History and Recovery of Yellowstone grizzly bears: a complete story

The latest issue of Yellowstone Science is completely devoted to articles (five) about the management of Yellowstone grizzly bears from the era of garbage dump bears, desperate bears after the dumps were closed, listing as a threatened species, recovery, delisting and current management.

The issue is filled with photos and interesting tables and graphs. For the grizzly enthusiast, this issue is a must. For example it even has a long discussion of the August 2007 “adoption” of 2 grizzly COY (cubs of the year) by another female grizzly.

Part I of the issue.

Part 2 of the issue.



  1. Linda Hunter Avatar

    Thank you for posting this Ralph. . most of it I have read before someplace or other but the part about habituation and food conditioning is very interesting. Because of all the successful bear viewing spots in Alaska where people behave around bears it is an interesting concept to explore in Yellowstone. Apparently the worst thing about bear jams is the traffic and the times when rangers can’t be present to watch the people. Some creative thinking might come out of this problem . . I remember long ago when I first went to Disneyland and was amazed at all the ways they came up with to handle people from around the world who spoke different languages and had different cultural takes on animals. Well I am headed up to Alaska this week to see some bears I know and haven’t seen for three years. . one of my favorite bears is with three coys this year. It will be interesting to watch the human bear interactions there when I am not working. I will think about the problems in Yellowstone with people and see if I can think of something that will help. . . maybe move the new border fence from down south to along the roads and fence the people in?? LOL Now that’s out of the box huh?

  2. Peter Kiermeier Avatar

    Reading about bears comes second best to seeing one in the wild! I love them! The bear / car / visitor interaction of days gone by reminds me about the severe problems they have at Yosemite. I don´t no if they still do, but years ago a video was shown in the visitor centre, showing a black bear breaking into a car for food. The car was a total wreck afterwards! Thanks god they don´t have those mighty grizzlies over there, “only” black bears! A quick glance at the Yosemite web page reveals that nothing has changed or improved over the years:
    “Total property damage (by bear) this year is $25,273. So far this year, incidents are up 3% compared to the same time last year, but down 68% since 1998.
    Activity Update
    Parking lots, particularly at Yosemite Lodge and Camp 4, have seen regular bear activity this week with car break-ins on a nightly basis.”


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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Ralph Maughan