Stephen DeStefano


On his book Coyote at the Kitchen Door: Living with Wildlife in Suburbia

Cover Interview of February 04, 2010


The coyote is an important icon or symbol to our society, and to the societies in North America that came before us.  For example, our relationship with predators like coyotes can be seen as emblematic or representative of our relationship will all of nature. This, in turn, leads to the theme of the dichotomies that we face in life and in nature, which appear often in the book: We cherish and fear nature; we preserve it yet exploit it; we try to live our lives sustainably and yet with such a profusion of consumer goods and services that we strain the ecological systems upon which we depend.

At times, my writing may have gotten almost too personal.  I hope this will not be seen as self-indulgent but rather as an attempt to put our continuing struggle to understand our place in nature on personal terms. The issues I write about are not restricted to those who might call themselves environmentalists or conservationists—they are rather both a challenge and an opportunity for everyone in our society.

A friend who read the book thought that I may be too optimistic regarding our ability to understand our place in nature, formulate a land ethic, preserve open space and wildlife habitat, and live a more sustainable life.  In the face of so many global crises, such as depleting oil reserves, climate change, an exponentially growing human population, and unending wars, it may be difficult to maintain a level of optimism.  However, I have continually been amazed and impressed at the resourcefulness and ingenuity of people to seek and implement solutions.  It is with that hope that I ended Coyote at the Kitchen Door.

© 2010 Stephen DeStefano