Predators, Prey, Habitats Symposium April 9, Pocatello, ID at ISU

Four experts on wolves, cougars, grizzly bears, and other predators will present and discuss-

The “Predators, Prey, Habitats” symposium will feature presentation on wolves, cougars, grizzly bears, and other predators and how they effect prey species and habitats at Idaho State University Wed., April 9th at 6:30 p.m. on campus in the Gale Life Science Bldg., Lecture Hall 10.  The event is sponsored by the South East Idaho Environmental Network and the ISU Department of Biological Sciences.

The presentations will be:

• “Habitat, Large Herbivores, and Predators: Conceptual Flaws and Conspicuous Myths,” by Terry Bowyer, PhD; ISU professor of biological sciences;

• “Cascading cougars ? The contingencies of cougar effects on prey,” by Dr. David Mattson, a wildlife biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey’s Biological Resources Division, stationed at the Colorado Plateau Field Station in Flagstaff , Ariz. ;

• “The Wolves of Yellowstone – and other Controversial Topics,” by Dr. Doug Smith, National Park Service senior wildlife biologist; Yellowstone Center for Resources; and

• “Yellowstone’s grizzly bears: New science, old hostilities, and a way forward,” by Louisa Willcox; National Resources Defense Council senior wildlife advocate, based in Livingston , Mont.

Dr. Keene Hueftle, chair of the South East Idaho Environmental Network (SEIEN), said “This is a chance to learn how these predators, like wolves and grizzly bears, that are often in media headlines, really affect their prey species and habitats.

R. Terry Bowyer, PhD is a Professor of Ecology in the Department of Biological Sciences at Idaho State University.  He joined the faculty of ISU in 2004 following 18 years in the Institute of Arctic Biologic at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, The Arctic Institute of North America, and the Wildlife Society.  He recently was elected to Honorary Membership in The Wildlife Society.  He has received the Distinguished Moose Biologist Award, and the C. Hart Merriam Award for outstanding research from the American Society of Mammalogists.  Dr. Bowyer has 197 scientific publications. They focus mostly on the ecology and behavior of large mammals, including predator-prey dynamics.

David Mattson, PhD  David Mattson is currently Lecturer and Visiting Senior Scientist at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, and Executive Partner of People and Carnivores, a non-profit organization focused on fostering coexistence between people and grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, and cougars.

Prior to his retirement from the US Geological Survey, Dr. Mattson was a Research Wildlife Biologist, Leader of the Colorado Plateau Research Station, and Western Field Director of the MIT-USGS Science Impact Collaborative. David’s 35 years of field research have addressed the ecology of grizzly bears in the Yellowstone and Kluane ecosystems, and mountain lions on the Colorado Plateau. More recently his research has focused on the human aspects of large carnivore conservation and management, including perspectives, institutions, and the functioning of policy processes. His mountain lion research has culminated in a NASA-funded project that has assembled numerous data sets on landscapes, mountain lions, mule deer, elk, and bighorn sheep in the southwestern US to investigate trophic relations.

His research has been reported in over 100 publications, been covered by Science and Ecology, and been the topic of invited presentations at venues such as the Smithsonian, the American Museum of Natural History, and International Conferences of Bear Research and Management.

Douglas W. Smith, PhD is the Project Leader for the Yellowstone Wolf Project and has been with wolf program since its inception in 1994 and is based in Yellowstone National Park.

Doug received a B.S. degree in Wildlife Biology from the University of Idaho in 1985.  While working toward this degree he became involved with studies of wolves and moose on Isle Royale with Rolf Peterson, which led to long-term involvement (1979-1994) with this study as well as a M.S. degree in Biology under Peterson at Michigan Technological University in 1988.  His M.S. research focused on beaver in northern Minnesota and resulted in an 11 year study of beavers in Voyageurs National Park which eventually led to a PhD from the University of Nevada, Reno in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology in 1997 under Stephen Jenkins.  He has also conducted beaver research in Wisconsin and Michigan as well as studying wolves in Minnesota with L.D. Mech (1983).

