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Worthington
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PostTue Nov 22, 2022 10:37 am 
slabbyd wrote:
Important to point out that Grizzly Bears are very specifically listed as "threatened in the lower-48 states". Not "endangered" as some have claimed. In Alaska they're not listed at all and in Canada their a species of concern with no protections. I've read that the North Cascades reintroduction area (which is quite large) would represent ~0.1% increase in the total current range of Grizzly Bears. Is that a substantial improvement for the species? Much less for the specific animals removed from their current home areas? If the reintroduction goes through there will inevitably be closures. Check out a map of Yellowstone. Feel free to shoot holes in my numbers but something like 25% of the park is permanently closed to humans and another 25% has seasonal closures. Consider the impact similar closures would have on one of the most densely populated and recreated wilderness areas in the country. Ultimately this has always felt like a passion project of the starry-eyed biologists that have seemed to hold power in NCNP decision making.
Great post - If the North Cascades on the USA side of the border would be productive and healthy Grizzly habitat, why hasn't the extant population of Grizzlies on the BC side spread south into this range in the past 40 years? What's the theoretical barrier?

Joseph
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Anne Elk
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PostTue Nov 22, 2022 1:28 pm 
Worthington wrote:
If the North Cascades on the USA side of the border would be productive and healthy Grizzly habitat, why hasn't the extant population of Grizzlies on the BC side spread south into this range in the past 40 years? What's the theoretical barrier?
The experts north of the border identify six different "populations" in BC, which are isolated by various barriers, and the (Canadian) North Cascades group, according to this website, may have as few as 6 bears. The website from which the map below was taken includes detailed maps and narrative for each group. The situation up north is pretty precarious for bears too, except in the northernmost group.
Quote:
The North Cascades includes the communities of Hope, Boston Bar, Lytton, Princeton and Keremeos. Although relatively sparsely populated, the BC Cascades contain a significant development footprint and dense roads network. It is also bisected north to south by the Coquihalla Highway and east to west by Highway 3 which can be formidable obstacles to grizzly bear movement and cause accidental death. BC government plans to augment the dwindling and isolated population with grizzly bears transplanted from a healthy population further north in BC were shelved in 2006. It is likely that it will take a combination of grizzly bear transplants into the Cascades, motorized access management, and the protection of connecting habitats across the Fraser River and adjoining transportation corridors to recover this population. Other threats to the North Cascades grizzly bears include: - A high degree of motorized access into grizzly bear habitat; - Cumulative effects of wind energy development, power lines, mining, forestry and rural residential developments particularly around Tulameen; - Getting shot when in conflict with livestock.
https://www.coasttocascades.org/populations

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DadFly
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PostTue Nov 22, 2022 3:49 pm 
Build it and they will come. Or maybe not. Bears are very smart critters. Not just in the moment but over time and generations. Any sophisticated re-introduction plan would include that variable. They are highly trainable. I am not saying they can be trained to always be safe to be near. Charles Jonkel, https://www.grizzlytimes.org/chuck-jonkel once told me that "Bears are like teenagers. If you leave a piece of pizza on the counter they will eat it. If you teach them to stay out of the kitchen you are ahead of the game." I also liked his observation that the bears he tracked using collars behaved much differently inside Glacier Park than they did outside the park. They were far more careful to stay away from humans outside the park. He suspected it was because they knew where they might or might not be hunted. For what it is worth.... https://www.all-creatures.org/bear/b-bearintel.html

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Joseph
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PostTue Nov 22, 2022 7:06 pm 
Kim Brown wrote:
Joseph wrote:
Ok, so if you're hiking alone in the wilderness, which would you rather suddenly encounter around the bend, a grizzly or a human?
That's a loaded question. embarassedlaugh.gif Depends on what human.
True enough, but it also depends on the bear. Is it a mama bear with cubs? Is it hungry? etc. etc. With no other info, you have two options: meet a Grizzly while turning a corner, or a human. which do you choose? I submit that anyone rational would take their chances with a human, rather than a Grizzly.

