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#4968 - 06/06/10 06:12 PM Reintroducing Grizzly Bears to CA
quillansculpture Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 564
Loc: Murrieta, CA
I read about this a few years back and did some research on the last California Grizzly today. There are some efforts to reintroduce them to California, including Sequoia and Mineral King. Just wanted to know what people's thoughts are on this.

California used to have over 10,000 Grizzly Bears. They were wiped out by hunters, trappers, ranchers, etc. The gold rush was a really bad time for them as the people looking for gold always carried several weapons in case of a Grizzly. They were put into rodeo like settings with Bulls and Lions and were subjected to torture events much like Bull fighting, where several men on horses would rope and spear them from all different sides. The Indians were frightened of them and wouldn't eat them because they thought they were inhabitied by evil spirits. One of the worst curses and Indian could give another was "I hope you get eaten by a Grizzly Bear".

California has a very bad history with the Grizzly Bear, especially in light of the fact that it is on California's state flag. Just not sure if this would be successful.
California Grizzly Bear Reintroduction Team
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#4974 - 06/07/10 08:18 AM Re: Reintroducing Grizzly Bears to CA [Re: quillansculpture]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7875
Loc: Fresno, CA
A friend of mine knows the guy behind this "movement". Even on his web site, he states The "team" is one member in fact and many in spirit. He's having trouble getting anybody to help him with his quest.

With all the stories out there about grizzlies attacking hikers without provocation, I seriously doubt this idea will ever gain much traction.

It is one thing to have the black bears marauding campsites for food, but bears attacking people is something else.

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#4975 - 06/07/10 08:40 AM Re: Reintroducing Grizzly Bears to CA [Re: Steve C]
wagga Offline


Registered: 10/07/09
Posts: 2249
Loc: Humbug Reach (Pop. 3)
I suspect this guy is a surgeon in his day job. This could be seen as drumming up business.
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#4978 - 06/07/10 09:44 AM Re: Reintroducing Grizzly Bears to CA [Re: Steve C]
quillansculpture Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 564
Loc: Murrieta, CA
After checking a list for known fatalities to bears from 2000 to 2009, there were 17 fatalities from Black Bears and only 10 from Grizzly Bears. I know there are less Grizzly Bears and in fact less people to encounter Grizzly Bears, but are we taking Black Bears to lightly? There were 0 (Zero) fatalities (from Grizzlies) in the Continental United States with the exception of the Grizzly Bear fatality on a trainer in Big Bear, CA.

Also, some of the Black Bear attacks were gruesome, including bears that dragged people out of tents, several campsite attacks and one that actually went onto a roof to chase down it's victim.

I know this is the "perfect" time to bring this subject up as we all plan our hikes. (facetiousness) But it really does point out how unpredictable Black Bears can be and how we need to be responsible for our campsites, the food lockers, garbage and what we leave in our cars. Bears are easily trained and they come to the trails, campsites and the Portal because we have trained them to come there by leaving them an easy resource for food. As I said in one of my last posts, a bear walked within a few feet of me last year without me even noticing. A few days earlier, I was going to a sink to wash my dishes at a Campground near South lake. I didn't even see the bear with his butt sticking out of a trash can eating fish guts until someone told me to stay way from the sink.

It can take only a few second aways from the bear lockers, the steaks on the fire, the backpack for a bear to remove the contents. And, unlike my errors in not paying attention....we need to make sure we aren't the ones initiating the contact.

I've heard some of Doug's stories about bears in the Portal. If you have one to share, please do.
List of Fatal Bear Attacks in North America
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#4979 - 06/07/10 09:48 AM Re: Reintroducing Grizzly Bears to CA [Re: quillansculpture]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7875
Loc: Fresno, CA
Joe, I didn't realize that black bears were that "guilty"! Thanks for pointing it out.

This is a good topic any time. I don't have time now, but I'll be sure and read the reference you gave.

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#4980 - 06/07/10 10:16 AM Re: Reintroducing Grizzly Bears to CA [Re: Steve C]
Mike Condron Offline


Registered: 11/05/09
Posts: 215
Loc: Now Manteca, CA
Note that those were not the "docile timid" California/Sierra laid-back black bear.



