting people and inspiring ideas found in this article; for me a totaly new eclogical concept was presented---tropical cascades--so thanks HCN for providing this vision too
I live here in western Colorado actually very close to some of the lands described, and my sense of wonder has increased, thank you
Anonymous says:
Feb 10, 2010 07:02 AM
I applaud the coverage of this controversial issue by High Country News. Michelle Nijhuis has done an outstanding job of capturing the realities of the situation. Whether Colorado will be able to avoid the hysterical and irrational fears associated with the return of wolves to the wild areas of the state will depend on the open-mindedness of the general public. Dispelling the myths is the first place to begin this adventure towards an enlightened approach to their true nature.
HCN and Michelle have taken a wonderful first step in that quest. I hope and pray that many more articles will follow, which will give a personal and individualized look at the true personalities of these magnificent beings.
The WOLF Sanctuary in Northern Colorado has had the opportunity to have relationships with wolves and actually be a part of their pack leaves us marveling at their intelligence, ingenuity, emotional depth, sense of fairness, social bonds, loyalty, playfulness and general friendly nature. This understanding embodies the words of Dr. Jane Goodall when she said, "We have to understand we are NOT the only beings on this planet with personalities and minds."
Frank Wendland, Cofounder
W.O.L.F. Sanctuary
Anonymous says:
Feb 15, 2010 12:33 AM
It is incredibly naive to believe that Wolves were exterminated from Colorado, least of all the remote northwestern corner of Colorado.

Please, do we need an academic study, a grant and a National Geographic special on this great discovery. I think I will go weld a monkey skull to a sheep skull and declare "austrailo-pithicus/in-and-out burger/maximus" The oldest known homo sapien, discoverd on La Brea boulevard! Near the La Brea tar pits.

Wolves, like Pumas and coyotes, can be thinned down for periods of time. Almost exterminated. Usually by locals. But even local pressure cannot extirpate a great survivor like the grey wolf in a large desolate area like the northwest. Like phantoms, wolves and pumas have dodged in and out of territories since the arrival of the Europeans.

I have enjoyed sightings of mountain lions in Missouri, Southern Illinois, Tennessee and Arkansas in the late 80's through 1991 when I worked in that region. I used to love to listen to the academics and the buearacratic "know-it-alls" say (as with black bears) that they were non existent. Oh yeah? Spend a little more time in the woods and alot less at the type writer.

However, these same academics were able to identify, and with proclaimed accuracy, "remnant" populations of "Red Wolves". Okay. You people really have a clue and are not just all jumping on the latest academic band wagon. Maybe you can publish a paper.

Oh, and by the way, grey wolves have been spotted in Missouri throughout the last quarter century. Do you think a few (and a few German Shepherds) ever humped a female coyote? No, those are RED WOLVES! The beaurocracy of our wildlife regulatory agencies and the types of people that are drawn in from the academic side make it almost impossible for legitimate sightings to be reported.

You are seeing that same pressure now in North Eastern USA. No one wants to admit mountain lions are present. No wants to admit there are black bears bigger than grizzlies roaming PA, NJ and MD. That is right, the acadmemics deny it. The state employees live in fear of the vengeful academics.

765 pound black bears in PA, 748 pound black bears in NJ, Bears over 700 pounds in Maryland? How could that be. Check the game records you academic bullshit artists!

Academics in PA still present black bears as 150 to 300 pound animals.

Wake up Dr. Doolittle. And yes, Wolves never left northern Colorado, no matter how interesting you think a revisionist paper will be.

Anonymous says:
Feb 17, 2010 03:59 PM
This is off the topic of wolves but applies to Pat Fallon's comments.


I think perhaps your subject title more rightly applies to your thinking that you have some kind of understanding of wildlife biology. I'm not going to attempt to correct all of your misguided notions but I will point out that you seem to confuse records with average. By your standards just because there have been humans weighing in excess of 500lbs (ever watch 'The Biggest Loser'?) then humans must all be as big as grizzlies.

