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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Saturday, September 21, 2013

The animal that graces the State Seal of California is the Grizzly,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,As discussed on this Blog often, California had the highest density of Grizzly Bears in the lower 48 at the time of European colonization(16th century)................The mild and temperate climate throughout the non-desert regions of the state harbored a wide array of fruit, insect and animal foodstuffs that enabled Grizzlies to "multiply and prosper" .............. Less than 75 years after gold was discovered in the Sierra Nevada foothills(1850), every grizzly bear in the state had been hunted down or trapped and killed..............A sad commentary it is regarding us as supposedly the most intelligent species(man), that we now can only celebrate "Griz" in California via stuffed animals at museums..................There is viable habitat throughout California where the Griz could once again roam...............Will we ever have the will the share the Golden State with the animal that many indigenous Indian tribes saw as sacred?

Grizzly bear returns to California


The last known California grizzly bear was killed in 1922 in
 Tulare County near Yosemite National Park.
But visitors to the Santa Maria Natural History Museum can
 get a glimpse of the fearsome figure that adorns the state 
flag in a new exhibit on loan from Napa Valley.
"This bear is from Canada and it was donated to the museum,"
 said Clarence Rusconi, a docent in the Santa Maria museum. 
"They're a lot bigger than the black bears that are in the hills
 around here up toward Cuyama."

The bear shares a room with a California tule elk that has
 lived at the museum for many years.
The museum is hosting a Fall Equinox mixer Thursday from
 5 to 7:30 p.m. to show off the new exhibit.
The grizzly bear has been as tightly linked with California as a
 mother bear and her cub for as long as humans have lived in
 the Golden State.

Native tribes worshiped the grizzly for its strength, beauty and
 majesty when the massive bears thrived in California's valleys 
and foothills. When the trickle of Spanish explorers turned into
 a flood of Mexican and white settlers pouring into California, it 
marked the beginning of the bears' last stand.

Although white settlers used the bear as a symbol in their battle
 for independence from Mexico in the Bear Flag Revolt of 1846, 
they killed the bears by the hundreds. Less than 75 years after
 gold was discovered in the Sierra Nevada foothills, every grizzly
 bear in the state had been hunted down or trapped and killed.

One of the trappers, James Cappen "Grizzly" Adams, became an
 early California legend. Although he was known for trapping and
 hunting hundreds of the ferocious bears, he also raised young
 cubs as pets and was known for walking the streets of San
 Francisco with his longtime pet, Ben Franklin, according to reports.
The grizzly at the Santa Maria museum is smaller and darker
 than the typical California grizzly — ursus arctos californicus.
 One of the largest grizzlies on record, a 2,200-pounder, was
 killed near Valley Center in 1886.

The Santa Maria exhibit comes to the museum from the Mondavi 
family of the Napa Valley. It depicts a bear over the partially
 buried body of another grizzly.
"The museum is very grateful to the Marc Mondavi Family
 and David Hoxsey for making the new exhibit possible," 
said exhibit committee member Virginia Souza.
Another attraction new to the museum is the Bird Hall, 
a roomful of birds indigenous to the area.

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