Edited by Mike Condron (06/07/10 09:28 PM)
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#4981 - 06/07/10 10:26 AM Re: Reintroducing Grizzly Bears to CA [Re: Mike Condron]
quillansculpture Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 564
Loc: Murrieta, CA
I understand that the "trouble" bears in the Sierras were taken to the San Gabriel Mountains back in the 1930's. From what I was told, when a Black Bear came into a camp site, home or was considered a "risky" bear, the Dept of Fish and Game took them to the mountains above Monrovia, Pasadena, etc.

Bears have been all over the news lately here in So Cal, including one that shut down Interstate 210 yesterday. Looks like bears do pass down "trouble" in their genes.

California Black Bear Attacks since 1980
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#4982 - 06/07/10 12:18 PM Re: Reintroducing Grizzly Bears to CA [Re: Steve C]
Bulldog34 Offline


Registered: 11/12/09
Posts: 1255
Loc: Atlanta
Originally Posted By: Steve C
Joe, I didn't realize that black bears were that "guilty"! Thanks for pointing it out.

This is a good topic any time. I don't have time now, but I'll be sure and read the reference you gave.


The thing that's always jumped out at me about black bear fatalities (and attacks) is that well more than half of them occur in Alaska and Canada, where the blacks are much bigger and much more aggressive than in most of the Lower 48. Factor in the population density of Alaska and Canada versus the Lower 48, and it's even more telling. If you remove the Canada and Alaska incidents, the few remaining problem area trends seem to be Colorado, Utah and Tennessee (and Tennessee only because of the Great Smokeys NP, which is by far the most-visited NP in the system - therefore a lot more potential for human/bear encounters than anywhere else in North America).

On this general topic, I've also read that bear pepper spray actually has a higher effectiveness rate against Grizzlies than blacks, even though many of us would assume the opposite. Interesting article here regarding a study in Alaska.

Me personally, I'm quite happy not to have to worry about Grizzlies in California - or anywhere else in the Lower 48 other than Montana, Wyoming and extreme northern Washington. When I've hiked in Grizzly country, it is just not as enjoyable an experience.

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#4983 - 06/07/10 12:41 PM Re: Reintroducing Grizzly Bears to CA [Re: Bulldog34]
MooseTracks Offline


Registered: 11/02/09
Posts: 582
Loc: Bishop, CA, United States
I'm more worried about the grouse attacks than some bear...

(and yes, there is a story behind this...)
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#4984 - 06/07/10 01:04 PM Re: Reintroducing Grizzly Bears to CA [Re: MooseTracks]
+ @ti2d Offline


Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 836
Loc: Sheridan, OR
Originally Posted By: MooseTracks
I'm more worried about the grouse attacks than some bear...

(and yes, there is a story behind this...)


And grizzlies like moose!

Grouse attacks...especially during mating season!
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#4985 - 06/07/10 01:24 PM Re: Reintroducing Grizzly Bears to CA [Re: + @ti2d]
quillansculpture Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 564
Loc: Murrieta, CA
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www.quillansculpturegallery.com
twitter: @josephquillan

If less is more, imagine how much more, more is -Frasier

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#4986 - 06/07/10 02:43 PM Re: Reintroducing Grizzly Bears to CA [Re: MooseTracks]
Bulldog34 Offline


Registered: 11/12/09
Posts: 1255
Loc: Atlanta
Originally Posted By: MooseTracks
I'm more worried about the grouse attacks than some bear...

(and yes, there is a story behind this...)


Pray tell . . .

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#4989 - 06/07/10 06:26 PM Re: Reintroducing Grizzly Bears to CA [Re: Bulldog34]
MooseTracks Offline


Registered: 11/02/09
Posts: 582
Loc: Bishop, CA, United States
workin' on it... eek
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#4990 - 06/07/10 06:32 PM Re: Reintroducing Grizzly Bears to CA [Re: MooseTracks]
Bulldog34 Offline


Registered: 11/12/09
Posts: 1255
Loc: Atlanta
laugh

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#4993 - 06/07/10 08:45 PM Re: Reintroducing Grizzly Bears to CA [Re: quillansculpture]
Feniantrekker Offline


Registered: 04/22/10
Posts: 14
Loc: Idaho
I was "Bred and Buttered" in Montana. When I was younger, I spent a considerable amount of time backpacking in Yellowstone and Glacier Nat. Parks. We were always much more concerned about an encounter with a grizzly, than any black bear! As I now live in Idaho, I'm not nearly as leery when in the backcountry as there are no grizzly's except in eastern Idaho on the fringes of Yellowstone. As I've aged some and realized I'm not invincible, I no longer have any desire to backpack in "GRIZZ" country!
If interested, the book "Mark Of the Grizzly" by Scott McMillon
is a facinating read (albeit gruesome) about encounters with grizzly bears.

