The survival or defeat of the wolf symbolizes the way people are able to access the land according to their culture-
Ms. Wright is a graduate student completing her thesis for a master’s degree in Cultural Anthropology at Western Washington University. Her thesis focuses on human-human conflicts surrounding wolves in Idaho. She interviewed many people (including myself) to complete this article.
It is my view that anthropology, sociology, social psychology and political science are more important for studying the wolf than biology. Wright’s article well describes the cultural conflict taking place in Idaho. I’d say that the wolf issue is just a tiny part of a number of intense cultural issues that are ripping the United States apart. The United States is a unique nation in that it is composed of people (peoples) from many places who share a common set of political beliefs. Most other nations are based on a common language, religion, long history, etc. Americans increasing no longer share common political or other basic beliefs. Therefore, instability has set in.
When she wrote “The survival or defeat of the wolf has come to symbolize the ability to access land in culturally specific ways, ultimately sustaining or depleting one’s own culture” she is, in my view, referring to the entire series of controversies over the proper way to use the land that have grown in intensity in Idaho and the Western United States over the last 40 years: wilderness, endangered species, grazing, timbering, energy production and transmission.