Panzer Gnauck

Wolf Champions

The 06 Legacy would like to recognize the advocacy work of individuals and organizations devoted to wolves. We admire their tireless passion and enduring commitment to wolves. We encourage you to join all of us in the fight to save America's wolves!

"I have high hopes for the future of wolves in North America. Many men will cease to think of them as vermin and see them as they are — one of the most interesting and intelligent animals that have ever lived on our globe. Do you dare to become involved in such a noble cause?"

— Douglas H. Pimlott, Ph.D.


On behalf of the 66 founding wolves of the reintroduction to Yellowstone and central Idaho, whose shoulders the restoration of the gray wolf to the western United States rested upon, we will forever celebrate your courage, perseverance, and success.

Wolf Champions sections

Yellowstone Wolf Project

For over 25 years, dedicated members of the Yellowstone Wolf Project have conducted year-round research and monitoring of the park’s wolves in a program that is integral to conservation efforts worldwide. We are grateful for the valuable work they do on behalf of wolves and the willingness to share such a wealth of knowledge with the public.

Wolf Conservation and Advocacy Organizations

Wolf advocacy is mighty! These are some of the organizations who are fighting for the protection and preservation of wolves. You can help at the local, regional, national, and international level. We welcome you to our Pack with big howls!

Photography for The 06 Legacy Website

It is an honor and privilege to share the work of photographers whose imagery speaks for the beauty and essence of wolves. A special thank you for your invaluable contribution to wolf advocacy.


Alamy Stock Photos
Bob Landis
Carolyn Golba - Wild Serenity Wildlife Tours
Colleen Gara Photography
David Parsons Photography
Douglas Steakley Photography
Ellen Goff
Free Roaming Photography by Mike Cavaroc
George Sanker Wildlife Photography
Getty Images
Jim Peaco
Jimmy Jones Photography
John E. Marriott
John Morrison Photography
Joshua Able
Kathy Schmidt
Krisztina Gayler
Leo Leckie
Lodge Trail Media by Keith R. Crowley
Mark Miller Photos
Mountain Nomad Photography - Michelle Holihan
Nathan Hobbs Photography
National Park Service
Panzer Gnauck
Pat "Wolf Man" Jennings
Pete Bengeyfield
Wild Awake Images by Cheryl Alexander
Wild Love Images - Julie Argyle Wildlife Photography
Wild Things Photography by John Hyde
William Krumpelman
Your Friend in Yellowstone - "Gypsy" Jason Kladiva
iStock by Getty Images

Photographers for The Yellowstone Wolf Family Tree

Thank you to the photographers who share their images with the Yellowstone Family Tree. You keep the history and memory of Yellowstone wolves alive for future generations to know and cherish as we do.

Special Recognition

These individuals inspire all of us with their pioneering and long-term contributions to wolves, and deserve special recognition.

Yellowstone Wolf Project

In 1995, the Yellowstone Wolf Project embarked on a monumental conservation mission, leading the reintroduction of gray wolves into the heart of Yellowstone National Park. This bold initiative aimed to restore the ecological balance that had been disrupted with the absence of wolves for many decades. The enduring impact of this reintroduction is felt on multiple fronts. Beyond the remarkable resurgence of wolf populations, it has played a pivotal role in rejuvenating the overall health and biodiversity of Yellowstone's intricate ecosystems.

Diane Boyd

Diane Boyd, a renowned wildlife biologist and conservationist, has devoted her life to studying and preserving wolves. Tracking the first radio-collared gray wolf to return naturally to the Western United States from Canada, Diane played a crucial role in wolf population restoration and the revival of Yellowstone National Park's ecology. With a 30-year career at the US Fish & Wildlife Service as a research biologist, she contributed to vital projects, including population surveys and habitat assessments. Even after retiring, Diane's dedication to conservation remains steadfast. Today, she continues to advocate for wildlife management and species preservation, with a special focus on the essential role of wolves in our natural world.

John Vucetich

John Vucetich is a dedicated wildlife conservationist known for his impactful research that aids in the protection of wolves. As a distinguished professor at Michigan Technological University, he has spent nearly two decades studying wolves in the Great Lakes region. His research focuses on understanding wolf behavior, population dynamics, and their interactions within ecosystems. Through his extensive work, he has contributed significantly to our knowledge of wolves, shedding light on the vital role they play in maintaining ecological balance. Vucetich's dedication to wolf conservation and his efforts to raise awareness about human impacts on these magnificent animals have earned him global recognition and respect in the field of wildlife conservation.

Rolph O. Peterson

Rolf O. Peterson, a pioneering conservation biologist, is celebrated for his lifelong dedication to wolves. His research on the predator-prey relationship between wolves and moose on Isle Royale, a remote island in Lake Superior, spans over six decades. Peterson's work has illuminated the complex dynamics of these species and their vital roles in ecosystems. With 158 publications and two books, he's been a guiding light in understanding how predators and prey coexist. His efforts were instrumental in bringing wolves back from the brink of extinction, ultimately leading to their protection under the Endangered Species Act of 1973. Today, his legacy continues to inspire wolf conservation efforts across North America.

