Once there were as many as one hundred thousand grizzly bears inhabiting the land that is today the lower 48 United States. But the grizzly – an iconic figure for Native Americans and the ultimate symbol of wilderness for many of the rest of us – became a victim of a war of extermination that was carried out against them by ranchers, farmers, and especially government hunters. Today they number less than one thousand and live on less than one percent of their former range. Nearly all of the remaining grizzlies live in two ecosystems, the cores of which are Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks.
A handful of grizzlies, however, still secret the rugged mountains of the North Cascades in Washington State. People seldom see these bears – they don’t want to be seen. But like the Native Americans who have coexisted with them since time immemorial, they have always been there. They are referred to as the Ghost Bears.
This blog is dedicated to the continued survival of both Native American people and grizzlies.
For more information on the Ghost Bears of the North Cascades and elsewhere:
Edward Grumbine. 1992. Ghost Bears: Exploring the Biodiversity Crisis. Island Press.
David Knibb. 2008. Grizzly Wars: The Public Fight over the Great Bears. Eastern Washington University Press.
David Peterson. 1996. Ghost Grizzlies. Henry Holt Publishers.