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#5003 - 06/08/10 05:15 AM Re: Reintroducing Grizzly Bears to CA [Re: Feniantrekker]
Bulldog34 Offline


Registered: 11/12/09
Posts: 1255
Loc: Atlanta
Yeah, I forgot about that strip of Idaho with Yellowstone, Fenniantrekker. I guess the other way to identify Lower 48 Griz country would be to say in the vicinity of Yellowstone/Tetons, Glacier and North Cascades.

I say let Canada and Alaska have 'em!

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#5007 - 06/08/10 08:31 AM Re: Reintroducing Grizzly Bears to CA [Re: Bulldog34]
DUG Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 370
Loc: Wildomar
Where do you draw the line on a project like this? What if at some point in the future we clone Dinosaurs? Do we reintroduce? It's a slippery slope when you to repair the mistakes of our forefathers. It's often best just to learn from them and not repeat....................................DUG

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#5009 - 06/08/10 08:50 AM Re: Reintroducing Grizzly Bears to CA [Re: DUG]
Bulldog34 Offline


Registered: 11/12/09
Posts: 1255
Loc: Atlanta
Oh, I dunno DUG - the Moose has been re-introduced to California, and that seems to be workin' out OK . . .

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#5010 - 06/08/10 09:03 AM Re: Reintroducing Grizzly Bears to CA [Re: Bulldog34]
DUG Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 370
Loc: Wildomar
Originally Posted By: Bulldog34
Oh, I dunno DUG - the Moose has been re-introduced to California, and that seems to be workin' out OK . . .


Working out? I take it you missed the video of a poor, sick, defenseless endangered Meysan Grouse being harrassed by a moose.........................................DUG

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#5012 - 06/08/10 09:30 AM Re: Reintroducing Grizzly Bears to CA [Re: DUG]
quillansculpture Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 564
Loc: Murrieta, CA
Same question can be asked in a variety of endevours. Like Cloning of animals and humans.

Currently, approximatley 130 species become extinct every day on this planet. We usually become concerned when it comes to something cute, like a Panda Bear, or popular like Whales or Sea Turtles. We don't think too much about the beetles and flies, etc. My wife is a wildlife biologist and botonist and her main job is going into the field every day to count how many of each "listed" species are still where they hope they will be. Her job is mostly plants, though she does do research on flies, pond turtles, etc. Last year, I had the opportunity to go into the field for a few consecutive nights with a scientific researcher to find out if the Kangaroo Rats were actually using the culverts under the freeway systems to go from one side of a freeway to the other to breed. We did this by capturing the K-Rats in traps and taking fur off of their rear ends for DNA tests. I couldn't believe how much fun it was.

As far as reintroduction.....I don't think the Grizzly project has much traction. For this to actually gain momentum, you need more than ONE person trying to drive an agenda. But reintroduction has worked fairly well with some species, such as the California Condor in Big Sur and several projects in Colorado, including the Lynx and Moose. The Bald Eagle has been reintroduced successfully in several states, including Catalina Island off the coast of California.

Back to Grizzly Bears. I certainly believe I could support the reintroduction of Grizzly Bears. The chances of any of us seeing a Grizzly Bear ever in the state of California, even after reintroduction would be astronomical. People have the same concerns about how dangerous Mountain Lions are. I've hiked several hundred miles in the Santa Ana Mountains, which have a decent size population of Mountain Lions, and I've only seen one in the last 14 or so years, and that was while I was driving home from a hike. And I KNOW I walk by Mountain Lions all the time as I not only see signs of the Mountain Lions, but signs of the researchers trying to place transponders on them. As far as danger from Grizzlies. I think this puts some of it in perspective: I understand that since Yellowstone became a Park in 1872, there have been over 300 deaths in the park. 5 have come from Bears. Four were confirmed Grizzly Bears, the other bear was not identified.
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