Over the years I have had the privilege of meeting grizzly bears on several occasions, including up close in Alaska. They are huge, majestic, awe-inspiring and like so many people I was deeply moved. For me they symbolize, along with the Wolf, the Bison and the Bald Eagle, the American wilderness that I read and dreamed about as a child. And though I am no expert on bear behavior or ecology, I’ve learned a great deal about them from books and talking to those who study them.
I know about their remarkable intelligence, their differing personalities, their close family bonds. I’ve watched them feeding on tiny blue berries, fishing for salmon in the river, stocking up on food ready for the long winter hibernation. Then, down in their dens the mothers give birth, emerging in the early spring with their cubs – usually twins. Youngsters full of wonder at the world that opens up before their eyes, playing and learning bear culture from their mother.
Grizzlies are apex predators, and as such they play an important role in helping to keep the ecosystem in balance. They are beloved by Native Americans, naturalists and tourists alike.
Yet despite all this, there is a movement afoot to take away the legislation that protects the grizzly populations,
the necessary “Non-Subsistence Take of Wildlife, and Public Participation and Closure Procedures, on National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska” legislation fought for by so many and which helped to save them when hunting and trapping had brought them close to extinction. Previously, there were around 50,000 grizzly bears in North America. Today, there are an estimated 1,800 grizzly bears in the lower 48 states, with a significant population in Alaska (Defenders). They are not out of danger yet and we cannot, and must not stand by and do nothing at this time. Please let your voice be heard, join those of us who care, and let us fight to protect the American Grizzly.
Contact your senators: https://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/
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Please call your Senators and urge them to please vote #NoOnSJR18. Our nation’s wildlife needs your help from this #attackonanimals TODAY!