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texasbb
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PostTue Nov 22, 2022 7:35 pm 
Joseph wrote:
I submit that anyone rational would take their chances with a human, rather than a Grizzly.
I submit that I go to the wilderness to see...wilderness. I'd much rather see bears than people. Yes, there's a risk. It's tiny.

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Kim Brown
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PostTue Nov 22, 2022 9:35 pm 
Joseph wrote:
Kim Brown wrote:
Joseph wrote:
Ok, so if you're hiking alone in the wilderness, which would you rather suddenly encounter around the bend, a grizzly or a human?
That's a loaded question. embarassedlaugh.gif Depends on what human.
True enough, but it also depends on the bear. Is it a mama bear with cubs? Is it hungry? etc. etc..
Thanks, but it was just a joke.

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Joseph
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Pyrites
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PostTue Nov 22, 2022 10:59 pm 
The Province estimated ca 2019 that there are six bears in a unit they label North Cascades, against the border. Seems a specific count. https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/environment/natural-resource-stewardship/cumulative-effects/thompson-okanagan-region/cef-ccr-grizzly-thompsonokanagan_march2022_final.pdf

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RumiDude
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PostTue Nov 22, 2022 11:03 pm 
DadFly wrote:
Build it and they will come. Or maybe not. Bears are very smart critters. Not just in the moment but over time and generations. Any sophisticated re-introduction plan would include that variable. They are highly trainable. I am not saying they can be trained to always be safe to be near. Charles Jonkel, https://www.grizzlytimes.org/chuck-jonkel once told me that "Bears are like teenagers. If you leave a piece of pizza on the counter they will eat it. If you teach them to stay out of the kitchen you are ahead of the game." I also liked his observation that the bears he tracked using collars behaved much differently inside Glacier Park than they did outside the park. They were far more careful to stay away from humans outside the park. He suspected it was because they knew where they might or might not be hunted. For what it is worth.... https://www.all-creatures.org/bear/b-bearintel.html
Not a grizzly (or even just bears in general) expert, but I twitch a bit when any animal is described as "smart" and is compared to other animals, particularly humans. Many great animal researchers make the mistake of anthropomorphism. Intelligence is just one of an animal species tools of survival. The difference in human intelligence is that it is so far beyond that of even our closest cousins among the primates, it is difficult to describe them in the same terms. This is true for multiple reasons I won't go into here. Bears do have intelligence in the sense that they are very good at attaining food that they are familiar with. If they are not familiar with a food source, they will often ignore it. That is why I could sit in Enchanted Valley and eat a smelly bagel with salami and blue cheese about 100' from a huge black bear content with eating the grass. Both my lunch sandwich as well as my body were perfectly suitable food for the bear. And the bear could have easily run me down, but I wasn't a familiar food source. Not so smart bear in that respect. But once a bear becomes human food conditioned, i.e. familiar with humans and their food, they can become extremely persistent in obtaining that food. Bears are intelligent and fully equipped to survive in their natural habitat. But humans are much more intelligent and are equiped to design regulations and practices that assure the best chance that bears can be reintroduced to their former habitat and minimize negative encounters when we humans visit that habitat. Rumi

"This is my Indian summer ... I'm far more dangerous now, because I don't care at all."

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Pyrites
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PostWed Nov 23, 2022 12:12 am 
I think bears have encountered hominid since they learned to make spears out of fire hardened sticks, in organized groups. Put sharp, knapped, stones on those sticks and humans became downright dangerous. 10,000 generations of bears usually losing encounters. We didnít always wear Lycra.

