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Robert Chaney 1 and 2, Combiners! (kesäkuu 2023)


There are only about 2000 grizzly bears left in the northwestern United States, and most Americans will never encounter one face-to-face. Still, the massive bear holds a symbolic resonance beyond its numbers; as journalist Robert Chaney writes, “The grizzlies of our imaginations are far more powerful and prevalent than the real thing” (25).

Modern humanity has it in its power to either save or destroy the grizzly. Which alternative will it choose?

Reading Chaney's detailed book was something of a slog, but I found it a useful reminder of the precariousness of the grizzly's fate.… (lisätietoja)
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akblanchard | 1 muu arvostelu | Jun 8, 2023 |
Grizzly bear/ human encounters are becoming more common. Such encounters are often fatal for the human and then the bear.

Although we think of these bears as living in remote mountain wildernesses, the Lewis and Clark expedition encountered these huge bears in the plains of the Dakotas. At that time, they were considered to be mostly carrion-eaters as they followed the great herds of bison. Even as carrion eaters, they were known for their short tempered aggressive responses.

As farmers and ranchers moved to the plains, the grizzlies were brutally exterminated from the plains and pushed back into remote mountain regions, until only a few hundred bears remained.

However, with research, first spearheaded in Yellowstone National Park by Frank and John Craighead in the 1960’s, and with the passage of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, the grizzlies have made a comeback. They now live in 5 protected areas, which unfortunately, are not contiguous to each other. A grizzly may claim several hundred square miles of territorial range. They also travel to new areas which is a necessity to ensure genetic diversification. As the protected areas are set up now, the grizzlies must pass through land where they are not protected in order to encounter grizzly populations in other protected areas.

This leads to the odd circumstances of having the occasional rare grizzly in odd places – such as on the golf course in Stevensville in the Bitterroot Valley where I live. Although the Selway Wilderness to the west of the Bitterroot Valley has been earmarked for grizzly reintroduction, the introduction has been shelved and grizzlies have not been introduced to this area. This is partly due to the lack of traditional grizzly food, including salmon runs which were eliminated by river dams, and the failure of pine nuts.

This book is an interesting success story on the reestablishment of a species, It is probably of the most interest to those living in grizzly bear habitat or those interested in visiting areas where one can see these great bears such as Yellowstone or Glacier National Parks. It leaves many questions open as to how these apex predators will be managed in the future – often by public input of those not living in bear areas, but whose imaginations have been caught by the spirit of these great animals.
… (lisätietoja)
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streamsong | 1 muu arvostelu | Jun 19, 2021 |




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