Predator / Prey: The Fight for Isle Royale Wolves


DESCRIPTION: The fragile ecosystem of Isle Royale National Park is dominated by the predator / prey relationship between wolves and moose. But on the biggest island in the biggest lake on Earth, things have unraveled. With wolves dwindling and moose booming, the National Park Service must decide how to manage these iconic species in a time when climate change threatens to undermine both. Amidst calls from some for immediate intervention and calls from others for no intervention, the future of National Park policy is at play on Lake Superior’s island jewel.

PRODUCTION: During the summer of 2015, I spent several weeks filming at Isle Royale and other National Parks. Much of my time on Isle Royale was spent alone, traveling cross-country by backpack with everything needed for survival and filmmaking, including a 500 mm lens and a tripod that was not nearly strong enough to support it. With national reporting assistance (and narration) by Todd Spangler, I otherwise embarked on this film alone, taking it from conception to completion in just over six months. The film premiered to a sold-out crowd at the Detroit Film Theatre during the 2016 Freep Film Festival. The premiere was paired with a musical performance by Stefano Barone, whose fantastic work drives the film’s soundtrack.

SINCE PUBLICATION: The film received a national Edward R. Murrow award in 2017 for “Excellence in Video.” It has screened at festivals across the State of Michigan. In 2018, Isle Royale National Park began implementation of a plan to translocate wolves to the island. It continues to be controversial and media access has been severely limited.