Grizzly West: A Failed Attempt to Reintroduce Grizzly Bears in the Mountain West

By Michael J. Dax | Go to book overview

7
The Divided West

Just forty-five beautiful miles through Montana’s Bitterroot Valley separate Hamilton from Missoula, and anyone who finds himself in the region would be wise to make the detour along U.S. 93 to see the Bitterroot Mountains shoot six thousand feet skyward from the valley floor, obscuring the majority of the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness in the process. Despite the short distance between the towns, a visitor would likely notice some significant differences between them. And although many of these differences remain in place today, while the draft EIS was under debate in late 1997, they were blatant, and the two towns represented starkly divergent images of the American West. Hamilton, which identified most closely with the Old West, prided itself as being a small, rural town as opposed to Missoula, which long ago embraced its station as the region’s metropolitan center. Moreover, by the late 1990s, Missoula had emerged as one of the epicenters of the New West.

Anyone diligent enough to attend the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s hearings in both Missoula and Hamilton in October 1997 could easily identify the dissimilarities between the two. In Missoula, fortynine of the fifty-six people who testified at the meeting were in favor of reintroduction, and most attendees supported the biologically pure Alternative 4. At the meeting in Hamilton, the split was more even as twenty-two people favored reintroduction and twenty-three peo-

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Grizzly West: A Failed Attempt to Reintroduce Grizzly Bears in the Mountain West
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Illustrations vi
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Abbreviations x
  • Introduction 1
  • 1- Grizzly Americana 17
  • 2- Endangered Species, Environmental Politics, and the American West 45
  • 3- Wolf Recovery Sets the Stage 69
  • 4- The Advent of the Roots Coalition and the Environmental Impact Statement 91
  • 5- Environmental Resistance 115
  • 6- Ethical Controversies and the Draft Environmental Impact Statement 137
  • 7- The Divided West 165
  • 8- Triumph and Collapse 187
  • Conclusion 217
  • Notes 227
  • Bibliography 265
  • Index 277
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