Keep Calm and Carry On? Heck No. Stay Excited and Get Outside!
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gb
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gb
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PostWed Nov 23, 2022 6:23 am 
Anne Elk wrote:
Worthington wrote:
If the North Cascades on the USA side of the border would be productive and healthy Grizzly habitat, why hasn't the extant population of Grizzlies on the BC side spread south into this range in the past 40 years? What's the theoretical barrier?
The experts north of the border identify six different "populations" in BC, which are isolated by various barriers, and the (Canadian) North Cascades group, according to this website, may have as few as 6 bears. The website from which the map below was taken includes detailed maps and narrative for each group. The situation up north is pretty precarious for bears too, except in the northernmost group.
Quote:
The North Cascades includes the communities of Hope, Boston Bar, Lytton, Princeton and Keremeos. Although relatively sparsely populated, the BC Cascades contain a significant development footprint and dense roads network. It is also bisected north to south by the Coquihalla Highway and east to west by Highway 3 which can be formidable obstacles to grizzly bear movement and cause accidental death. BC government plans to augment the dwindling and isolated population with grizzly bears transplanted from a healthy population further north in BC were shelved in 2006. It is likely that it will take a combination of grizzly bear transplants into the Cascades, motorized access management, and the protection of connecting habitats across the Fraser River and adjoining transportation corridors to recover this population. Other threats to the North Cascades grizzly bears include: - A high degree of motorized access into grizzly bear habitat; - Cumulative effects of wind energy development, power lines, mining, forestry and rural residential developments particularly around Tulameen; - Getting shot when in conflict with livestock.
https://www.coasttocascades.org/populations
That is what I was going to say, also. That the Coquialla and Highway 3 act as obvious barriers. Despite that, I saw evidence of a Grizzly Bear in the North Cascades twice about 10 years ago. Wildlife biologists thought that this bear's activity was perhaps a seasonal move from the Manning Park group of bears (personal communication). To think that Grizzly Bears present a great risk to hikers is rather paranoid. I asked my friend Sepp Renner who had the Assiniboine concession for 35 years if he was aware of any negative encounters with Canadian Rocky Grizzlies in the Assiniboine area or if he knew of any bear confrontations with hikers and campers over that considerable period of time and his response was no. He pointed out an area near the Nub that Grizzlies frequent in that concession area. Additionally, I attended a seminar by Andy Mackinnon (of Pojar and Mackinnon) if he (they) had had any negative encounters in the thirty years the two of them surveyed plants throughout BC, and the Yukon (find this info at EFloraBC). MacKinnon said, "No, only positive encounters." On the OTH, I had a climbing client who worked for Coast and Geodetic Survey and he told me of a fatal attack in the far north. Frank Baumann who did work in evaluating resource projects throughout his career told me of a an Aleutian Brown Bear leaping at the helicopter as they took off. It appears the behavior of Brown Bears as opposed to the Grizzlies found in most of BC, have completely different behavior. There are actually more Black Bear attacks in Western North America, although most of us here have never encountered an aggressive Black Bear. I personally respect and maintain distance, but have no fear of Black Bears; as is undoubtedly true of most experienced hikers. Most attacks/incidents involve food and waste storage or revolve around dogs accompanying humans. There is evidence in the Banff/Canmore area that the only attack risk is running on remote trails or biking; of course the same is true of Cougar attacks.

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gb
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PostWed Nov 23, 2022 6:26 am 
texasbb wrote:
Joseph wrote:
I submit that anyone rational would take their chances with a human, rather than a Grizzly.
I submit that I go to the wilderness to see...wilderness. I'd much rather see bears than people. Yes, there's a risk. It's tiny.
There is a great deal of evidence of human attacks or abductions in wilderness; not so much of Bears in Washington or BC.

