Green Fire Productions
Discussion Guide Available
"Recommended. This film is a tightly constructed, engaging exploration of a uniquely important and controversial issue which would be appropriate for use in an array of disciplines."
- Educational Media Reviews Online
"This well-produced documentary is packed with insight into the science of ecology, revival of failing ecosystems, and resolution of animal-human conflicts. Recommended for school and public libraries serving both students and adults."
- Booklist (ALA)
"Lords of Nature is an excellent educational tool. It brings to life an important and recently documented pattern in ecological communities -- trophic cascades. The importance of top predators in regulating other populations of animals and plants in the ecosystem cannot be overemphasized."
- Mark Hixon, Professor of Marine Biology, Oregon State University
"The film does an excellent job of explaining the ecological importance of large carnivores (wolves in particular) and does so from an objective science-based perspective, rather than trying to play heavily to partisan emotions. It is entertaining, while simultaneously breaking down preconceptions and educating viewers on the importance of these often misunderstood creatures."
- Scott Fitkin, Okanogan District Wildlife Biologist, Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife
"As someone who has worked in the center of wolf/human/livestock conflicts since wolves returned to the Northern Rockies, I was impressed with Lords of Nature. The science on top predators as well as the examples of people coexisting with wolves is vital for the public and everyone interested and involved in wolf recovery."
- Carter Niemeyer, Former Idaho Wolf Recovery Coordinator, US Fish & Wildlife Service
"The film returns several times to the experiences and reflections of wildlife biologist Aldo Leopold. Through his classic conservation writings he argued for a land ethic that preserved the integrity and stability of biotic communities, including their crucial predators. Lords of Nature should motivate viewers to help us achieve Leopold's goals."
- Science Magazine (AAAS)
Honorable Mention, Wild & Scenic Film Festival
Official Selection, American Conservation Film Festival
Official Selection, Environmental Film Festival in the Nationís Capital
International Wildlife Film Festival - Finalist, Honorable Mention for Educational Information
Narrated by Peter Coyote
For centuries, humans have feared wolves, cougars and other top predators, driving them to the edge of extinction in our wildlands and prairies. But in recent years, scientists are learning that top predators play a vital role in maintaining healthy ecosystems, a critical reminder of the importance of preserving biodiversity.
Shot in high definition, LORDS OF NATURE presents the science behind the findings that the great carnivores are revitalizing forces of nature, and introduces us to people learning to live with the beasts they once banished.
The film follows biologists Bill Ripple and Bob Beschta, two leading pioneers in the quest to decipher the role of great predators in the web of life. Ripple and Beschta have found that without these predators, ecosystems are seriously degraded, and when returned to places like Yellowstone, they have a positive impact, restoring a lost balance.
In Yellowstone, the film shows a chain of life flourishing once again since the return of wolves after a 70 year absence -- stream banks cloaked with willow and re-colonized by beavers and songbirds.
Ripple and Beschtaís research echoes a mounting body of evidence that reveals predators are essential to maintaining the diversity of life. But these finding have also raised a critical question: is it possible to incorporate top predators back into societies that once feared them?
To answer that question, LORDS OF NATURE visits with rural ranchers, farmers and wildlife managers who live in the areas where wolves are returning. Among them are two of the largest sheep operators in Idaho and livestock producers in Minnesota, who are finding surprising success in a land running again with wolves.
These success stories provide hope that, with proper technique and a dose of tolerance, people and predators can indeed co-exist.
Lords of Nature Discussion Guide (PDF)