I've worked at check stations during the black bear season in western Pennsylvania and the vast majority of animals brought in were between 125 and 300 lbs (we actually used scales to weigh them) The largest one reported in the 7 years I worked in PA was 658 lbs and it was a rarity. Few ever break the 500lb mark.

The rest of your comments appear to be of similar validity. So please, if you intend on disparaging academics, at least make an attempt to be well-reasoned and knowledgeable.
Anonymous says:
Feb 15, 2010 07:15 AM
There is so much "noise" today, driven by fear and ignorance, about the return of wolves to the wild throughout the United States. Thank you for such a thoughtful and well researched explanation of the role of predation in the environment and the impact that even one person can have when we greet this information with an open mind.
Anonymous says:
Feb 15, 2010 11:18 AM
If anyone is keeping count I saw a wolf in the Camp Hale area just north of Leadville on Dec 26 2009.
Anonymous says:
Feb 17, 2010 08:34 PM
I hope so. There's a USFS office in Leadville, as you know. I know a wildlife biologist who would be interested in that. You might also be aware that a wolverine was spotted there a couple years ago, long after they were thought to absent. You never know.
Anonymous says:
Feb 15, 2010 01:39 PM
Am I the only who sees irony in the fact that the High Lonesome is owned and run by the same corporate scum that brought the US economy to its knees, thought so little of its fellow citizens that it exported jobs en masse, created a bubble economy that sucked wealth upward from the middle and working classes and drained the life from our democracy? I'm a lifelong enviro and sporadic activist and I applaud High Lonesome's land management policies but I'm sick of seeing the return of 19th century-style robber barons under the guise of rich, environmentally-correct land owners. It's like applauding Andrew Carnegie for his philanthropy while ignoring the source of his wealth or how he treated his workers. Maybe the journalist should ask how Valdiek earned his money; perhaps corporate law, defending large corporations? Reminds me of the title to Ralph Nader's latest tome, "Only the Super-rich Can Save Us". That said, bring back the wolves!
Anonymous says:
Feb 15, 2010 07:19 PM
We heard a talk by David Mech (who "wrote the book" on wolves) a few years ago, and he thought it would take quite a while for the wolf scouts from Yellowstone to find each other and form their own pack(s). It's good to hear they've been making progress. I don't think there's any doubt that they're beneficial to the ecosystem. Thanks so much for researching this story. Rumors fly, and it's good to find out what's really going on.
Anonymous says:
Feb 16, 2010 03:46 PM
Nice heart warming story, but short on facts. It surprises me, that with the number of "experts" referenced in this story that you can equate the ecosystme recovery to a few wandering wolves. Why did you completely ignore the fact that 18 properties were combined and the cattle grazing reduced to only 400 cattle.
If the wolf is such a wonderful creature that is going to save the western ecosystems, why isn't the success being shouted from the roof tops of Idaho, Montana and Wymoing. Just as every other improperly introduced species as in the past, the reintroduction of the canadian grey wolf is going to become a ecological disaster that will cost the taxpayer millions of dollars.
Unfortunately, the problem lies with the very people who trumpet the wolf. For over a century wildlife management agencies have successfuly brought back innumerable big game species. It is now time for them to be allowed to manage this creature too. The wolf does not deserve to be placed or treated above all other creatures in the wild. Wolves are a voracious predator whose populations needs to be strictly controlled. Of course, we will ignore the truth as it has played out in Alaska, British Columbia, Yellowstone, Idaho. It was removed from the landscape for a reasons, why do contimually ignore the lessons of the past?
Anonymous says:
Feb 16, 2010 10:19 PM
Yes, Dave you are right. I use to live in Minnesota. The farmers in northern Minnesota absolutely hate wolves. They were never extirpated from northern Minnesota, and in recent years have made an extreme comeback. I'm in favor of bringing back any animal but, Wolves. I would love to see wolverines, and even Grizzly's brought back and managed through hunting the most effective way to manage america's wild critters. The proof is as they say in the pudding. You see I am predicting that because wolves have been mismanaged in Minnesota & Idaho they are on the verge of ecological disaster. I have friends that say in certain parts of northern Minnesota deer are becoming very scarce, even though state officials won't admit it. You see it would affect their pocket books to much if they can't sell a certain amount of deer tags. So instead of cutting back on tags they just keep selling them. You see men and wolves can't coexist unless we manage the wolves. Managing wolves is a very difficult thing because you just can't seem to cull enough of them. That's why they used poison to kill them off before which also killed just about every other critter that walked or flew. Colorado would be better off without a recovered population of wolves, they are GOD's most effective predator. Even Grizzlies would be a cake walk to manage compared to the problems wolves bring. It's hilarious when people say that wolves will help the aspen forests become healthy. So, would you rather see lots of elk or lots of aspens. If wolves come back their won't be many elk around and eventually the wolves will also drop in population. All the years off sound wildlife management will go down in the bowells of wolves.
Anonymous says:
Feb 17, 2010 02:19 PM
As a longtime resident of the Upper Midwest this comment is absurd. Granted I have been removed from the area for a few years, but I would like to see the claim of scarce deer in Northern MN substantiated.
Anonymous says:
Feb 17, 2010 06:08 PM
I have friends in Minnesota that hunt the same areas every year in northern Minnesota. They've told me the last two years they've killed and seen far less deer then the previous years before that. One person I know said it was becuase the state gave out to many tags. The other person I know, knows first hand that it's a combination of to many wolves not being managed, and a state that does'nt want to loose income from decreasing license sales. Let's face it we have to hunt wolves to ensure the survival of both deer, elk, and wolves. Of course if hunter's actually got to make decisions on wolf hunting we would'nt have the serious poblems we have today. Why should hunters not be able to buy the same amount of tags they were before wolves became a problem. After all it was'nt hunters that said absolutely no wolf hunting season. No it was some scum bucket trial lawyer! If we let these idiots make ourdecisions for us we won't have any rights left. Personally even though Idaho has finally let a wolf hunt happen I think it's to late. Wolves have become so numerous in Idaho that they're reproducing faster then what the prey base can sustain. Don't forget it was hunter's that cared enough to bring back elk and deer from the brink of extinction. If it were not for us hunters wolf reintroduction would not have been possible. Oh and by the way I'm a native Minnesotan, I hate the socialist crap hole so much I won't even go back visit when I'm invited to be the best man in a wedding.
Anonymous says:
Feb 17, 2010 07:03 PM
Will, I have to disagree. I have a hunting shack in northern MN, in a off-the-beaten-path corner of Itasca County where wolves abound (and have been present for the last 50 years). Our best stretch of hunting recently was '03-'07. Every year in that stretch we heard/saw wolves - just as we did the past two years. Yes, deer numbers have been down the past two years across northern MN. So are moose numbers. And ruffed grouse (even though they're in the upswing part of their cycle). It's not from the wolves nearly as much as the weather and other environmental factors.

