Though USFWS has long estimated 5-10 grizzlies in area, there have been no photos-

Grizzly bear photographed in the North Cascades. Seattle Post Intelligencer

About The Author

Ralph Maughan

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.

9 Responses to First photo in 40 years of grizzly bear in Washington State’s North Cascades

  1. Mike says:

    Great story. Love the photo, too. And wise not to disclose the location.

  2. Brent says:

    Holy smokes. Even the park employees expressed doubt to me that they were still there.

    As far as the location, most of the park is very inaccessible. It’s humid and lush, not prime hiking territory. Give me the Pasayten any day.

  3. Christopher says:

    Anyone know why it would take 6 months to notify the park service of such discovery?

    • Mike says:

      When you consider what the folks in Glacier have been doing to bears lately (killing cubs with jugular shots of tranq, firing cracker shells into bears, etc), it’s not a bad idea to give some space between sightings.

    • Mike is right. . you can’t just publish pictures of great wildlife like this while there is any chance they are still there. Too many people misunderstand bears still. . some would take the opportunity to try and kill it and many others would think their hiking and camping opportunities in the area are over. It is best this is old news.

  4. Brent says:

    That has to be on the eastern side of the park. I have never been hiking there where it is this open and dry.

  5. atlas says:

    does anyone know how likely it is that there is still a population in the san juan mountains

    • Ralph Maughan says:


      No one knows for sure, but I think it is very unlikely because inbreeding would have wiped such a low population out. It has no source of outside recruitment.

    • Brent says:

      Agree with Ralph; there is pretty much no chance by now. It could have been made viable 20 or so years ago with massive conservation. A great book is Ghost Grizzlies by Peterson.


July 2011


‎"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