L. David Mech

L. David Mech, a distinguished wildlife biologist, is best known for his groundbreaking research on wolves. In 1958, he embarked on a landmark study of the predator-prey relationship between wolves and moose in Isle Royale National Park. This study has spanned over six decades, making it the world's longest continuous investigation of such a dynamic. In 1979, he was part of an expedition that discovered the world's northernmost wolf population on Ellesmere Island. With numerous books on wolf behavior and ecology and over 200 scientific papers to his name, Mech's influence extends far and wide. He is the founder and vice-chair of the International Wolf Center and a sought-after speaker at conferences and symposiums worldwide. Mech's lifelong work has significantly shaped our current understanding of wolf behavior and ecology.

Barry Lopez

Barry Lopez, a renowned American author, has made a lasting impact on how we perceive and appreciate wolves within the natural world. In his notable book "Of Wolves and Men," Lopez adeptly delves into the intricate connections between wolves and humans. His insights, drawn from personal experiences and thorough research, shed light on the multifaceted roles wolves play in indigenous cultures and ecosystems. Lopez's work has significantly enhanced our understanding and reverence for wolves and their essential place in nature.

Jim & Jamie Dutcher

Jim and Jamie Dutcher, a dynamic husband-and-wife team, have dedicated over 30 years to studying and documenting wolf behavior. As leading experts in the field, they provide crucial insights into wolf behavior and ecology, inspiring global efforts to protect these magnificent creatures. Through documentaries, books, articles, and television shows, they kindle newfound admiration for wolves. Jim and Jamie are genuine conservation heroes with a clear message: we must act now to safeguard wild wolves. They founded Living With Wolves, engaging audiences through speaking events and exhibits, including the Living With Wolves Museum in Ketchum, Idaho. Their legacy continues with their son, Garrick Dutcher, a passionate advocate for wolf and wildlife conservation, empowering others to protect our shared natural environment. Together, they educate and inspire millions worldwide.

Aldo Leopold

Aldo Leopold graduated from Yale's School of Forestry in 1909 at the young age of 22, embarking on a career as a U.S. Forest Service officer. However, a transformative moment, marked by his decision to shoot a mother wolf, triggered a profound shift in his perspective on wilderness ecosystems and predators. This pivotal experience led him to become a vocal advocate for wilderness preservation and wolf protection. Leopold's relentless efforts played a significant role in the 1995 reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone National Park, with the first naturally forming wolf pack named in his honor, the Leopold pack. His visionary approach and unwavering commitment to wildlife ecology earned him the distinguished title of the father of conservationism. Leopold's extensive writings, particularly his influential 1949 book "A Sand County Almanac," remain widely cited and continue to inspire generations of environmentalists. It is safe to say that Aldo Leopold's profound influence has shaped the landscape of conservationism as we know it today.

Jim Brandenburg

Jim Brandenburg, a passionate environmentalist and renowned National Geographic wildlife photographer, has dedicated 45 years to capturing nature's stunning beauty, with a particular focus on wild wolves. His photography tells a powerful story, expressing deep reverence for his subjects. In 1988, he documented Arctic wolves on Ellesmere Island, and in the groundbreaking sequel "Brother Wolf: A Forgotten Promise," he highlighted gray wolves near his Minnesota home. This narrative raised global awareness about the endangered species and contributed to their reintroduction in Yellowstone Park. Brandenburg's remarkable talent, seen in magazines, TV, books, and films, has garnered worldwide admiration. His work inspires countless individuals to advocate for wolves and the natural world.

Renee Askins

Renée Askins, a pioneering conservationist and wildlife advocate, is renowned for her remarkable fifteen-year campaign to reintroduce wolves to Yellowstone National Park. Her extraordinary journey was sparked by a special bond with Natasha, a wolf cub she raised during her undergraduate research. Despite formidable challenges, including death threats and opposition from Western ranchers and political allies, Renée displayed unwavering dedication and determination. Her inspiring journey is vividly chronicled in her memoir, "Shadow Mountain," a captivating tale of ecological restoration and our profound connection to the wilderness.

Bruce Babbitt

Bruce Babbitt, as Secretary of the Interior during the Clinton administration (1993-2001), played a pivotal role in launching the wolf reintroduction program in Yellowstone National Park, one of the world's greatest conservation success stories. Today, Bruce remains dedicated to involving citizens in species conservation efforts and emphasizes the importance of communicating ecological changes to the public, as well as the need for grassroots support throughout the process. His compelling advocacy and visionary leadership serve as a reminder that with unwavering commitment, challenges can be surmounted. Bruce Babbitt stands as an inspiration to nature conservationists and public servants worldwide.

Bob Landis

Bob Landis is an internationally acclaimed wildlife filmmaker, renowned for his captivating cinematography that offers viewers an intimate glimpse into the natural world. For over four decades, he has skillfully captured extraordinary footage of the iconic species inhabiting Yellowstone National Park, a place close to his heart. With his holistic approach to documentary filmmaking, Bob's productions have garnered numerous awards and found audiences on esteemed networks like PBS, Nature, and National Geographic TV. Having crafted over 20 remarkable films, he has provided profound insights into the lives of generations of wolves, including the famous Druid Peak pack, 06, Hayden Valley pack, and many others. Bob has dedicated his life to crafting visually compelling narratives that resonate deeply with our hearts and encourage us to reflect on the importance of safeguarding these remarkable animals.

Rick McIntyre

Rick McIntyre, a retired National Park ranger, holds a special place in the world of wild wolves. With an impressive forty years of fieldwork, he has spent more time observing and documenting wolves in the wild than any other person. In his twenty-five years at Yellowstone National Park, he has accumulated over 100,000 wolf sightings, worked on the Yellowstone Wolf Reintroduction Project, and educated the public about the park's wolves. As a passionate storyteller, he uses his observations of wolf behavior to raise awareness about the critical importance of conservation. An acclaimed author of nine books, his renowned "Alpha Wolves of Yellowstone" series has garnered global acclaim, earning praise even from renowned primatologist Jane Goodall, who hails him as the "ultimate guru of wolf behavior."

Doug Smith

For over four decades, Doug Smith has dedicated his career to studying wolves in their natural habitats, establishing himself as a highly esteemed figure in the realm of wolf research and conservation. His role as the project biologist for the wolf reintroduction to Yellowstone National Park marked a monumental moment in the conservation of North American wolves. Serving as the leader of the Yellowstone Wolf Project for an impressive 28 years, Doug and his team achieved remarkable milestones, including the capture and collaring of over 600 wolves, conducting more than 1,500 aerial flights, covering over 20,000 miles on foot or skis, and documenting over 35,000 hours of wolf behavior. As a distinguished scientist and researcher, Doug Smith has made significant contributions to our understanding of wolf behavior, ecology, and their ecological roles. His extensive body of work includes a wealth of scientific papers, publications, and books. His influence has been instrumental in shaping policies and management strategies for wolf populations in the United States. Doug Smith's legacy is that of a true trailblazer, as his leadership has propelled the Yellowstone Wolf Project to international acclaim, making it a leader in world-class wolf conservation research.

Mike Phillips

Mike Phillips is a pioneering figure in wolf conservation and recovery, boasting a remarkable career spanning over four decades. His notable achievements include the successful reintroduction of the red wolf to the southeastern United States and the leadership role in the reintroduction of gray wolves to Yellowstone National Park. Mike's exceptional contributions and leadership have earned recognition at national, regional, and local levels. With over 14 years of service as a Montana legislator and an enduring commitment as the Executive Director of the Turner Endangered Species Fund since 1997, he continues to lead wildlife conservation initiatives today. He is also a prolific author and co-author of numerous books and publications. In 2021, he was honored with The Wildlife Society's prestigious Aldo Leopold Award. Mike Phillips has set a gold standard in wildlife conservation, serving as an enduring source of inspiration for future generations.

Mollie Beattie

Mollie Beattie, the first female Director of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, is celebrated for her unwavering dedication that paved the path for the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone National Park. Her remarkable courage was epitomized on January 12, 1995, when she personally assisted in the placement of the first wolf into the Crystal Creek acclimation pen, marking the beginning of a historic conservation effort. While Mollie Beattie passed away on June 27, 1996, her enduring legacy thrives. In 2010, the Crystal Creek wolf pack was renamed "Mollie's pack" in tribute to her tireless endeavors. This pack, the oldest in Yellowstone today, serves as a lasting monument to her mission of restoring gray wolves to their natural habitat. Mollie's impact extended far beyond wolf reintroduction. She passionately championed the protection of endangered species and the fight against climate change. Her unwavering commitment to the environment has inspired generations of conservationists and will continue to do so.

Carter Niemeyer

Witnessing first-hand the misguided fear that led to the devastation of wolves, he made it his mission to debunk myths and ensure their survival. Carter's powerful legacy includes two gripping memoirs, Wolfer and Wolf Land, and numerous inspiring speaking engagements. He is a passionate wolf advocate, who continues to work towards their protection and recovery. His immense contribution to conservation of wolves and other native species has earned him tremendous admiration among ecologists and wildlife advocates. Carter Niemeyer's life story serves as an example for others to follow, inspiring us all to protect our precious animal life.

Bill Clinton

In August 1995, he visited Yellowstone National Park with his family, walking to the Rose Creek acclimation pen and leaving meat for the wolves there. According to Doug Smith, "The First Family was very much in awe of the wolves. Hilary and Chelsea repeated over and over how beautiful they were. The President was in very good spirits, very polite and unassuming. He considers the wolf reintroduction program in Yellowstone to be a great success for the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and should be made more visible to show the ESA does work.” His commitment towards restoring and protecting natural habitats continues to inspire us today.

We come from all over the world — joined together in the wish to make a bright future for wolves.

Our apologies to those we missed — please email us at to be included!