Also, Will, why has the wolf population in MN stopped expanding southward if they've propagated to the point where their killing all the wolves? I've consistently read over the past decade that biologists have determined the MN wolf population is relatively stagnant.
Anonymous says:
Feb 17, 2010 07:32 PM
Mike you seem like a fair fellow, and that's why I won't rip into you. I wish I did'nt know so much about Minnesota since I divorced my self from the place 13 years ago. However I did grow up in Cambridge, and have alot of friends, and family there. As I'm sure you know wolves are moving south, and have been reported in the carlos avery state wildlife area just north of Minneapolis. They have been reported being seen in and around the twin cities. There's know doubt in my mind that wolves will soon inhabit more of southern Minnesota especially the southwest portion making their way into the dakota's. A friend of mine that lives in Cambridge says that their are wolves in isanti county they just don't howl, but then neither do the coyotes. The further south you go in Minnesota the more people there are. Because of this the coyotes and wolves are less vocal. Mike are you not for the sound management of wolves, and if so why. If you're not you're not unlike many of the politically correct people I knew when I lived in Minnesota.
Anonymous says:
Jul 01, 2010 05:58 PM
I'd much rather see wolves as part of a larger ecosystem, and being hunted by humans, than wolves in just a few places not being hunted, despite the fact I don't really 'like' wolf hunting (albeit for personal reasons that don't have ecological relevance). However, I am highly skeptical that wolf populations 'need' to be hunted to remain in ecological balance. Did Native Americans have a substantial effect on their population through hunting? If so, then yes perhaps we need to keep doing so. If not, deer survived just fine before European colonization, and with wolves, so it is silly to say that they need our help now when they didn't before. In fact, many land use changes we made, such as clearing or thinning forests, makes habitat MORE suitable for deer and less so for wolves than it was before. So, I guess what I am saying is... pro-wolf-hunt people... why do you think deer 'need' us to manage wolves??
Anonymous says:
Feb 18, 2010 07:31 AM
William, by substantiated claim, I mean something other than anecdotal evidence from 2 people. Northern MN was the home to remnant wolf populations before the recent expansion of packs. Wolves are not a new ecosystem feature in these parts.

