Coyote is a paradox in many ways. He holds special meanings in Native American cultures. In storytelling, coyote helps communicate lessons about life and acts as a guide on how to lead a balanced and happy life.
Coyote also has triggered strong emotions since the settlement of the west by Europeans. Real or imagined conflicts resulted in intensive efforts to reduce or exterminate coyote populations. Despite this, the wily coyote has actually doubled its historic range across North America, and is rapidly becoming a city dweller. As a top predator, coyotes have the potential to profoundly impact ecosystems.
Those who have had the honor of seeing coyotes at Sutter’s Landing report a creature that knows how to coexist with humans. Lennon told a story of encountering a coyote there when he was about 4 years old. “We looked at each other and both ran the other way.” We have seen coyotes roust dogs while their nearby owners were totally oblivious. A few years ago, on New Years morning, a coyote laid on the grass for about 20 minutes to observe our FORB group welcome the new year.
Coyotes are an extremely important member of a healthy ecosystem. If we are very quiet, observant, and respectful, we may be lucky enough to see them at Sutter’s Landing.
Recently there have also been a couple of "Making Tracks" blog posts and community radio programs that included information about coyotes as well as some of the stories shared at FORB's event:
Making Tracks Blog Post about Coyotes and other river activities.
Making Tracks Blog Post with link to radio program including some of FORB's Coyote event