Wildlife on the Wind
Wildlife on the Wind
Bruce L. Smith
5.5 x 8.5, 240 pages

Published: 2010

ISBN 978-0-87421-791-9
cloth $31.95

ISBN 978-0-87421-792-6
e-book $25.95

Add to cart


BRUCE L. SMITH is a wildlife biologist and science writer. He spent most of his 30-year federal career managing wildlife populations on the Wind River Indian Reservation and the National Elk Refuge in Wyoming. His research produced over 40 technical and popular papers and book chapters focused primarily on large mammal population dynamics, habitat ecology, diseases, migratory behavior, and predator-prey relationships.

Listen: Wyoming Public Radio

See: Bruce Smith's Website

Wildlife on the Wind

A Field Biologist's Journey and an
Indian Reservation's Renewal

Bruce L. Smith

The urgent task of restoring nature must of necessity be carried out by dedicated people who give themselves over to knowing and loving particular places. Bruce Smith is one of those people, and his account vividly illustrates both the hard work of healing and the success that can come when that work pays off.
—Peter Friederici, author of Nature's Restoration

Combining history, biology, and memoir, Smith evokes the challenges of one of conservation's least sung professions—the wildlife biologist. In the process, he also recounts an exciting story of how Wyoming's Wind River Indian Reservation restored its wildlife.
—Ted Kerasote, author of Heart of Home: People, Wildlife, and Place

But what may be best about this book is the way it depicts one biologist's passion for his profession. For the best wildlifers, conservation isn't a job; it's a calling. Smith is one of those. Woven through the narrative are vignettes from his training and early employment that communicate his love of wildlife and the places that support wildlife. Smith is a good writer and he brings a lifetime of unique experience to the subject he's chosen in this book. Itýs a good read for anyone with an interest in the real work of wildlife conservation.
—Chris Madson, for Wyoming Wildlife magazine

In the heart of Wyoming sprawls the ancient homeland of the Eastern Shoshone Indians, who were forced by the U.S. government to share a reservation in the Wind River basin and flanking mountain ranges with their historical enemy, the Northern Arapahos. Both tribes lost their sovereign, wide-ranging ways of life and economic dependence on decimated buffalo. Tribal members subsisted on increasingly depleted numbers of other big gamedeer, elk, moose, pronghorn, and bighorn sheep. In 1978, the tribal councils petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to help them recover their wildlife heritage. Bruce Smith became the first wildlife biologist to work on the reservation. Wildlife on the Wind recounts how he helped Native Americans change the course of conservation for some of America's most charismatic wildlife.

Book Review Northwest Science 85(1):72-72 2011 / Reg Reisenbichler