Several years ago Living with Wolves sought to assemble a board of advisors, a group that would represent all aspects of wolves and how their wild world overlaps and interacts with the human world. Living with Wolves is honored to have amassed a small but diversified assembly of highly distinguished individuals in their respective fields and livelihoods. They are leaders at major universities, contributing volumes of published science to wolf and canine research. They are multi-generational western ranchers and big game hunters seeking solutions that lead to coexistence. They come from careers in wildlife management, livestock production, wolf recovery, and wildlife ecotourism. Originating from very different fields, the one thing they all have in common is years of experience and respected work with wolves and where the human and wild worlds meet.
Ranching & Livestock
Mr. Clevidence is a member of a pioneer Montana ranching family in the Bitterroot Valley. Living and working on the ranch, he spent a large portion of his life in the mountains and wilderness of western Montana, interacting with the wildlife and habitat that remain his greatest interest.
Steve studied at the University of Montana and worked summers as a U.S. Forest Service Habitat Typer in the Forestry Department. He went on to graduate from the Coastal School of Deep Sea Diving in Oakland, California, specializing in work for the oil industry in the Gulf of Mexico until an industrial accident brought him back to Montana. The family cattle business and animals, domestic and wild, have always been his first love. Now retired from ranching and public service, he has studied and encouraged conservation-minded practices in the family business throughout his life. While the family operation is presently leased to another rancher, it continues, with Steve’s involvement, as it was when his family operated it.
Mr. Clevidence served for 13 years in Montana as a Sheriff’s Department Dive Rescue Specialist. During his career, he was decorated with the Montana Medal of Valor, and the American Police Hall of Fame’s Silver Star and Life Saving medals.
He feels that the strong values and ethics his ranching and outdoorsman family taught him growing up will help him to work with other ranchers, conservationists and sportsmen to find workable solutions for human and wildlife interactions.
Mr. Engelhart has been running cattle his entire life, caring for both yearlings and cow/calf pairs. He was born in British Columbia, and was raised on a cow/calf operation south of Houston, B.C. Unlike ranchers in the western United States, where wolves have made a relatively recent recovery, Canadian ranchers have been dealing with the presence of wolf packs for a long time.
Joe has lived in Alberta for the past 18 years, 11 of them managing a ranching cooperative on the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains. The livestock summer in high mountain country and winter on lower rangeland, grazing in areas where wolf packs also live.
Interested in learning and exploring new ways of living in harmony with wolves and other large carnivores while grazing cattle, Joe has attended seminars hosted by Defenders of Wildlife. He has also worked closely with biologists Charles Mano and Timm Kaminski on collaring and monitoring three wolf packs in the area of his operation.
Mr. Engelhart is eager to share techniques used on both sides of the border to limit the conflict caused by the interaction of wolves and livestock.
Mr. Kaminski is a wildlife and conservation biologist who is the principal investigator for the nonprofit Mountain Livestock Cooperative. He is also a research associate with the Northern Rockies Conservation Cooperative in Jackson, Wyoming and with the Craighead Environmental Research Institute in Bozeman, Montana.
As a field biologist operating in the Rocky Mountain region, he has long been involved in conservation issues, especially those involving carnivores and endangered species. Timm’s work is based on his belief that conservation will increasingly challenge wildlife and conservation professionals to make science more meaningful to the lives of people with divergent backgrounds and values.
The focus of the Mountain Livestock Cooperative’s on-the-ground work involves managing livestock availability and vulnerability to large carnivores, and merging ranchers’ knowledge about livestock, their land and surroundings with a scientific understanding of carnivore behavior and ecology. Timm works with ranchers involved in this effort in the mountains of southern Alberta, southwest Montana, northwest Wyoming, eastern Oregon and east-central Idaho.
Mr. Kaminski has worked for state, federal, provincial and non-government organizations for more than 30 years, participating in research and management efforts involving mule deer, elk, black-footed ferret, northern spotted owl, gray wolf, bald eagle, Canada lynx and grizzly bear conservation efforts spanning the Yellowstone region, the Rocky Mountains of the U.S. and Canada, the Pacific Northwest and the Great Lakes region.
Timm was principal staff and legislative assistant to Congressman Wayne Owens (D-Utah) in Washington, D.C., responsible for legislation to restore wolves to Yellowstone National Park and central Idaho. Mr. Kaminski also served as a U.S. Forest Service National Wildlife and Fish Program Leader on three national forests in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, and served as Wolf Project Leader for Idaho and Western Montana under contract between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Nez Perce Tribe. Mr. Kaminski holds a M.S. degree in cooperative wildlife research from the University of Montana, Missoula, and a B.S. degree from the University of Wyoming, Laramie.
Mr. Tew has been a cowman since he was a young boy, and is a lifelong resident of Montana. He received his education in the cattle business first-hand, at one point spending three consecutive winters in a solitary cow camp with a team and wagon, feeding 450 cows and having no contact with the outside world other than the weekly drop-off of his groceries by his father.
Mr. Tew worked for Rock Creek Cattle Co. near Deer Lodge and became foreman there when he was 27, staying for 13 years. The ranch ran approximately 3,500 cows and 5,000 yearlings. He then took a job managing the Skunk Creek Ranch north of Wolf Creek (their brand was PU), which, shortly thereafter, was joined to the LF Ranch west of Augusta on the spectacular and windy Rocky Mountain Front. The LF is home to grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, mountain lions and what Tim describes as, “1,100 highly alert Red Angus cows.” As a result, in his 21 years there, Tim has had extensive interaction with predators.