I have read CONSISTANT official reports from resource management agencies and hook and bullet clubs in MN in sorrounding states indicating that deer and ungulate population are not suffering and in many cases thriving in the Upper Midwest/Great Lakes Region. I have found nothing to indicate a "serious" problem, as you suggest. These are groups that stand to lose revenue if deer populations plummet.

I have not found one credible study of recent decreasing deer population attributable wolf predation in the Great Lakes region. The language you use in post suggests that you are not "fair-minded", you have made a decision about wolves long ago, and are unwilling to challenge your long-held belief that wolf presence is detremental to deer population. Your bias-minded attitude gives even less credence to the unsubstantiated claims of your friends.

Don't forget that if Deer or Elk were ever on the "brink of extinction" that pending fate was the result of hunting (by humans). Population rebound was largely the result Game Management Legislation NOT voluntary hunter control. Wolves and Elk (the list could drag on...) are both species that would likely be extinct if Federal AND State officials had not stepped-in to curb over hunting. I would like to leave the decision to the would save a lot of money...but history indicates that the American Hunter has been unwilling to exercise necessary self-restraint.
Anonymous says:
Feb 18, 2010 10:01 AM
Q I will admit that deer and elk are not facing extinction in Minnesota or Idaho. I really believe that they are going to have to start hunting wolves in Minnesota though. If they don't I gaurantee there will be a problem. Yes, wolves have exsisted in Minnesota forever, but their populations have never been this high since the post european settlement, and urbanization of Minnesota. The deer population is on a natural down swing coupled with lots of wolf predation. The two will bring the once great deer herds of Minnesota down to not so great. By the way it was'nt the great federal and state governments that stepped in and wrote game management legislation. It was hunters that saw the depletion of animals and petitioned the government to step in and do something. It was hunters dollars that brought animals back from the brink of extinction in so many cases. There were no other groups putting there money where their mouth was like hunters. Even today over 90 percent of Colorado's money comes from hunting license sales. Most states are exactly the same as Colorado. Let's not forget it was the government that put bounty's out on so many of the animals that got wiped out. Back in the 90's when I was just a teenager I spent a lot of time in wolf country in northern Minnesota. I used to wake every morning to their howls in hunting camp. I have read that in Idaho the elk were alot more vocal then they are today because of the wolves. They won't bugle in fear of giving their location up to some always hungry wolf. Don't get me wrong I don't hate them. In fact I would love go wolf hunting in the wide open country of the west. I would just hate to see wolves deplete the herds that hunters have worked so hard to grow. I can tell your a statist. State wildlife agencies to me a maggots. They don't really care about wildlife, all they really care about is money. They love to catch hunters doing things that are against the rules. The citations that they right should be illegal and unconstitutional. In so many cases they truly are. I have to grin though the big government philosphy's of the past are failing all aruound us. Soon they will be nothing but history. Government around the world will be forced to shrink, and people will be forced to govern themselves. Only the moral people will survive.
Anonymous says:
Jul 01, 2010 06:07 PM
hunters hunting deer, wolves, etc, as part of the ecosystem are very different than people who 'build up' big herds then manage them for food. There is nothing fundamentally wrong with either... but the latter strike me as 'deer ranchers' rather than hunters. Again, there's nothing wrong with pastoralism, but some of this makes deer sound like skinny cows that live in forests. Are we managing for a functioning ecosystem (including humans, who utilize the forests as hunters for sustainable meat and other animal products!) or as a deer ranch? Do we want high diversity, or as many deer as we can get per acre? Again, if we decide as a society that we want deer ranches, that's fine... but it isn't the same as being hunters in a functioning forest.

