David Mattson explores the many ways that grizzly bears in the Yellowstone ecosystem are unique, not only because of biogeographic history and evolutionary descent, but also because of singular relations with foods and habitats. Grizzly bears in this region are the only on Earth that still routinely scavenge bison, eat seeds of whitebark pine, exploit pocket gophers, and excavate roots of yampa and biscuitroot—all behaviors that were once widespread. These bears and the relations they embody are a priceless remnant of what was lost everywhere else in North America.
Louisa Willcox reflects on four decades of advocacy for grizzlies and other wildlife in the Northern Rockies, and why recovery of grizzly bears has been so fraught. She will delve into current controversies, including the Northern Rockies states’ campaign to strip federal endangered species protections for grizzlies that will simultaneously open the door for a trophy hunt, shrink grizzly bear populations, and disenfranchise the national constituency for grizzly bears. Wilcox will describe an alternative more compassionate vision for recovering grizzly bears and protecting their wildland ecosystems.
Grizzly Times Founder, Dr. David Mattson has studied both grizzly bears and mountain lions for the last 35 years, including 15 years of intensive field investigations in Yellowstone. He is also intrigued by what goes on in peoples’ heads, especially that which is relevant to understanding policy dynamics and the role and effects of scientific information. Dr. Mattson has pursued his interests as a Research Wildlife Biologist and Station Leader with the U.S. Geological Survey, as Western Field Director of the MIT-USGS Science Impact Collaborative, as Lecturer & Visiting Senior Scientist at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, and as part of the Advisory Team for People & Carnivores.
Grizzly Times Founder, Louisa Willcox has worked for Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, Center for Biological Diversity and Greater Yellowstone Coalition and advocated for grizzly bear preservation for over 40 years. She specializes in developing comprehensive strategies that succeed because they work on multiple scales using various approaches, including grassroots organizing and outreach, education, media and communication, policy analysis, lobbying, coalition development, and public protest. She has been a leader in efforts to prevent Yellowstone grizzly bear delisting for over nearly three decades. Louisa has a BA from Williams College and a Masters of Forest Policy from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. In 2014, she was given a lifetime achievement award from Yale.