Rocky Mountain Wolf Quest
grade bands: high school
The Rocky Mountain Ecosystem Needs Your Help
Healthy and thriving ecosystems depend on all creatures, big and small, to keep the energy and life cycles working. When we disrupt the system or take out a link like predators,
the whole system becomes weaker.
Will you help the ecosystem of the Southern Rocky Mountains?
Wolves create very strong reactions in people. Our fairy tales have taught us to fear them; ranchers have valid concerns about livestock loss; and hunters worry that they will lose prey opportunities.
Science shows that predators, like wolves, create a balanced ecosystem where vast herds of deer and elk are kept healthier as their sick and old become prey. Wolf pressure on ungulate herds keep them moving, allowing valley ecosystems to bounce back with beaver, otters, birds and other species.
Until 1945, wolves roamed almost everywhere below tree line in Colorado. But agricultural interests aggressively pursued their extermination. Can a managed reintroduction program be the solution to restoring Colorado's natural balance?
How Can You Help?
In this Quest, students will be challenged to research and debate the various positions around the reintroduction of wolves to the Southwestern Rockies.
The Quest will lead them on a journey of Uncovering and Exploring the facts and perceptions behind wolves and their reintroduction, and how wolf reintroduction would effect the people and ecosystem of Colorado through a case study of a real-life scenario in Yellowstone Park. Students will be encouraged to form their own well-informed opinion on wolf reintroduction, and given tools and resources to help educate others in their community on this prescient topic.
Students will also have the opportunity to receive cash grants based on a presentation of the opinion on wolf reintroduction, submitted to Project Hero Headquarters.
Geographic Focus: United States - Colorado
Target Grade Bands: 8th - 12th
Focus Ecosystem or Species Group: Southern Rocky Mountains