As for big government... not sure if I follow there. The state wildlife management people have their issues, but seems to me that the corporate interests are even worse. If there were no regulations at all, I think Lake Erie would still be catching on fire and there wouldn't BE any forests left. I could be wrong, I guess, but its just that I trust the corporations even less than I trust to gov't...
Anonymous says:
Apr 06, 2010 07:50 AM
I find it interesting that some people are so blind to this animal.... The top six states with these killers now have over a million dollars in depredation and depredation management per year per state.... This is something that someone is going to have to pay! (Federal taxes/State taxes/ Private funding /general hunting funds etc) . As they continue to expand in marginal(at best)habitat there will be more of the same. It won't take many wolves in Colorado to chew up another million. There's talk of eating up another million in Maine. To these pro-wolf groups its wolves at any cost. When you get to a point where they become unbearable and it's ridiculous not to thin them, you have the state and general hunting funds holding the tab because the Federal funding and private(pro-wolf) groups are pulling their funding!
Anonymous says:
Aug 09, 2010 01:22 PM
What the word socialism actually means? And DON'T you DARE call this gorgeous state, my home, a crap hole! It is a paradise of lakes and natural beauty, a state with wonderful, kind, thinking and bright people, one that I am PROUD to have born in, am PROUD to live in, and will DIE in. You take that insult BACK!
Anonymous says:
Feb 18, 2010 04:49 PM
What a phenomenal article and well done. I am co-founder of Shadowland Foundation, Inc, doing wolf education programs for children of all ages. It is encouraging that the good news about wolves is finally being reported by those who have actual knowledge and experience studying these amazing creatures.
It is disheartening that with all of the evidence to the contrary, the irrational hatred of wolves still lives to such a degree.
Information and education and excellent coverage such as this article will make all of the difference. Thank you. We help by sharing our pack with the children, where such prejudices are not so ingrained. We know they will grow up knowing what a keystone species is and make informed decisions and save not only wolves, but the environment for all species below and above their food chain, including we humans.
We, as a species cannot afford to loose our plant-life and trees to such and extent anymore. We survive on the oxygen and they keep the planet cool. I loved the quote about wolves being an inexpensive way to rebuild what we have lost in their absence. Government agencies in Washington state, Japan and Scotland to name a few have been advocating re-introduction, but continue to face overwhelming opposition. It is just unjustified, uneducated, ancient fear based denial; unsubstantiated opinions that could be devastating to future generations of many species, including mankind.
Unregulated, wolves instinctively know how to maintain their own populations; not reproducing unless there is enough food for all. Something we have not caught onto yet. They also, keep herds healthy, and share their prey with other wildlife. By scaring and moving their desired prey like elk, deer and caribou, they cannot decimate the fauna past it's ability to re-grow. If there is a decline in the prey hunted by humans, it is because the grazing areas that sustained them previously, aren't there anymore and they've had to moved on.
As for the farmers and ranchers, the more wolves there are, the bigger the prey they need to sustain the pack. Needing a pack to take down larger prey, they do not waste their time on smaller prey, like sheep and calves. They stay in higher elevations where the wild prey lives. The fewer the wolves, the more trouble they are for us. Kind of a Catch 22. I could go on, but I won't.
But I will say, YES to more wolves.
Anonymous says:
Feb 18, 2010 06:16 PM
Colette, Los Angelas CALIFORNIA really!!! So living in such a big city I suppose you could teach us all alot about wild wolves. I think what we should do is go back to our constitutional roots. We should let locals that live in the city make decisions for city folk. People that live in the country should make local decisions for country folk. In other words you don't have a vote. Now one thing we could change though is all the unconstitutional rules and laws that affect us all. By the way global warming is a hoax! Tree's that have died one year grow back the next, they're like weeds. I once read that 70 percent of the worlds oxygen is created by the rainforests and jungles. Do wolves live in rainforests or jungles??? So let me get this straight we need wolves because humans are to stupid to manage elk or deer. The wolves will keep the ungulate's populations at bay so that the tree's can grow back and save the planet. So you got the part about the wolves only reproducing if there is an ample food supply right. However you forgot to mention that before that happens their is a boom bust population cycle in both prey & predator. I really don't think that you should go to the extent of indoctrinating the children though. Public schools, colleges, and the media try to do that already. Fortunately informed people don't buy into it! You see I grew up around socialists, liberals, nazi's, and comunists. All of them are the same. They did'nt get through to me, and I will never forget what they tryed to do to me! Really they've just created a liberal philosphy killing giant!

