Like wolf restoration activities in the West, the proposal to reintroduce wolves into the Adirondacks has generated intense public debate. The idea of returning top predators to settled landscapes raises complicated questions on issues ranging from property rights to wildlife management to obligations to present and future generations. "Wolves and Human Communities" brings together leading thinkers and writers from diverse fields - including Timothy Clark, Daniel Kemmis, L. David Mech, Mary Midgley, Ernest Patridge, Steward T.A. Pickett, Joseph Sax, Ridger Schlickeisen and others - to address the complex ethical, biological, legal and political concerns surrounding wolf reintroduction. Contributors specifically explore the social, cultural and ecological values that come into play as they examine: the views of stakeholders in the Adirondack decision; historical trends in public perception of restoration; the legal and policy context for species preservation, and the challenges to the current system of property law; biological and political lessons learned from Yellowstone, Isle Royale and the Great Lakes states; and the meaning of wildness, both in ourselves and the wolf.
The final chapter by Niles Eldredge takes the point of view of evolutionary time and ecological scale, challenging us to develop a new consciousness regarding our position in the natural world. "Wolves and Human Communities" offers an examination of interactions between human and wild communities, and represents a useful contribution to debates over species reintroduction for policymakers, researchers, ecologists, sociologists, lawyers, ethicists, philosophers and local residents.