The first known breeding pair of gray wolves on the East Front denned and had three litters of pups on the ranch. Both the LF and the Skunk Creek ranches have had several packs of wolves predating cows and calves on a yearly basis, as well as run-ins with grizzly and black bears. Throughout his years of dealing with wolf and bear kills, Tim has worked successfully with Defenders of Wildlife, the Great Bear Foundation and Montana’s Livestock Mitigation Board.
Nicholas Evans, author of The Horse Whisperer, toured the ranch with Tim as research for his subsequent book, The Loop. The Fall Creek grizzly, a locally famous cow-killing bear, was trapped on the ranch, with the story of its impact chronicled in the book Great Montana Bear Stories.
Mr. Tew was a member of the Rocky Mountain Front Advisory Board, and has traveled to Washington, D.C. to discuss Fish, Wildlife and Parks conservation easements on the Eastern Front with Montana’s representatives. He currently serves on the Lewis and Clark County Weed Board, and the Defenders of Wildlife Ranchers’ Advisory Board.
KYRAN KUNKEL, Ph.D
Dr. Kunkel has led a nonprofit organization, the Conservation Science Collaborative, for more than eight years, working to develop and employ science to lead conservation practices while focusing on critical needs. He currently leads long-term research on wolves and wolverines in the trans-boundary Flathead country of Montana and British Columbia, yielding conservation recommendations that are partly responsible for permanent protections in what could be considered the most important basin for carnivores in the Rocky Mountains.
Since 2003, Kyran has served as a Senior Fellow and consultant with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) where he is a principal member of a team engaged in the largest ongoing land and species conservation and restoration effort in North America, the American Prairie Reserve. He developed and served as co-leader of the bison conservation and restoration project; led the cougar conservation project, the only large carnivore conservation/research project in the United States Great Plains; and the pronghorn antelope conservation project, the largest corridor connectivity assessment ever conducted in the contiguous states, involving 100 GPS-collared pronghorn on more than 10-million acres. The WWF Northern Great Plains programs constitute the largest conservation science program in the eco-region.
He is also an Affiliate Professor in the Wildlife Biology Program at the University of Montana. Dr. Kunkel completed his Ph.D. at the University of Montana, conducting research in Glacier National Park and British Columbia, the first comprehensive research project on wolves and their prey in the western U.S. He received his undergraduate degree from South Dakota State University, and his master’s degree in wildlife conservation from the University of Minnesota, studying wolves and deer in northern Minnesota under Dr. David Mech.
Previously, Kyran worked as the regional wildlife biologist for the Alaska Region of the National Park Service from 1997 to 1999, where he studied moose, wolverines, and grizzly and black bears. He was also a Senior Biologist for the Turner Endangered Species Fund, where he led the largest and most successful bighorn sheep restoration project ever completed in New Mexico. He was also part of the team that established new populations of imperiled swift foxes in South Dakota and Montana.
For the past 22 years, Mr. Brandl has run his own business, Absaroka Western Designs and Tannery, preparing animal hides and furs for outfitter clientele and for private hunters.
Mr. Brandl received his bachelor’s degree in natural resources and wildlife management from the University of Nebraska shortly before moving to Wyoming. Before opening his business, for nine years, he worked in wildlife management for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, researching habitat quality and wildlife inventory.
Half of his business is dependent on the consumptive use of wildlife by outfitters and hunters. Mr. Brandl’s insights represent the challenges of elk hunters, and the challenges his business faces with the ecological influence of wolf reintroduction.
Joe has hunted and fished his entire life, utilizing most of the animal for its meat, fur, hide and bones to create traditional costumes and props for his business, and for teaching outdoor skills. He buys hunting tags each year and has been successful, although he has never been a trophy hunter. Joe finds the adventure of the hunt and being outdoors to be the real reward, providing a more valuable experience than the actual kill.
Mr. Brandl has educated many young people in the value of the outdoors to consumptive and non-consumptive users, and has taught them to respect the land. A scout master for more than 15 years, Joe shares his knowledge of survival techniques, low impact use of the land and wildlife, and imparts a lasting respect for and understanding of nature.
Since he began tanning animal hides professionally, Joe has been giving interpretive presentations about Plains Indians and mountain men and their daily lives on the plains and in the mountains. Joe has taken this passion to the extent of engaging in a collaborative hunt of bison from horseback with a bow and arrow. Collaborative bison hunting was a practice shared by only two mammals in North America: people and wolves.
Mr. Pomeroy was born on a 10,000-acre cattle, sheep and rice ranch in Williams, California, northwest of Sacramento, where he learned to hunt deer, pheasant, duck, dove and quail from the time he was five years old.
Charlie moved to Bainbridge Island in the Pacific Northwest when he was 13, and became immersed in the marine environment. He attended numerous colleges in the state of Washington, majoring in Native American studies.
He started working on tugboats out of Seattle, supplying logging equipment, Alaskan pipeline materials and mining supplies to the small towns and villages from southeastern Alaska to the Aleutian Islands. At 24, Mr. Pomeroy became the youngest licensed tugboat captain in Alaska. He purchased a home in Ketchum, Idaho in 1972, and commuted between there and Alaska for 12 years.
In 1981, Charlie started a small construction company in Ketchum, and continues to operate it today. In 1996, he returned to Alaska to commercially fish for sockeye salmon, spending summers in the Bering Sea for ten years.
Appreciation for wildlife, hunting, fishing and environmental conservation are C.W.’s major interests. Since the 1970s, he has observed the behavior of brown bears and wolves during the Alaskan summers. When in Idaho, he carefully follows elk and deer migrations in wolf habitat. Charlie has been a bow and rifle hunter for elk, deer and antelope for more than 50 years, as well as an avid waterfowl and upland bird hunter.
Mr. Pomeroy has been actively involved in the Idaho Conservation League and the Snake River Alliance for many years.