P.S. California and it's politics are such a great example of how to do things right, right, really.
Anonymous says:
Feb 19, 2010 04:21 PM
I cant help people that only learn from books. To those of you that have a little common sense, here I go: Wolves are apex predators and without management they will only grow to astounding population numbers and when their food supply crashes they will get disease and starve to death, starvation is much more brutal than proper management. If you dont believe me, I encourage all wolf lovers to try it.

Those of you that say wolves just move elk populations around and that the vegetation will miracoulosly come back, your right the trees will do better but the elk dont just go hide in the timber, they are deceased, Wolf Scat, good try you may fool some but people that have lived where wolves live know better. You people are only trying to convince yourselves.

I've lived in Alaska and Wyoming I know how devastating wolves are and can be. If you dont want to believe me I encourage all of you neigh sayers to contact the state legislatures of Idaho, montana, and Wyoming and ask them how much revenue they (wolves) have brought into there states, I'm guessing that the cost of paying for livestock damages and loss of tourism(hunting) highly outweighs the good.

I'm not on here saying there is no place for wolves, I am just saying it is not in colorado. This state is to populated and there are not enough large wilderness areas for them. It will be one constant human conflict after another and the wolf will lose. So why would you encourage there return. I hope for the sake of wolves and colorado they stay north. Colorado dont have room!!!

P.S. Remember starvation
Anonymous says:
Feb 19, 2010 06:41 PM
I cant help people that only learn from books. To those of you that have a little common sense, here I go: HUMANS are apex predators and without management they will only grow to astounding population numbers and when their food supply crashes they will get disease and starve to death, starvation is much more brutal than proper management. If you dont believe me, I encourage all human lovers to try it.

Those of you that say HUMANS just move elk populations around and that the vegetation will miracoulosly come back, your right the trees will do better but the elk dont just go hide in the timber, they are deceased, Human Scat, good try you may fool some but wolves that have lived where HUMANS live know better. You people are only trying to convince yourselves.

I've lived in Alaska and Wyoming I know how devastating HUMANS are and can be. If you dont want to believe me I encourage all of you neigh sayers to contact the state legislatures of Idaho, montana, and Wyoming and ask them how much revenue they (HUMANS) have brought into there states, I'm guessing that the cost of paying for livestock damages and loss of tourism(hunting) highly outweighs the good.

