After forming an intense bond with Natasha, a wolf cub she raised as part of her undergraduate research, Renée Askins was inspired to found the Wolf Fund. As head of this grassroots organization, she made it her goal to restore wolves to Yellowstone National Park, where they had been eradicated by man over seventy years before. Here, Askins recounts her courageous fifteen-year campaign, wrangling along the way with Western ranchers and their political allies in Washington, enduring death threats, and surviving the anguish of illegal wolf slayings to ensure that her dream of restoring Yellowstone’s ecological balance would one day be realized. Told in powerful, first-person narrative, Shadow Mountain is the awe-inspiring story of her mission and her impassioned meditation on our connection to the wild.
Naturalist Askins narrates what is both an autobiography and the story of one of America's most controversial conservation projects the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone National Park. Idyllic childhood summer evenings in northern Michigan; interning at a captive wolf project in Indiana; spending time on the west coast of Africa, Yale University and Montana accent the author's exploration of her life story as an enduring love of nature. Askins accomplishes her task with fascinating anecdotes and insightful introspection. The reader learns about the writer's life-altering experience as a college student raising a newborn wolf cub. The heartfelt bonding of the young woman with her wild charge and the enduring memory of this incident helped form her character and direct her future. In 1986, Askins founded the Wolf Fund, whose purpose and function was to reestablish wolves into their proper place within the ecosystem of Yellowstone. The author is most engaging when she candidly recounts the emotional bruises from her sometimes naive misperceptions about both the brutal natural world and the rough-and-tumble world of Western ecological politics. In honestly detailing these revelatory episodes, Askins reexamines her scientific suppositions and her personal premises. Those interested in wildlife, ecology and especially wolves will find this a delightful read. (June) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.