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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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Monday, March 13, 2017

Ecologist George Wuerthner forwarded to me an"excellent Dave Matteson led discussion regarding an ecological overview on Yellowstone grizzlies"..... "Dave Matteson worked for 30 years as a grizzly bear researcher for the United States Geologic Survey(USGS).............In the video below, he provides some important facts on the future of Grizzlies in the USA West..................Dave is against removing Grizzlies from the Endangered Species List and concludes strongly that the Griz population in the Greater Yellowstone has not grown since the early 2000's.......Additionally, the shrinking of the whitebark pine trees and cutthroat trout populations has caused Grizzlies to get into more conflict with ranchers as they substitute cattle in place of their historical primary menu of trout and whitebark pine seeds

click to watch video:

David Mattson

If I were to describe myself in one word, it would be "scientist." Most of my professional life (40 years or so) has been spent doing research. More concretely, I've spent a lot of time running around following animals, systematically collecting data, analyzing it, and then publishing the results. I've also focused a lot of my research during the last 25 years on people and the phenomenon of collective and individual decision-making. This human-focused research has been conducted under the rubric of "policy," although the word tends to make most people shudder. And my primary motivation? In a word, curiosity. Combined with an obsessive pursuit of enlightenment. Both of these drives have led me to focus my inquiries on complex systems, primarily because I consider highly-contingent complexity to be the inescapable reality of human or natural phenomena, to the point where I view any given intersection of time and space as a singularlity. Which I've found to be a useful stance if I want to genuinely understand what's unfolding. I consider it foolish and illusory to assume otherwise. Although, ironically enough, it strikes me that most theory-driven scientists assume otherwise in practice.

mMMMy Phd dissertation was based on research that I did during 1979-1993 focused on the foraging behavior of Yellowstone's grizzly bears. The following link (Mattson 2000) takes you to a pdf of my thesis. And the photo to the right is illustrative of that period when I spent March-October of every year following radio-marked grizzlies (in case you are wondering, I'm looking at the remains of an elk while surveying winter kill in the Firehole area of Yellowstone Park). I also pioneered the use of transects and other non-invasive methods to investigate habitat use by grizzlies--including the oversight and implementation of studies focused on bear use of red squirrel middens (with Dan Reinhart), cutthroat trout spawning streams (with Dan Reinhart again), spring ungulate carrion (with Gerry Green and Jeff Henry), and biscuitroots and other vegetal foods. I'm afraid I don't have photos of me lurking at some strategic distance behind a drugged or otherwise subdued grizzly bear...the classic trophy shot. Unlike most who seem to get involved in grizzly bear research as affirmation of man- (or woman-) hood--i.e., by capturing, immobilizing and otherwise dominating a bear--I never seemed to get the hang of that sort of thing, along with wearing a cowboy hat. My attitude was: If a bear had suffered through the capture and handling process, you should be damned sure to get the maximum amount of information in recompense for the animal's incovenience (and suffering?).

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