Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Fishing Buddies?

Not often does one find a Brown (aka Grizzly) Bear and a wolf fishing across from each other on the same river. These amazing shots of a wolf fishing in the interior of Katmai National Park were taken at Brooks River Falls.

Photo credit: Paul Stinsa.

Giving Voice to Bear

The role of the bear has always been prominent in American Indian initiation and healing ceremonies, in shamanic rites, in the quest for guardian spirits, and in many dances.

This photo is of a Bear Ceremony by northern Paiute people taken in 1967 at Jamestown, California.

All across North America, Indians have honored bears. When hunting tribes killed one, they spoke to its spirit asking it for forgiveness. They treated the carcass reverently. Among these tribes the ritual for a slain bear was more elaborate than that for any other animal. Bears were both feared and respected. They were famous for their fierce maternal devotion. They ate many of the same foods as the Native Americans. Because the Indian identified with the bear in many ways, they imitated it in their rituals.

Archival slide courtesy of: Adan E. Treganza Anthropology Museum, Dept of Anthropology San Francisco State University. Reference: “Giving Voice To Bear” by David Rockwell, Roberts Rinehart 1991.

Roads are NOT 'A Bears Best Friend'

The building of new roads in wilderness areas are a major threat to the conservation of bear habitat. Montana Forest Service and Environmental groups have found a compromise on fire safety plans and grizzly habitat.

In a court ruling July 30, 2007, a judge upheld a motion for protecting grizzly bear habitat by restricting the building of new roads in an area proposed for timber removal to reduce fire danger on the Gallatin National Forest. At the same time the judge allowed 2500 acres of trees to be removed to reduce fire danger and enhance escape routes for residents. Fast burning pine trees will be harvested and replaced with less-flammable aspen trees along the Boulder River. Judge Donald Molloy restricted road building for harvesting timber within 1000 acres of prime grizzly bear habitat.

Forest Service Ranger Bill Avey said they were “real happy” with the ruling. Michael Garrity with Native Ecosystems Council and Alliance for the Wild Rockies said the ruling upheld the goals of prime conservation areas for grizzly bears by restricting road building. The ruling will have far reaching effects for road building in grizzly bear habitat throughout north western states.

Source: Great Falls Tribune 7/31/07

Submitted by Julie L. (Hayes) Hopkins

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Brother Bear sends Thanks

It’s Sienna’s Birthday. Instead of getting presents she has asked all of her friends to make a donation to the Grizzly Bear Outreach Project. She is three years old and is having a Brother Bear Birthday theme.

We bears hope you have the best birthday ever Sienna.

photo (c) Matthew Felton. www.matthewfelton.com

Keepin 'em Wild

40 Concrete Elementary School students submitted entries for the Upper Skagit Bear Smart Poster Contest. There were so many creative and colorful posters to choose from that it was apparent that everyone was a winner. Entries were received from the K-3 students and from Grades 4-6.

Here are some examples of posters that received awards. In the Grade 4-6 category was Madeline Corn, Spencer Hindsley and Cheyenne Gracey. K-3 entries included posters from Mindy Sutton, Haley McNealey and Emma Reidel.

The contest was organized and overseen by a community group lead by GBOP staffer Nan Laney.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Wild Bee Swarm

We all know that bears like honey. Winnie the Pooh was addicted to the stuff. Bears get their honey from wild bee hives or by raiding a bee keepers’ hive. Bee keepers can protect their hives from bears by surrounding them with electric fencing.

Wild bees live in hollow trees. From time to time the queen bee decides to relocate the hive. She takes off in search of a new home and all the bees follow her. When she stops the hive swarms around the queen to protect her. The above photo was taken at a camp site in Pearrygin Lake State Park near Winthrop in the Methow Valley. Fortunately no bears were following this swarm. When bees are swarming they do not sting and can be approached without fear.

A local bee keeper was called in by the park ranger to remove the hive. He placed a box below the swarm and shook the tree causing the queen to fall onto the top of the box. All the other bees followed her into the box. The bees had a new home and the keeper got a new hive.