February in northern Wisconsin is not most couple's idea of a "getaway." But, if you are Lynn and Peter (Wunderli), you might beg to differ!
Both Peter and I share a love for outdoor winter sports, and have a great respect and enthusiasm about protection of our natural resources. Couple these reasons with my interest in innate dog behavior (and Peter's support of this), made signing up for TWIN's (Timber Wolf Information Network) workshop on Wolf Ecology an easy choice!
Before moving to Wisconsin, we did informal tracking of coyotes in New Hampshire. I had always yearned for more... unfortunately, the prospect of wolf tracking was never an option in New England (they have been exterminated), so when the opportunity presented itself in our new State of Wisconsin, we both jumped on it! We arose very early on Saturday morning (2/8) and drove up to Babcock, WI. We arrived and checked into the TWIN facility (basic dorm rooms with bunks) where we were greeted with friendly faces and coffee (not to mention other breakfast items!). Soon after arriving, we met Deb, a volunteer with the International Wolf Center (Ely, MN). She and about 7 others from IWC came down for the weekend workshop to learn more about the wolves they so graciously house at their center in ELY. We met Rob Schultz, Executive Director for IWC, who had attended TWIN's Wolf Ecology Workshop the year before (and was so impressed he brought his crew back for this year's workshop!).
The amount of education you receive from this workshop is immense.
You learn about plant life and its affect on/from wildlife, the natural history (evolution) of the canid (dog species), the biology of the wolf (and other canid species as well as ungulates), communication within the wolf communities, population and mortality trends of wolves (and ungulates), the core value system of humans and how our ancestral history affects the way we see wolves today, the hunting and illegal poaching of wolves-- to the current "harvesting" of wolves and why this is actually good and necessary in COMPLETE moderation.
I wanted to learn all of these things, and more. For me as a canine trainer, I need to continue to learn about canids in every way I possibly can. Acquiring knowledge in wolf behavior will better my ability to help clients communicate with their dogs, as learning about wolf behavior can give humans great insight into their dog's behavior (article to follow).
To learn more about wildlife preservation and education, go to these following sites: