SEEING THE EYE
OF THE WOLF: some time in 1925 or so, Bill Rutland,
an environmental reporter before the description
'environmental' was coined, met the US government
forester, Aldo Leopold.
Part of Leopold's job in remote mountains in Arizona
was to kill out wolves. He described to Rutland, or
possibly Rutland was there -- how he and other men
filled an old she wolf and all her cubs with lead
rifle bullets. When they came on the she wolf, she
was not finally dead and Leopold saw the 'fierce
green fire in her eyes'. She was the last wolf
there, and she had known things which would now be
gone from those mountains for ever.
This changed Leopold's life and his description
changed Rutland's. One more thread to an era before
modern progress was snapped.
There would be safety for the white man's beef
cattle and the wolf which had been there for tens of
thousands of years would be gone.
Leopold (1887-1948) is now remembered for his
crucial and perceptive writing on human relations to
the land. His work is a series of tracts brought
down from the mountain, the makings of a modern
bible about the follies of progress. Rutland, the
reporter, was profoundly affected by them. He was
also more positive on aspects of progress than
Aldo Leopold's A Sand County Almanac was
published after he died, in 1949 and has remained in
print ever since. Rutland (1900-1953) was forgotten