"Before becoming extinct in California, the largest and most powerful of carnivores - the California grizzly bear - thrived in the great valleys and low mountains of the state, probably in greater numbers than anywhere else in the United States. As humans began to populate California, the grizzly stood its ground, refusing to retreat in the face of an advancing civilization. It killed livestock and interfered with settlers. Less than 75 years after the discovery of gold, every grizzly bear in California had been tracked down and killed. The last one was killed in Tulare County in August 1922, more than 20 years before the authority to regulate the take of fish and wildlife was delegated to the California Fish and Game Commission by the Legislature."While many of us today are very interested in preserving other species of what Tom Foose has termed "charismatic mega-vertebrates," I have heard nothing at all about restoring the grizzly bear to our state. Indeed, since my mountain home is in Tulare County in its previous range, I myself would have some misgivings about such a plan!
"More than any species, grizzlies represent wilderness. If the grizzly bear, with its wide ranging habits, can survive, then many other species will survive."