[Note: This review of "Lords of Nature" appeared in the Nevada City Advocate newspaper as part of a set of reviews for the 8th Wild & Scenic Environmental Film Festival.]
“The only good predator is a dead predator.”This is a common and long standing conclusion.Put aside any reference to direct harm to human beings. The ethic of protecting livestock drove the wolf, for instance, out of the United States.Even in the huge and protected expanse of Yellowstone National Park, the last wolf was killed in 1926.
The film “Lords of Nature” presents another side of the wildlife coin in communicating an ethic of co-existence. It promotes “the art of living among them,” not only because large predators like wolves and mountain lions are beautiful creatures, but because scientific study indicates that such predators help sustain thriving ecosystems.
Since wolves were reintroduced into Yellowstone in 1995, aspen and willow have begun to regain health.Birds and beaver also reassert their vitality as wolves thin a bursting elk population.Stream environments, including lizards, frogs and fish, bounce back when eroded conditions improve.Many examples around the United States solidify the growing understanding.
As important as the science underlying educational films like “Lords of Nature,” this documentary shows how ranchers increasingly join into partnerships with measures that hold threats to livestock at bay without killing predators.
“Lords of Nature” does a nice job in its particular niche amongst environmental films.Like so many well made environmental films, this wildlife documentary extends the groundwork of an interwoven ethic.