Actor Network Analysis
By J. Li

Using the homepages of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Defenders of Wildlife, and the Endangered Species Act homepage of the Fish and Wildlife Service, along with their respected sub-pages directly concerning Grey Wolves, the preceding co-link analysis was constructed through the Issue Crawler service.  This cluster map shows links that appear to be more generally linked to species conservation as a whole rather than being directly related to Grey Wolf conservation and the controversy examined on this website.  In fact of all the co-links analyzed, few to none have direct linkage Grey Wolves with the closest being Arizona's Game and Fish Department's program to reintroduce the Mexican Wolf.  The majority of connections are between governmental agencies and/or state agencies who are concerned with conservation in general whether it be the impacts of wind energy on wildlife ( or the US Forest Service.  Perhaps the best example of this broad connection of general conservation is to a status report on New World Amphibians entitled "Disappearing Jewels" from conservation organization NatureServe
This thin connection that is removed from the controversy of Grey Wolf management in the Northern Rockies Area indicates that this debate is centrally being discussed on a local basis.  It is not necessarily generating national or international support or coverage other than the occasional news piece meant to inform.  This could be construed as a "not in my backyard" issue.  As a whole, the majority of the world is not concerned with this topic since they are not stakeholders in the controversy (they do not stand to loose or gain anything from the myriad of results).  The spokespeople on both sides of the debate may not have generated enough wide scale action or backing to move national and international actors into the fray enough to be linked.  This shows how such a heated controversy as this can be acted out on a relatively small scale.  Since the co-linkages tend to be majoritively between governmental agencies this could indicate that the U.S. government at both the State and National levels hold majoritive power within the debate over wolf management (which actually is the case).  However, this could be an artifact from 2 out of the 3 main websites used for the analysis being subsections of  larger governmental agencies.


Delving Deeper into the Fray

Since a geo-map could not be constructed for this group of actor networks, the co-link analysis was investigated further by increasing the number of iterations (how many times a co-link analysis is done) to two while still using the same starting URL's as the previous analysis.  This resulted in an even father and convoluted abstraction from the controversy while still maintaining a commonality of conservation.  Links to more conservation groups appear, such as The Nature Conservancy and the World Wildlife Fund, while more abstract links to agencies like the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and NOAA 's Fisheries Service are connected.  Other than far out connections to sites such as USAJOBS (a site to search for governmental job openings) all of these linkages still have the commonality of conservation and the preservation of the environment without direct mention of the Grey Wolf.