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altasnob
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PostWed Nov 23, 2022 7:20 am 
What amazes me about the grizzly is just how adaptable and widespread the species was. There were grizzlies in Mexico, Minnesota, Texas, and Los Angeles. There were grizzlies on the plains, grizzlies on the beach, grizzlies in the desert Southwest canyons. The grizzly IS the symbol of North America. But after Europeans arrived in Western North America, it only took 125 years to reduce their range to 2 percent of what it was historically in the lower 48. This is all from that Fish and Wildlife assessment Kim posted.

vibramhead
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gb
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PostWed Nov 23, 2022 7:49 am 
altasnob wrote:
What amazes me about the grizzly is just how adaptable and widespread the species was. There were grizzlies in Mexico, Minnesota, Texas, and Los Angeles. There were grizzlies on the plains, grizzlies on the beach, grizzlies in the desert Southwest canyons. The grizzly IS the symbol of North America. But after Europeans arrived in Western North America, it only took 125 years to reduce their range to 2 percent of what it was historically in the lower 48. This is all from that Fish and Wildlife assessment Kim posted.
My friend Sepp told me in a long conversation that the Grizzlies did not used to be in the Rockies, but rather inhabited the plains of Alberta and Saskatchewan. The population retreated to the Rockies on account of human encroachment and outright murder (similar to the Buffalo).

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Snowshovel
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PostWed Nov 23, 2022 8:30 am 
gb wrote:
There is a great deal of evidence of human attacks or abductions in wilderness; not so much of Bears in Washington or BC.
ďA great dealĒ? Closer to zero, but not zero. Pinnacle Lake, Lewis County and Kari Swenson

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Worthington
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PostWed Nov 23, 2022 8:45 am 
Anne Elk wrote:
Worthington wrote:
If the North Cascades on the USA side of the border would be productive and healthy Grizzly habitat, why hasn't the extant population of Grizzlies on the BC side spread south into this range in the past 40 years? What's the theoretical barrier?
The experts north of the border identify six different "populations" in BC, which are isolated by various barriers, and the (Canadian) North Cascades group, according to this website, may have as few as 6 bears. The website from which the map below was taken includes detailed maps and narrative for each group. The situation up north is pretty precarious for bears too, except in the northernmost group.
Quote:
The North Cascades includes the communities of Hope, Boston Bar, Lytton, Princeton and Keremeos. Although relatively sparsely populated, the BC Cascades contain a significant development footprint and dense roads network. It is also bisected north to south by the Coquihalla Highway and east to west by Highway 3 which can be formidable obstacles to grizzly bear movement and cause accidental death. BC government plans to augment the dwindling and isolated population with grizzly bears transplanted from a healthy population further north in BC were shelved in 2006. It is likely that it will take a combination of grizzly bear transplants into the Cascades, motorized access management, and the protection of connecting habitats across the Fraser River and adjoining transportation corridors to recover this population. Other threats to the North Cascades grizzly bears include: - A high degree of motorized access into grizzly bear habitat; - Cumulative effects of wind energy development, power lines, mining, forestry and rural residential developments particularly around Tulameen; - Getting shot when in conflict with livestock.
https://www.coasttocascades.org/populations
If there are really just "about 6" grizzlies in the north cascades on the Canadian side, it seems like there would not be enough overlapping or adjacent population to really add meaningful genetic diversity or population reintrodiuction sources into a potential pool of transplanted bears into WA. Since these "about 6" bears aren't currently regularly living on the USA side in the Pasayten or main North Cascades zones even without rival Grizz to the south, would they be expected to move south and breed (not just fight or fear rivalry)after Grizz are put on the USA side of the border? I feel like I am hearing simultaneously contradicting messages that there are grizzlies living on both sides of the border in the North Cascades, and the habitat suits - but also that there is no viable population of Grizzlies adjacent to the border that could expand into this range, so there needs to be a massive transplant. This is an aside, but I've found it frustrating that over the decades groups like Conservation NW and to some extent the NCCC and NCNP have claimed that there ARE grizzlies living in Washington (resident or frequent border crossers which require special protection, signage at trailheads, education, and should compel us to give $$$ to those pro-grizzly groups) but then also claim at times, or admit, that there are no Grizzlies, so we need to spend more $$$ bringing in grizzlies.) It seems like they take whichever position will likely result in more influence and donations for their group.

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