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

By Michael J. Dax | Go to book overview

Conclusion

By 2007 Bitterroot grizzly reintroduction was all but forgotten. Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho were working toward delisting Yellowstone’s grizzly population, and the attention of bear advocates had shifted toward fighting to retain that population’s protected status. So when a black-bear hunter from Tennessee traveled into the Great Burn region of the northern Bitterroots on a guided trip that September, grizzlies were the last thing on his mind. The hunter and his guide were in Idaho, within the boundaries of the proposed experimental recovery area, roughly twenty miles north of the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness. The outfitter had set up a bait station to attract nearby bears, and as the hunter quietly waited over the site, a dark, 450pound bear wandered into view. The guide had stepped away for a moment, and the out-of-state hunter had no reason to believe the large creature was not a black bear. Once the bear was in his sights, he pulled the trigger, killing the bear. The hunter could not have been more excited, but when he and his guide went to admire his kill, they quickly determined, to their surprise, that he had shot a grizzly.1 To the shock of nearly everyone involved with Bitterroot grizzly recovery, the hunter was responsible for the first confirmed sighting of a grizzly in the Bitterroots since 1946.

News of the bear’s demise traveled quickly throughout western Montana. While many people, including the hunter, lamented the

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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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