Wolf Conservation Center in New York, the California Wolf Center, and the Turner Endangered Species Fund's Ladder Ranch in New Mexico. 83 Mexican gray wolves survived in the wild. This population struggled due to poaching and legal killing by the federal government for livestock depredation. Conservation biologist Paul Paquet and others concluded that it faced a very uncertain future without key management reforms. Elke Duerr in the New Mexican portion of the Blue Range. To get there we travelled south through El Malpais National Monument into Catron County. This economically strapped county provides a home to 3,500 people, 12,000 elk, lots of cattle, a smattering of wolves and some of the most virulent wolf hatred in the West. The Gila National Forest makes up a large chunk of the county. Wolves gravitate to the beautiful mixed open meadows and woodlands here, and so did we -- to track these elusive carnivores. We entered the forest on foot, following a narrow stream. Cattle sign far outnumbered other animal sign. The cattle had trampled the riparian vegetation, causing the barren stream banks to erode. We spotted coyote, elk, and deer tracks. In a clearing next to the stream, we found a wolf-killed elk carcass. Its femurs had been bitten in two, the marrow sucked out -- evidence of wolves, because in this area only they have carnassial teeth big enough to bite an elk femur in half. This carcass gave us hope. Back on the highway, we continued south to Apache Creek where we stopped for gas and some big lessons about wolf recovery. Across the street from the gas station stood a billboard emblazoned with a lurid photograph of a dead calf, and another of a dead horse. Both had had their bellies torn open. The billboard caption read, "Beware, Wolves Nearby! Keep Kids and Pets Close!" This community even had installed cages for kids, to keep them safe from wolves as they waited for the school bus.