What’s The Real Future For Grizzlies In Greater Yellowstone?


Say the words “grizzly bear” in a crowded room and you’re bound to attract
attention. Indeed, in America grizzlies are synonymous with Yellowstone
National Park.

For 35 years, Dr. Christopher Servheen was on the front lines of trying to
save grizzly bear populations in the Lower 48 states. The fact that grizzlies were
brought back from the brink in Yellowstone and the surrounding ecosystem,
thanks to hard work from a wide array of advocates and the protective might of the federal Endangered Species Act, ranks among the greatest wildlife conservation
success stories in history. Many consider it a miracle.

In the past, Servheen supported efforts to remove grizzlies from federal
protection and hand management over to the states, which have expressed an ardent
desire to bringing back controversial sport hunting of these iconic animals. But today, Dr.
Servheen, now retired from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and serving as
president and board chair of the Montana Wildlife Federation, has expressed
serious concerns about perceived setbacks to bear recovery.

In addition to what he considers alarming legislation passed by states,
an unforeseen acceleration in private land development and rising levels of
outdoor recreation are jeopardizing habitat once thought secure for grizzlies
to inhabit, he says. While some once saw an expanding grizzly population in Greater
Yellowstone capable of naturally dispersing into old homelands and eventually becoming connected with bear populations from the north, Servheen is worried about development
trends and politically driven hostility toward grizzlies and wolves.

On February 1, 2023 at the Emerson Cultural Center’s Crawford Theater in
Bozeman, Dr. Servheen will join Mountain Journal founder Todd Wilkinson in a
presentation of compelling imagery and conversations about grizzlies in Greater
Yellowstone and the Northern Rockies. It’s the first major public appearance
Servheen has made in Bozeman since he retired from his role as the Fish and
Wildlife Service’s national grizzly bear recovery coordinator in 2016. He was
the first person to hold that high-profile post following Greater Yellowstone grizzlies
being listed as a threatened species in 1975.

This special live event, hosted by Gallatin Valley Earth Day and sponsored
by the Gallatin Wildlife Association, is free to the public. Advance tickets can be
secured through Gallatin Valley Earth Day’s registration portal by clicking here. The evening begins
promptly at 7 p.m. and doors to the theater open at 6 p.m. It is an evening that
is friendly for young nature lovers.

This special live event, hosted by Gallatin Valley Earth Day and sponsored by the Gallatin Wildlife Association, is free to the public. Advance tickets can be secured through Gallatin Valley Earth Day’s registration portal by clicking here.

For those who cannot make it to Bozeman, the event will be live-streamed.
Check Mountain Journal’s Facebook page for more information.  

Not only will Dr. Servheen’s perspective be informative for all who care
about the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and the role grizzlies play as true emblems
of wildness, but it is especially timely. Growth issues and the
industrialization of outdoor recreation are on many minds. The grizzly, Servheen says, is a bellwether. Right
now, new bills are moving through state legislatures and there are
controversial political attempts afoot in Washington, D.C. to force grizzly bear
delisting.

One topic sure to come up is that of famed Jackson Hole Grizzly 399 and her incredible legacy as a mother bear who has two dozen descendants in her bloodline. If she emerges from the den this spring, she will be 27 years old.

One topic sure to come up is that of famed Jackson Hole Grizzly 399 and her incredible legacy as a mother bear who has two dozen descendants in her bloodline. If she emerges from the den this spring, she will be 27 years old. “Among the Sage—399 and Quadruplets” is a photograph by Thomas D. Mangelsen, used with permission. To see more Mangelsen’s amazing images of bears and other species, go to mangelsen.com

Servheen’s resume with bear conservation is extensive. He presently is an adjunct professor at the
University of Montana in Missoula, he was the team leader for efforts to try to
hasten reintroduction of grizzlies to the Bitterroot mountains, and, as former
co-chair of the IUCN’s bear specialist group, he consulted on conservation involving
recovery of different bear species around the world. One of his assignments was
investigating the illegal trade in bear parts in Asia and their use in traditional medicine.

For his part, Wilkinson has written about grizzly bear issues in Greater
Yellowstone for 35 years. Besides MoJo, his
work has appeared in National Geographic and The Guardian. Wilkinson is author
of the more recent book, “Ripple Effects: How to Save Yellowstone and America’s
Most Iconic Wildlife Ecosystem” which features a chapter on grizzly recovery
titled “To Kill A Grizzly.” He also is author of the award-winning book, “Grizzlies
of Pilgrim Creek: An Intimate Portrait of 399, the Most Famous Bear in Greater
Yellowstone,” featuring the images of
Jackson Hole nature photographer Thomas D. Mangelsen. A sequel to that book is
due out this summer.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Read more about what Dr. Servheen has written and said about grizzlies in essays that have appeared in Mountain Journal by clicking the links below.


Source : https://newslanes.com/2023/01/26/whats-the-real-future-for-grizzlies-in-greater-yellowstone/

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