I'm not on here saying there is no place for HUMANS, I am just saying it is not in colorado. This state is to populated and there are not enough large wilderness areas for them. It will be one constant wolf conflict after another and the humans will lose. So why would you encourage there return. I hope for the sake of HUMANS and colorado they stay north. Colorado dont have room!!!

P.S. Remember starvation
Anonymous says:
Feb 19, 2010 08:14 PM
Doc, really. Really. Really! Wow that's so smart I wish woulda I coulda. So wolves are just like people ha. You demented fool. Well I'm here to tell ya if Doc here is the posterchild of wolf advocacy they've got a real problem. I should'nt have to say this doc, but animals do not have feelings or a spirit. I've been hunting all my life. As crazy as this sounds when you shoot animals they don't even really know what hit them. I find that most animal lovers don't understand this. There really should be a name for this mental disorder. I'm serious, if you can't differentiate humanity from animals, you really might be sick.
Anonymous says:
Feb 19, 2010 10:32 PM
And the point was that humans cause far more alterations to the ecosystem than any amount of wolves could. If you can't recognize that impact then you really aren't paying attention when you're out hunting. And if you're not taking the continually increasing human population into account, then you're going to lose the elk and the deer as well as the wolves and the aspens.

This isn't a newly observed phenomenon and the math really isn't all that complicated.

Anonymous says:
Feb 22, 2010 10:43 AM
Will, so animals don't know what hit them when they are shot, eh? Think with me for a moment here. if you were shot and died almost insistently by a guy in the distance with a rifle, whom is out of sight, would you really know what hit you? I doubt it. Humans and Wolves are very similar, we are both predators. You also say that animals have no feelings or spirit. Well I have had experiences with both animals and humans. (although I hate anecdotal Evidence.) Of holding them while life leaves them. They look very much the same, looking at you with such sad eyes as the life from them vanishes. You say that all these people need to learn better, but couldn't it simply be you the one that needs to learn? to broaden your view?
Anonymous says:
Feb 28, 2010 11:35 AM
According to a 2006 paper by John Duffield, et al, of the University of Montana, Deptartment of Mathematical Sciences, wolves bring in an estimated $35 million annually to local economies.

I have to agree that starvation is a brutal way to die. In the spring of 1997 I was a biological technician working in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA. That winter of 1996-97 had been especially harsh for the elk and by springtime they were dying from starvation throughout the Northern Range. There were carcasses everywhere, you could help but notice. My own personal observation, highly subjective I realize, was that the wolves could prevent death by starvation - yes, wolf predation on elk is violent and involves loss of life and much blood-letting. However,it is also much quicker and precise, and, in my opinion, humane than letting elk perish by the slow death of starvation.

During that spring, I saw many elk that were essentially walking dead - their body fat had diminished to the point of no return and they would soon die from lack of food. I remember starvation.
Anonymous says:
Mar 03, 2010 09:21 PM
Doc & Rees, I should'nt have to tell you this, but here goes. Animals do not have spirits, and they do not feel pain like we do. Sure they feel pain, but not like us. I have shot countless coyotes, and even bears. They do act differently when shot then say a deer or elk. You seem to think that hunters are some how disconnected from the animals they hunt. A hunter off in the distance with a gun. I've shot a lot of animals with bows at very close range including bears. I've even had to finish them with a knife to the neck. I'll tell you these animals don't feel pain like we do. The frustrating thing is you and all your liberal friends are so disconnected from reality you can't even think straight. You were probably indoctrinated from the time you were little. Maybe it was some hippie parent or school teacher that mind washed you. Open your eyes it's your philosophy's that have ruined this country, and any hope for economic growth. Soon this country will be bankrupt paying $7.00 a gallon for fuel, and no job to pay for it. Pray for your children if you have any, they'll spend most of their lives digging out of this mess, trying to cut the size of government and regain some freedom's.
Anonymous says:
Mar 05, 2010 06:09 PM
I thank god that folks like Will only get one vote...
Anonymous says:
Mar 08, 2010 06:37 PM
you're really saying that you walked up to a live, wounded, bear and killed it with a knife? As both a rifle hunter and bow hunter I'm gonna have to call 'big shirt' on that. I have never meet any bear hunters willing to go within 50 yards of a wounded bear without a heavy back up gun myself included. also, animals feel pain which is why we aim for quick kills and pass on risky shots for the animals sake. Furthermore, is a decrease in ungulate populations that bad of a thing given the prevalence of CWD? Wolves cull out the sick and leave the strongest healthiest animals(with some exceptions). they have a valuable place in the woods. I've lived in northern Wisconsin and Minnesota for years before moving out to Colorado and have had several run-ins with wolves up north that convince me that they are less dangerous to us than coyotes. I'm pretty sure that Co. is big enough for the wolf to return.
Anonymous says:
Mar 10, 2010 06:22 PM
What about the illiterate, paranoid people? And exactly how would *you* know whether and how an animal feels pain?
Anonymous says:
Jul 01, 2010 06:12 PM
yeah, lets let the rural people make ALL the decisions on the rural land. Let's let the four people who own the watershed above town cut down all the trees. True, the resulting mudslides will kill everyone in the city, but who cares! everyone should do whatever they want!

