20 December 2003

Doug Peacock on the Grizzly Bear

If grizzlies are to survive in the modern world, the bedrock assumption must be that these animals, grizzlies, have the right to live a bearish life. To proceed from this assumption will be costly. Bears will always be in the way of commercial, industrial, and economic development. Grizzlies will always be dangerous. It is within the range of the "natural behavior" of any grizzly to kill a human during his or her average life span. The combination of a grizzly's disposition on a particular day and the nature of its confrontation with any particular human is also probably unique. It would probably never happen again. Nonetheless, it is the unwritten law of grizzly bear management that any bear who kills a human must die. Otherwise the agencies involved could be sued.

What grizzlies need most for survival is protection from humans who kill them and sufficient habitat for all their needs: den sites, food, beds, and cover or sufficient area for security.

(Doug Peacock, Grizzly Years [New York: Zebra Books, 1992 (1990)], 352-3)