An interview with Carter Niemeyer, author of "Wolfer: A Memoir"

 

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How the gray wolf lost its endangered status -- and how enviros helped

Carter Niemeyer is a wildlife biologist who started his career doing predator control and ended it working on wolf recovery in the northern Rockies. His new book, Wolfer: A Memoir, chronicles his years capturing, tracking, relocating and killing wolves for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Idaho Department of Game.

The gray wolf’s reintroduction in the Rockies has been one of the most successful endangered species recoveries in the U.S. – and one of the most controversial. The recovery effort ended dramatically this spring, when Congress removed wolves from the endangered species list.

Over the year’s Carter Niemeyer often had angry ranchers watch over his shoulder as he did forensic examinations of their dead livestock to determine whether wolves had done the killing. And wolf advocates cursed and threatened him for gunning problem wolves. As he puts it, his greatest success was reaching out to and learning to understand both advocates and opponents.

In this episode of High Country Views, editorial fellow Emilene Ostlind speaks with Niemeyer about his experiences, and his perspective on wolf management in the Rocky Mountain West.