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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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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

while I am sure that California Naturalist Erin Hauge feels that she is being "fair and balanced" in her cautioning about the feasibility of rewilding Grizzlies back into the Sierra High Country in California, I urge her to reconsider her position that the Bears would create too much chaos in the Golden State.............Californians have been the most tolerant population in the whole USA as it relates to "tolerating" Pumas and Coyotes ---putting in place the most strict protocols to protect these animals from hunting and trapping...............Black Bears also have done well amongst the ever growing throng of humanity in this state...............Give the Griz a chance to recolonize California, once home to the densest population of these Bruins in the the USA(having existed alongside Black Bears just as they do in the Greater Yellowstone system) ..................The Institute of Biological Diversity with it's extensive team of researchers say the Griz can once again call the Sierras home...............Lets make this a reality Ms. Hauge,,,,,,,,,,,,,and put the proper protocols in place to ensure utmost potential for human/Griz coexistence

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Another View: Plan to reintroduce grizzly bears is unrealistic

Published: Sunday, Jul. 20, 2014 - 12:00 am
While a proposal to reintroduce grizzly bears to the Sierra Nevada sounds thrilling, it may be too ambitious for at least three reasons: Human encroachment on habitat, climate change and the fact that these bears would be a non-contiguous population in a limited range.
As long as reintroduced grizzlies stayed in the Sierra high country, they might be OK, but one adult male grizzly’s home range can extend 200 to 500 square miles. Their natural habitat includes foothills and grasslands, and movement down into the San Joaquin Valley or the Owens Valley would generate traumatic encounters with humans. While the proposed Sierra habitat for grizzlies may sound robust at 7,747 square miles, it is a fragment of range in the middle of a highly populated state. There would be no connection to the grizzly populations currently in the process of recovering in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and Washington.

Human-bear encounters would increase due to climate change and human encroachment on suitable habitat. Increasingly drier conditions in the Sierra would force bears to forage for food at lower elevations, putting them closer to human developments. Grizzly bears would not know the boundaries of that 7,747 square miles of Sierra habitat.
Competition for food would become more stressful and fierce, causing an impact on the less aggressive black bear populations that already exist in the Sierra. And the possibility of a grizzly encounter turned unpleasant would mean that hikers would need to consider carrying high-caliber firearms, transforming their wilderness experience from peaceful and meditative to guarded and vigilant.
With stress on habitat steadily increasing, the assertion that the Sierra can support several hundred grizzly bears today seems unrealistic. While California was home to large numbers of grizzlies before the Spanish and Europeans arrived, the last bear shot in Tulare County in 1922 shows how that story ends.
Why reintroduce grizzly bears into non-contiguous range where they would have to struggle to find a niche in rapidly shrinking and changing habitat? Why not continue to focus on supporting the recovery of existing grizzly populations and the other threatened and endangered species that are already struggling to adapt to the rapidly changing conditions in California?
The loss of the California grizzly bear speaks for all endangered species. Let the grizzly on California’s state flag serve to honor those great bears who once roamed the mountains and grasslands of California with impunity.

Erin Hauge is a certified California naturalist and an advocate for wildlife and habitat conservation and education.

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