Look, I am for local control as much as anyone else but to a point... people shouldn't do whatever they want even if it hurts others... what you are proposing would involve a lot of people being hurt by a few people. That's not right! As for your thoughts on global warming and trees, if you actually care you should do some research on the carbon cycle! There are valid arguments against humans as the major driver of climate change but you sure haven't found any of them!
Anonymous says:
Mar 12, 2010 03:06 PM
It was great to read about Cristina Eisenberg's research in Colorado. There is tremendous research on trophic cascades both in North American and around the world. What scientists are finding is where top predators exist in sufficient numbers, habitat is restored and biodiversity returns. To learn more about trophic cascades with Cristina Eisenberg, Bill Ripple, Bob Beschta and Doug Smith, check out "Lords of Nature: Life in a Land of Great Predators," <> , a 60-minute award-winning documentary where you'll see first hand the presence of wolves has affected the landscape and wildlife in Yellowstone and how cougars keep canyons in Zion full of life.
Anonymous says:
Mar 15, 2010 10:19 PM
Last week we drove down from Telluride toward Delores and saw two wolves trotting through a pasture towards a creek. I wish we had stopped to take pictures. Being from Arizona, we know a coyote when we see one. These were much larger and thicker. They were not dogs. I just assumed wolves lived in the area until I relayed our observations to an interested friend. I wish I had taken a picture. They were beautiful and very sure of themselves.
Anonymous says:
Jul 18, 2010 02:34 PM
on the note about coyotes being a lonesome animal. i personaly have seen a pack of 8 together in the southern colorado region
Anonymous says:
Dec 30, 2010 09:27 PM
Dear Folks,
After reading many of these comments, it still looks like we humans have a long way to go in learning to live together, moreso than the wolves and elk.
Good Luck World...
Tracy Imhoff
Tracy Imhoff says:
Oct 22, 2012 05:30 PM
My son just had an encounter with (fairly positive) 3 wolves while he was hunting yesterday in the San Juan Mts, outside of Ouray CO. He felt they stalked him for two miles and was very shook up. He does not feel like if he reported it to the local DOW gal he would be believed.
Stephanie Paige Ogburn
Stephanie Paige Ogburn says:
Oct 22, 2012 06:17 PM
Hi Tracy,

Interestingly enough, I have reported a wolf sighting fairly near that area, too. DOW actually encourages you to report it and they have a form -- it's located on this website:[…]/GrayWolf.aspx

When I called them a couple years back, they encouraged me to report through there.

Of course, I think generally they do believe most of the reported sitings are of wolf-dog hybrids or even coyotes, but they also appreciate the data, as much as your son can give to them.


Stephanie P Ogburn, online editor.