Wolves are controversial around the world. In many countries, they were nearly exterminated. Yet, no wolf research has ever been undertaken in Northern Manitoba until very recently. There are little or no human/wolf conflict issues in the North. Manitoba has an unknown number of wolf packs that prey in different biomes. We are proposing that Manitoba can develop policies to be recognized as a World Leader in Wolf Management, if we support research to better understand the dynamics. Wolves should be viewed as an “ecological and economic asset” to our province. We foresee a Wolf Economy in Manitoba based on wolf research, science, conservation, education, ecotourism, and wolf events.
- SWI, UCN, and Thompson Unlimited are hosting an international Wolf & Carnivore Conference on October 23-24, 2012. Top world class wolf experts will be the keynote speakers. Registrations have already been received from the Europe and Asia.
- Spirit Way Inc. (SWI) presented a Wolf Economy Discussion Paper to the provincial government. The intent is to develop a Strategic Plan for Thompson and Manitoba.
- SWI created 51 Spirit Way Wolf statues across Manitoba and launched a province wide GPS Wolf Hunt which is a travel adventure for geocachers. Each one weighs 5500 lbs and is 7.5 ft tall at a $5000 cost to each sponsor.
- Grade 6 students at Ecole Riverside School in Thompson are working on a collaborative wolf education project with schools in USA and Mexico and in conjunction with the International Wolf Center and Naturalia Mexico. This tri-country educational project is called “Wolves without Borders”.
It has become Thompson’s landmark. Public wolf art – the huge mural, painted statues, wolf rockface sculpture have focused attention on a charismatic and controversial species.
- This website has a Wolf Sightings page with photos and videos to show the world that wolves exist in our forests. 50% of the website hits come from outside of Canada. People have contributed very rare video of live wild wolf pups in our area:
- SWI is in discussion with a European science/tourism organization that undertakes research expeditions world wide. They are looking for a research project in North America. We have proposed a unique wolf/polar bear project along the coast of Hudson Bay where bears and wolves interact. It could start here in 2013 and attract media attention. We need to find a lead scientist who would be interested in this project. If this is you, contact us!
- Spirit Way Inc. is working with the Thompson Zoo Society to build a new first class wolf enclosure as part of a new Boreal Discovery Centre. Viewing of a captive wolf pack will allow tourists and students to study learn pack dynamics, animal behaviour, etc. Over $200,000 has already been raised for this project.
- We would like to link an animal research centre in Winnipeg to the proposed Boreal Discovery Centre in Thompson and Northern Studies Centre in Churchill to develop a theme for Manitoba’s iconic species- “From Winnipeg to Wolf Capital to Polar Bear Capital” & Beluga Whale Capital. This will increase the draw for foreign wildlife interests and attract graduate research projects. This would supplement the ecotourism sector in Manitoba and contribute towards a “wolf economy”.
- The Manitoba Chapter of The Wildlife Society will host a huge international Conference in Winnipeg in October, 2015. Some 1500-2000 delegates will attend. Our plan is work with stakeholders to utilize Manitoba’s species – polar bears, beluga whales, and WOLVES – and position Manitoba as a research, conservation, and tourism wildlife centre.
- All of the above will be considered and discussed in a Wolf Development Strategic Planning session later this year with various stakeholders.