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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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Friday, September 26, 2014

Natural Resources Defense Council Blogger Christine Wilcox reporting on how the increase in livestock grazing in the Upper Green River area of Wyoming is causing a population sink for Grizzlies to occur there.......Conflicts between Ranchers and Griz have increased in frequency over the past decade with the USFW Service deciding not to seek a co-existence paradigm with the bruins but rather to up the number of females that can be killed in this region................Christine goes on to say-------"The Forest Service estimates that female grizzly bear survival has declined on all but two of the public grazing allotments in the Upper Green area"............ "This means that removing female grizzlies from these allotments is negatively impacting the overall Greater Yellowstone population"............... "State and federal agencies only expect female grizzlies to use this area more and more in the future, so the challenges to female (and cub) survival are only expected to increase"..............Our friend and Range Expert, George Wuerthner feels that Christine and the NRDC are approaching this BEAR SINK problem too timidly and he boldly declares that "the problem isn't finding ways for livestock and bears to co-exist, but to get rid of welfare ranching in places like the Upper Green River"............"NRDC half way measures are like saying we should keep dams on salmon streams and put in more fish ladders instead of advocating that dams be removed"
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Christine Wilcox’s Blog

Grizzly Bear Conflicts in the Greater

 Yellowstone Ecosystem: It's Time

 for More Solutions and Less Killing

Christine Wilcox
Posted September 5, 2014 in Saving Wildlife and WIld Places
Recent reports say conflicts with grizzly bears
 in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem were
down in 2013. That may be true for the region
as a whole (which is great news), but it’s
 definitely not the case in the Upper Green
River area of Wyoming, just southeast of
Grand Teton National Park.
UG prints.jpg   

  Grizzly bear prints near Green River 
Lakes, Upper Green River area, Wyoming

The Upper Green has been a hot spot for
 conflicts with grizzlies for more than ten
 years now. Why? Because the Upper
Green has naturally prime grizzly bear
 habitat and a yearly food source provided
 by people in the form of unprotected
livestock. This combination has led to
an increase in the number of grizzly
bears using the Upper Green area,
despite the fact that the population at
 large is no longer growing very much
 and may even be declining.
Earlier this week the U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service issued a new biological 
opinion with its recommendations and
requirements for managing conflicts in
the Upper Green area. This is the third
 time in five years that the Service has
had to change the biological opinion
 because of the increasing number of
 grizzlies being killed for attacking
 livestock. It is also the third time in
five years that the agencies have
 had a chance to change the way
they address conflicts.

But rather than requiring measures to
improve coexistence with grizzly bears
 and reduce conflicts with them, the Fish
and Wildlife Service again increased the
 number of grizzly bears that it anticipates
 will be killed due to livestock grazing.
Even more alarming is the Service’s
decision to more than double the
 number of females that can be killed.
What we are left with is more grizzly
bear deaths and virtually no changes
 to address the ongoing conflicts with
 livestock. But there are effective ways
 to reduce conflicts that are good for
 livestock and good for bears. Range
 riders, electric fencing, and guard dogs
 could be used to protect livestock.
Alternative grazing practices like
keeping cattle bunched together,
 and ensuring that mothers and
calves stay together, could reduce
the chance of bears attacking cattle.
 Since calves are often targeted when
 bears attack cattle, eliminating calves
 on the Upper Green grazing allotments
 could also prove to be effective in
 reducing conflicts.

For those familiar with the area, there
is no question that implementing some
coexistence measures to reduce
conflicts with livestock would be more
difficult in the Upper Green than on other
 landscapes. The Upper Green is filled
 with steep terrain and many areas that
are harder for people to access than
 bears or livestock. But that does not
mean that we should just give up
 because solutions are more difficult
or costly.
If we want to reduce conflicts in the
Upper Green, we need to think outside
 the box. NRDC and other conservation
groups have been encouraging the
 agencies to consider creative solutions.
 For instance, stakeholders could
 work together to secure funding for
 research that would help implement
 more coexistence measures. This
would also provide information on
which coexistence practices work
best in the Upper Green area.
Wildlife Services is already researching
 some of these coexistence practices
 on other landscapes. We applaud this
work and hope that it can serve as a
 model and perhaps even a resource
 for much needed research in the Upper
Green area.

The Forest Service
 estimates that female 
grizzly bear survival has 
declined on all but
 two of the public grazing
 allotments in the 
Upper Green area. This means
 that removing
 female grizzlies from these 
allotments is 
negatively impacting the
 overall Greater 
Yellowstone population. State
 and federal
 agencies only expect female grizzlies
 to use this
 area more and more in the future, so
 the challenges
 to female (and cub) survival are only 
 to increase.
Something must change if we want to ensure continued
 recovery of the Yellowstone grizzly bear population.
Managing conflicts between grizzly bears, livestock
and people is critical to the long-term success of the
bruins -- not only in the Upper Green area but
throughout the entire Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
Solutions exist. What we need is the resources and
 the will to implement them. Turning a blind eye to the
problem, as the Service has done here, is not the way
to go.
Photo credit: Sublette County Emergency
 Management, Jim Mitchell

GEorge Wuerthner — Sep 6 2014 01:44 PM

The problem isn't finding ways for livestock and
 bears to co-exist, but to get rid of welfare
ranching in places like the Upper Green River.
The proposal put forth demonstrates an
 ecologically ignorant perspective on how
livestock destroys grizzly habitat--as well as
 a lot of other wildlife.
For instance, livestock destroy riparian areas
 which are among the most important foraging
 areas for grizzlies in the spring and early summer.
Livestock display elk and other native herbivores
 which leave areas with livestock--in essence
 creating the conflict one is trying to address.
 It also reduces the fitness of elk herds in general
 meaning less natural food for grizzlies.

Livestock also are the center of controversies
 on brucellosis. So we are killing bison and elk
in staste like Montana which are a critical and
 important food resource for grizzlies.
These are only a few of the ways that the
 presence of livestock negatively impacts
Chasing grizzlies from places where livestock
 are grazing also reduces the overall habitat
available to them, as well as the security cover
 they require.
IT's a shame that groups like NRDC aren't bold
 enough or ecologically informed enough to state
 the obvious. NRDC half way measures are like
 saying we should keep dams on salmon streams
and put in more fish ladders instead of advocating
that dams be removed

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