courtesy of The Helena Independent Record
by Eve Byron
Ed Bangs, who for 23 years led the effort to reintroduce and recover healthy wolf populations in the northern Rocky Mountains, is retiring from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in June.
As the federal agency’s wolf recovery coordinator, Bangs was the face of the polarizing wolf reintroduction, conducting thousands of international, national, state and local interviews and holding hundreds of highly charged meetings, all to explain the effort as part of a massive public outreach effort. At various times, depending on the stage of the reintroduction, he was heralded as a hero while simultaneously being denounced as a wolf lover or hater, depending on people’s perspective.
Yet somehow he managed to charm many on both sides of the wolf wars, with a mix of humor tinged with a reputation for fairness.