Could a few griz have made it into this great country?

This season’s efforts have found no positive evidence, although a few bears could be there. Efforts will continue, including analysis of hair (fur) collected.

Grizzlies continue to elude in the Bitterroot. By Perry Backus. Ravalli Republic

About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is past President of the Western Watersheds Project.

4 Responses to Researchers looking for grizzlies in the Bitterroots (and central Idaho)

  1. avatar Chuck says:

    I would love it if there were some or more grizzly bears in central Idaho and even Southwest Idaho. But thats just me. As I feel it would further complete the ecosystem. Ya alot of people will scream and yell, but in a way it would make more campers more responsible for their camp sites. But for myself I can come up with more reason to have them here then not to have them here. Just like the wolves they are beautiful animals and I can set for hours watching them.

  2. avatar Mike says:

    Fascinating topic, Ralph.

    Based on my limited experience in the Bitterroot/Selway, it seems it would be much harder to spot grizzly there than in areas like Glacier and Yellowstone due to less open areas like meadows and alpine tundra.

  3. Folks will recall that about a year ago a grizzly was shot in Kelly Creek in north central Idaho. Even more surprising, it had migrated in from the tiny grizzly population in the Idaho Selkirks.

    Grizzly Bear killed in north central Idaho came from the Selkirk Mountains

  4. avatar Buffaloed says:

    I wonder if this plan will be back on track?

    A grizzly bear reintroduction effort for the Bitterroot Mountains was
    approved in 2000, but was later suspended.

    “It was approved, but never funded,” Servheen said. “The area has
    great potential to support a healthy population of grizzly bears.”

    Personally, I would rather see natural re-colonization rather than the boondoggle of the “experimental non-essential population” which would allow for more man caused mortality. If the reintroduction does occur then I feel that it should be an essential population without a 10j rule.


November 2008


‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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