He has published a wide variety of journal articles and book chapters on beavers and wolves and co-authored two popular books on wolves (The Wolves of Yellowstone & Decade of the Wolf which won the 2005 Montana book award for best book published in Montana) as well as publishing numerous popular articles. He is working on a third book with Mech and Daniel MacNulty titled Wolves on the Hunt due out in 2014.

He has participated in a number of documentaries about wolves for National Geographic and British Broadcasting Company (BBC) as well as other media.  He is interviewed widely and speaks often about wolves to audiences all over the world.

His professional interests include wolf population dynamics, wolf-prey relationships, restoration of ecological processes, and beaver population dynamics.  Besides wolves, Doug supervises the bird and elk programs in Yellowstone National Park and also surveys for beavers every other year. He is a member of the Mexican Wolf Recovery Team and the Re-Introduction Specialist Group for the IUCN. Besides wolves and beavers, he is an avid canoeist preferring to travel mostly in the remote regions of northern Canada with his wife Christine and their two sons Sawyer and Hawken.   

Louisa Willcox is the Northern Rockies Director for the Center for Biological Diversity, based in Livingston, Montana. From 2002-2013.

She served as Senior Wildlife Advocate for the Natural Resources Defense Council. From 1997-2002, she was Project Coordinator for the Sierra Club’s Grizzly Bear Ecosystems Project, a campaign to recover the grizzly in the lower 48 states.  From 1985-1995, Louisa served as Program Director for the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, where she managed the program staff, and directed the advocacy efforts of the Coalition.

Louisa specializes in strategic campaigning for conservation, and the intersection of science, policy, media and public education. She has a particular love of wilderness and large carnivores, which require large expanses of habitat and put people to the test of tolerance and compassion. She has an M.S. from the School  of Forestry at Yale University and a B.A. from Williams College in Williamstown, MA.






  1. Oliver Starr (@OWStarr) Avatar

    Any chance these presentations will be live-streamed or captured on video for later distribution?

    1. Ralph Maughan Avatar
      Ralph Maughan

      I will try to find out, Oliver

    2. Ralph Maughan Avatar
      Ralph Maughan

      Oliver Starr and all,

      The Pocatello Public Access T V station is set to video the event.

      A recording should be available at the station’s cost. Their phone is (208) 232-6280, M – F. 9:00 am – 5:00 pm.

  2. Bob Ostler Avatar
    Bob Ostler

    Registration required?

    1. Ralph Maughan Avatar
      Ralph Maughan

      No registration!

  3. Gary Humbard Avatar
    Gary Humbard

    Was Governor Otter invited to speak since he seems to know that wolves need to be managed to the absolute minimum population? Ok now seriously, of all the conservation organizations working to restore native wildlife, I notice Defenders of Wildlife is consistently mentioned as getting on the ground actions done. I want to support effective organizations so if anyone has other recommendations please let me know.

    I would expect that state wildlife agency decision makers would attend this symposium as well as Wildlife Services and actually use the information in their occupation.

  4. Bob Ostler Avatar
    Bob Ostler

    This turned out to be an interesting program. The first two speakers; Bowyer and Mattson gave excellent and technical presentations on the complexity of the issue. You had to pay attention and use your “little grey cells” to keep up with what was being said. Dr. Smith gave a shortened version of his standard stump speech and was a disappointment. At least six times he mentioned that he was a civil servant following NPS rules. This brought his work into serious question in my mind. Sort of like a geology presentation from a representative of the Institute for Creation Research where they beat the science to conform to their revealed conclusions. I am a fan of Smith’s and was hoping for much more from him. Willcox’s presentation was alright, but just the standard in
    formation that could have been presented to a high school class. I found the affair worth the effort to attend and appreciate the notice posted here.


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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