A free documentary about wolves and cougars, "Lords of Nature: Life in a Land of Great Predators," and a panel discussion of related issues will be presented at the OK Theatre at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 24. The documentary examines the predators and scientists working to understand their role.

In the film, ranchers talk about co-existing with the large predators, Joseph resident Wally Sykes of Northeast Oregon Ecosystems said.

" Wolves are controversial, and "Lords of Nature" and the panel discussion will offer insights into the benefits they and other large predators bring to our landscape, especially to natural water systems and the health and diversity of plants and animals."

Sykes said in the film, ranchers and hunters discuss how they have learned to coexist with wolves and use non-lethal ways of controlling predation. "The panelists will be able to address a lot of the issues on the minds of us all," Sykes said.

Narrated by Peter Coyote, "Lords of Nature" journeys to the heart of predator country: the Yellowstone plateau, the canyons of Zion, the farmland of northern Minnesota and the rugged open range of central Idaho - all places now resettled by the wolves society once banished.

Here scientists discover these top carnivores as revitalizing forces of nature - according to the film - keystone species whose presence in sufficient numbers can dramatically reverse the slow decay of America's wild West. In Yellowstone National Park, the filmmakers visit a land recently inhabited again by wolves after a 70 year absence, and find a chain of life once again flourishing since their return.

The documentary and panel are also scheduled to appear in Baker City Tuesday, March 23, the night before the Enterprise presentation.

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