The truth about grizzly bear recovery is simple.
The species (Ursus arctos) enjoys the second most extensive circum-polar range of any large terrestrial predator on the planet. Tens of thousands of grizzly (or “brown”) bears roam freely in North America and tens of thousands more across Europe and Asia. Grizzly bears were never an endangered species and continue to receive FEDERAL protections merely in order to fulfill REWILDING objectives.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has designated six core “Grizzly Bear Recovery Zones” in the United States south of the Canadian border. They claim that bears living in these “core” areas are subject to “genetic isolation” and therefore it is necessary to establish linkages to other grizzly bear “core” areas by well regulated “systems of connectivity” in order to facilitate bear movement and genetic diversity.
Their ultimate goal is to expand grizzly bear range out from all of these core areas in all directions until a significant portion of the bear’s historic range in the U.S. has been regained, or until public tolerance for the program has evaporated.
The North Cascades Grizzly Bear Recovery Area (NCGBR) is one of the largest contiguous blocks of FEDERAL land in the lower 48 states, encompassing more than 9,000 square miles within north central Washington state. The NCGBR is already well connected with grizzly habitat on the Canadian side of the border.
The grizzly population in British Columbia is estimated at 15,000+
Grizzly populations in the Selkirk and Cabinet-Yaak zones have been “augmented” with surplus bears originating in other areas. And, just like the Continental Divide and Yellowstone grizzly populations, the Selkirk and Cabinet-Yaak bears are expanding their range in all directions. The Trans-boundary grizzly bear core areas are well connected to major bear populations in Canada. These not-so-isolated populations have already proven their willingness to share “genetic diversity”.
Connecting corridors between the NCGBR and the Selkirk/Cabinet-Yaak GBR’s in N. Idaho and W. Montana is a relatively simple process. It’s just a matter of removing a few obstacles, or “gaps” that pose barriers to species movement across Washington State. Obstacles such as private property, or grazing allotments, just have to be mitigated to enhance species movement.
The Nature Conservancy has completed an 8 year study using GAP Analysis to map where conservation easements, land purchases, and government regulations will be most effective in removing “gaps” in bio-connectivity across the Northwest. Their work has already been incorporated into the Department of Interior’s Great Northern Landscape Conservation Cooperative planning process.
So what’s really going on? The truth is that grizzly bear “recovery” efforts are nothing more than a tool to attack private property rights and continue the process of REWILDING America.
Areas of Connectivity – Methods
Public / private land exchanges
Purchase of development rights (PDR)
Land use planning, zoning, and growth management
Voluntary agreements among stakeholders and landowners
For more information see the following websites and pdf’s. (Please note, if the link doesn’t work, copy and paste the document title into your web browser.)
“Conserving Nature’s Stage: Mapping Omnidirectional Connectivity for Resilient Terrestrial Landscapes in the Pacific Northwest”
“Regional Connectivity – USDA Conservation Corridor Planning at the Landscape Level- Managing For Wildlife Habitat”
“Conserving Nature’s Stage: Identifying Resilient Terrestrial Landscapes in the Pacific Northwest”