Colorado continues to debate whether wolves would be good
CARBONDALE, Colo. – In the early 1920s, Arthur Carhart turned his attention to the wolves vanishing in Colorado, the result of a methodical extermination conducted by the U.S. Biological Survey.
Carhart had earlier earned some attention when, as a young employee of the new U.S. Forest Service, he had been assigned the task of plotting roads and cabin spaces along the shores of Trappers Lake, on the edge of the Flattops of northwestern Colorado.
The young landscape architect did as he was ordered but returned to Denver with a radical idea. Leave Trappers Lake as it was, he suggested, without development. The idea took hold, supported by Aldo Leopold and others who had also expressed misgivings about the wholesale human reordering of nature. In time, Trappers Lake was called the cradle of wilderness.
After leaving the Forest Service, Carhart set out to become a writer. He soon collaborated with Stanley P. Young, of the agency assigned to kill all wolves, and they put together a book called “The Last Stand of the Pack.”
The book told about the surviving wolves on the plains, mesas, and mountains of Colorado, their savagery and lust for blood, told in anthropomorphic language. For example, a wolf called Lefty in Burns Hole, located equidistant between Aspen,