How can you write or talk about coexisting with wolves so others will read or listen?
It’s clear now that people know and feel very differently about coexisting with wolves. These differences are the reasons for conflicts with wolves and conflicts between people about wolves.
In SOLVE your challenge is to find a creative way to build a bridge of understanding and respect between groups of people, and between people and wolves, so that conflict is reduced.
With wolves returning to more of their native habitats across the United States, what kind of public education project could you create that would help people peacefully coexist by sharing land and resources with wolves? As you begin this action step, keep in mind that respect matters if you want your message to be heard – respect for others with different perspectives and experiences, and respect for the wolf itself!
With Knowledge Comes Responsibility
How can you share what you know so others also have accurate and helpful information about peacefully coexisting with wolves?
How do these people create constructive conversations?
Listen to these interviews to gather ideas for how to respectfully talk with someone who disagrees with you about coexisting with wolves.
- Listen carefully in each interview for what the conflicting groups of people actually have in common.
- Conflict is common in talks between conservationists and ranchers. The NPR radio interview describes how these groups are able to have friendly constructive meetings. What’s their trick?
- Hilary offers this quote at the end of the NPR interview: "Out beyond the ideas of right-doing and wrong-doing, there is a field. I'll meet you there. Forget about who's right, who's wrong, who likes this, who hates this. Find that field and meet there. The extremes aren't accomplishing too much."
- How does this message relate to talking with people about coexisting with wolves?
- How could it help you design your project about how to coexist with wolves, and share it with others?
What could your public education project look like?
Pause, Click! How do you get someone to pause when they see your post or digital presentation, and then click on a link to read more? How do you get people to thoughtfully listen? We have all been duped by posts and presentations that are filled with exaggerations, misinformation, and lies. That's not what we're going for in the Quest. Your public education project needs to get the reader’s attention, spark curiosity, and describe a positive action step.
Let's check out what your project could look like.
- Go to this webpage: Did you know? (Living With Wolves)
- Scan through the titles for different posts. Name three that catch your attention. Why did you choose these titles?
- Choose one post to read. Then get with a partner or two and take turns sharing what you learned.
- What are the strengths in the post? What would make it more engaging?
- What groups of people might be curious enough to read this post?
- Would its headline catch this group's attention? Why or why not?
- Does the photo draw the reader to the post? Why or why not?
- What type of information was chosen to place under the photo? Why do you think this was a good, or not so good, choice?
- Open the link. What type of information did the author start with? Why do you think that was an effective or ineffective way to start?
- What other types of information were presented, or should be presented?
How can you create an attention-grabbing title grounded in facts?
As you begin thinking about what part of the coexistence issue you want to focus on, consider the tone you want to set. Titles set the tone for what is in the body of your presentation. What does that mean?
1. Take a look at the titles of a few news articles about wolves. Discuss how each highlights the conflict and controversy around wolves, and sparks the emotions of the reader.
- Colorado wolf reintroduction stokes fears, passions of ranchers, ecologists, sportsmen, Coloradoan (2019).
- Conflict between wolves and ranchers touches issues of conservationism and Native American rights, ABC News (2017).
- The Key Arguments for Both Sides of the Wolf Reintroduction Debate in Colorado, OutThere Colorado (2019).
- Are Large Carnivores Dangerous? Wolves and Humans Foundation (2019).
- The Perverse Logic of Wolf Hunts, Exposing the Big Game (2013).
2. Next, choose one article title. Rewrite the title to take out the conflict and put in an empowering fact and action. Create a title that hooks the reader without being polarizing. Here’s an example: This article titled Gray wolf reintroduction talk has ranchers seeing red from The Aspen Times (2018) could become Gray wolf reintroduction talk compares tools ranchers can use to minimize impact on livestock.