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Author Topic: History of Griz bears in wa?  (Read 1692 times)

Offline Mtnwalker

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History of Griz bears in wa?
« on: February 08, 2017, 11:21:52 AM »
Just wondering if anybody could give me a Brief history of Grizzly bears in wa, have they ever been legal to harvest here? And are the populations now way below historic levels in WA? Searched the net, not much info on past hunting of them etc specific to WA, just trying to get a better picture of why they want to "restore" them. Thanks

Offline JimmyHoffa

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Re: History of Griz bears in wa?
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2017, 11:31:29 AM »
I think they were considered a pest and a detriment to livestock and agriculture up until the mid 1960's or so.  Until then, they could be shot on site like a yote.
For even further back, when the British had Washington and established a fur trade there were lots of griz; but they killed a lot/most of them due to conflicts while trapping along the rivers back when there were tons of salmon in WA rivers.

Offline SpurInSpokane

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Re: History of Griz bears in wa?
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2017, 11:50:40 AM »
You might have already come across it, but this report has a grizzly bear section that shows historic ranges, local extinction dates, and gives some estimates of the sizes of the current populations in the state.
It does not specifically address hunting in Washington, but gives the broad picture that hunting grizzlies in most areas was unregulated until the 1950s, and were first listed as threatened under the Endangered Species act in 1975.

https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fsbdev2_038072.pdf

Offline Bullkllr

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Re: History of Griz bears in wa?
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2017, 11:56:02 AM »
It is difficult to find hard data.

This might be helpful:http://westernwildlife.org/grizzly-bear-outreach-project/history/
Hudson Bay Company trapping records show that 3,788 grizzly bear hides were shipped from trading posts in the North Cascades area between 1827 and 1859. The decimation of the North Cascades grizzly bear population continued for more than a century with commercial trapping, habitat loss, and unregulated hunting the leading causes of death. The last grizzly bear to be killed in the North Cascades of Washington was in 1967 in Fisher Creek (in what is now North Cascades National Park).

This is mostly about Oregon, but mentions Wash a few times: http://www.oregonwild.org/about/blog/oregon-grizzly-country
In Lewis and Clark Among the Grizzlies, Paul Schullery uses Seton’s map, the accounts of the Corps of Discovery, and some early Washington State records to suggest that most of Oregon north of the Klamaths (and southwestern Washington) was basically devoid of grizzlies, possibly because of dense indigenous populations in the greater Columbia Basin.
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Offline Mtnwalker

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Re: History of Griz bears in wa?
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2017, 12:43:35 PM »
Thanks guys. I guess I'm just having a hard time understanding why they think there should be more here than there are. Seems like with 40-50 years of no hunting and virtually no natural predators except other bears there would be more here if there was supposed to be more here. I'm probably preaching to the choir here I'm sure.

Offline SpurInSpokane

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Re: History of Griz bears in wa?
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2017, 12:59:30 PM »
In the report I linked earlier, it mentioned there is a minimum population size and/or range size that needs to be remaining for a population to be viable. The populations in the Northern Continental Divide and the Yellowstone areas on the map were likely over 150 bears, and are populations that have and likely can continue to grow if left alone.
The Northern Cascades and Selkirk populations were likely under 50 bears each at the time the report was written, and will probably keep declining if left alone.

The report does seem to be older. I couldn't find a year of publication, but the references are all from the 90s or earlier. Not sure of more recent population estimates.

Offline bracer40

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Re: History of Griz bears in wa?
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2017, 01:22:19 PM »
Thanks guys. I guess I'm just having a hard time understanding why they think there should be more here than there are. Seems like with 40-50 years of no hunting and virtually no natural predators except other bears there would be more here if there was supposed to be more here. I'm probably preaching to the choir here I'm sure.

I don't know why some might think we need more grizzlies in WA but I did listen to a cool podcast of meat eater the other day. In episode 54 he talked with a wildlife biologist about her experiences with field studies and particularly how studies of apex predators (bears, wolves & cats) were highly sought after by biologists. When I saw this post I imagined senior wildlife people pushing these types of projects because of their charismatic nature among the public. Just something to think about.
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Offline Bullkllr

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Re: History of Griz bears in wa?
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2017, 01:42:24 PM »
 :yeah:

It's certainly the case pertaining to salmon/steelhead. You can find field studies to support any agenda, and many of them appear to be created to do just that.
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Offline Boss .300 winmag

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Re: History of Griz bears in wa?
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2017, 02:23:06 PM »
It is difficult to find hard data.

This might be helpful:http://westernwildlife.org/grizzly-bear-outreach-project/history/
Hudson Bay Company trapping records show that 3,788 grizzly bear hides were shipped from trading posts in the North Cascades area between 1827 and 1859. The decimation of the North Cascades grizzly bear population continued for more than a century with commercial trapping, habitat loss, and unregulated hunting the leading causes of death. The last grizzly bear to be killed in the North Cascades of Washington was in 1967 in Fisher Creek (in what is now North Cascades National Park).

This is mostly about Oregon, but mentions Wash a few times: http://www.oregonwild.org/about/blog/oregon-grizzly-country
In Lewis and Clark Among the Grizzlies, Paul Schullery uses Seton’s map, the accounts of the Corps of Discovery, and some early Washington State records to suggest that most of Oregon north of the Klamaths (and southwestern Washington) was basically devoid of grizzlies, possibly because of dense indigenous populations in the greater Columbia Basin.

I have seen that grizzley scull, and it wasn't very big, probably a sub adult.
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Offline garrett89

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Re: History of Griz bears in wa?
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2017, 09:25:42 AM »
Thanks guys. I guess I'm just having a hard time understanding why they think there should be more here than there are. Seems like with 40-50 years of no hunting and virtually no natural predators except other bears there would be more here if there was supposed to be more here. I'm probably preaching to the choir here I'm sure.

I don't know why some might think we need more grizzlies in WA but I did listen to a cool podcast of meat eater the other day. In episode 54 he talked with a wildlife biologist about her experiences with field studies and particularly how studies of apex predators (bears, wolves & cats) were highly sought after by biologists. When I saw this post I imagined senior wildlife people pushing these types of projects because of their charismatic nature among the public. Just something to think about.

It'd be those crazy people who don't think of the consequences until after said re-populated animals start messing everything up. By then they would say it was those that put them there or they should have never been extinct from the area to begin with.

 

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