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

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





  1. Chuck Avatar

    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. Mike Avatar

    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. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    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. Buffaloed Avatar

    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.


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