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The California Grizzly

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The California Grizzly

Postby rlown » Thu Aug 18, 2011 12:58 pm

Found this little piece on our history. Kind of sucks that it's on our flag and doesn't exist here anymore. Full story at: http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/give/bene61 ... tory5.html

The California Grizzly Bear once roamed the shores and hills of California, as the true "monarch of the mountains." The grizzly, a largely vegetarian omnivore, is believed to have once numbered 10,000 within the state. The arrival of European explorers and the population explosion generated by the California Gold Rush marked the beginning of the end for this massive animal. Forced from coastal areas and lowlands to inland areas in search of food and safety, the bear became the target of hunters who killed the bear for sport, to assist ranchers and farmers, or for simple bragging rights. Spanish caballeros roped grizzlies, dragging them into doomed public battles with wild bulls.
At the end of the nineteenth century the California Grizzly Bear represented man’s last challenge to conquer and settle California’s rich agricultural, grazing, and mineral regions. Civilization demanded the submission of nature’s largest, strongest, and most feared animal. Scientists, such as Berkeley’s own C. Hart Merriam and Joseph Grinnell hurried to study this disappearing creature. For many, however, the extinction of the grizzly bear signaled a measurable victory against the savage wilderness and a triumph for the modern elements of California society-expanding cities and towns, increasing commerce and industry, and improved agricultural and livestock ventures...


Kinda wish they're reintroduce them. Give my bear can a real test.



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Re: The California Grizzly

Postby yosehiker » Sat Aug 20, 2011 10:15 am

It would be cool to reintroduce them, but as they are extinct it would not be possible, baring some "Jurassic Park" type advance. The California Grizzly was a sub-species of the 'regular' Grizzly so introducing grizzlies from another population would be an introduction, not a re-introduction. I guess we could find a close genetic relative, but it wouldn't be the same. Either way, I doubt there will be grizzlies in California anytime soon. It sure would make backpacking in the sierra quite a different experience.
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Re: The California Grizzly

Postby Cross Country » Mon Aug 22, 2011 6:48 pm

I backpacked a little bit in Canada and Montana in areas that had Grizzlies and I often felt some fear or apprehension that I never felt in the Sierra.
Last edited by Cross Country on Tue Aug 23, 2011 5:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The California Grizzly

Postby rlown » Mon Aug 22, 2011 7:01 pm

Well, this was a fun tid-bit of legend, if its true: http://www.firstpeople.us/FP-Html-Legen ... Miwok.html

a slice from the article:

Long, long ago before the white man came to the West, a large happy tribe of peaceful Indians lived among the trees of beautiful Oak Canyon. This spectacular place is now known as Yosemite Valley, situated in Yosemite National Park, California.

In the beginning these peaceful Indians were called Ah-wah-nees, meaning "Deep Grass Valley," which was the first name given to Yosemite Valley.

It is of interest to note that because of a printer's error at a later date, the spelling of the tribe's name was inadvertently changed to Yosemite. Now Yosemite National Park identifies the original home of the Ah-wah-nee band (Yosemite), southern division of the Miwok Tribe.

Today, the California State flag carries a picture of the grizzly bear as a reminder of the State's official animal, Yo Semitee.

Ah-wah-nees were proud of their Chief, a tall and young athletic man. Early one spring morning, he started off with his spears in hand to hunt for trout in the nearby lake known as Sleeping Water.

Imagine his astonishment when he rounded a large boulder and came face to face with an enormous grizzly bear, probably just out of its winter hibernation!

Such an unexpected meeting caused both of them to rear back in stunned surprise. Immediately, however, all of the fighting spirit within each arose. They attacked one another furiously! The Chief realized his fighting power was not equal to the great strength of the grizzly.


The full story at the URL above.
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Re: The California Grizzly

Postby mokelumnekid » Mon Aug 22, 2011 8:29 pm

I need help with this- it isn't obvious to me that the "California Griz" is in fact an identifiable sub-species, more that it is "extinct" in the overall pre-and-historic range of the "generic" North American griz. Hence it isn't as if there are no more Calif. griz, just that there are no more griz in Calif. If the latter there are no biological impediments to reintroduction. (And I'm probably dead wrong about this, but what are the facts?) Obviously there are many logistical issues and obvious reasons why reintroduction would not be deemed wise at this point. We are still sorting this out up here in WA state, where they have reappeared in the North Cascades. No doubt coming in from Canada eh?

So what's the scoop folks? I'm jest an ignorant geologist!
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Re: The California Grizzly

Postby rlown » Wed Aug 24, 2011 6:25 pm

mokelumnekid wrote:I need help with this- it isn't obvious to me that the "California Griz" is in fact an identifiable sub-species, more that it is "extinct" in the overall pre-and-historic range of the "generic" North American griz. Hence it isn't as if there are no more Calif. griz, just that there are no more griz in Calif. If the latter there are no biological impediments to reintroduction. (And I'm probably dead wrong about this, but what are the facts?) Obviously there are many logistical issues and obvious reasons why reintroduction would not be deemed wise at this point. We are still sorting this out up here in WA state, where they have reappeared in the North Cascades. No doubt coming in from Canada eh?

So what's the scoop folks? I'm jest an ignorant geologist!



By logistical, you mean that a Grizz would head straight towards the ranches, right? Well, they were here first. So how is the battle going in WA?
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Re: The California Grizzly

Postby ERIC » Wed Aug 24, 2011 8:07 pm

Domesticated dogs (not to mention their numerous wild cousins) in North America have been traced back thousands of years coextending the history of Native Americans. In some places their reintroduction is only hindered by government policy. Think we should remove those obstacles and let them once again roam the Sierra with their masters, MK? :p
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Re: The California Grizzly

Postby rlown » Wed Aug 24, 2011 8:51 pm

Be careful what you wish for:

001.JPG
Bubba


This thing will rip your lungs out. It's got 9 kills to it's name so far.

I'd prefer grizz.
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Re: The California Grizzly

Postby 87TT » Wed Aug 24, 2011 9:00 pm

According to what I have read, the California grizzly (Ursus californicus) was a different specie than The northern grizzly ( Ursus arctos horribilis ). They lived in the foothills and valleys, not the high mountains.Soooooo, I say go for it. Too many people anyway :D
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Re: The California Grizzly

Postby ERIC » Wed Aug 24, 2011 10:35 pm

rlown wrote:Be careful what you wish for:

001.JPG


This thing will rip your lungs out. It's got 9 kills to it's name so far.

I'd prefer grizz.


Haha! I couldn't resist. I'm a vindictive bastard - beware. :snipe:
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Re: The California Grizzly

Postby Troutdog 59 » Fri Aug 26, 2011 11:44 am

So they were originally coastal dwellers eh???? Well then, I say lets introduce back into areas like Malibu, Laguna, etc :eek: :evil: :nod: Weed out the riff raff :D :p Just kidding :^o , OK, kinda sorta kidding, but just playin!!!
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Re: The California Grizzly

Postby freestone » Thu Oct 06, 2011 5:59 pm

I just found this thread, great topic since I have a fascination for the bear. My understanding is the California grizzly was not the monster it was made out to be. I often wonder if it was in tune to the salmon and steelhead runs that our historical rivers were so famous for. With the demise of our rivers, I can only imagine that the California Grizzly was doomed by our behavior regardless of the method.
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