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Complexities of Coexistence

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The blogs and essays featured here examine the complexities and contingencies besetting people attempting to peacefully coexist with grizzlies. We also include pieces in which we discuss human practices and activities that pose special challenges.

Contingencies of Coexistence

Part I: Parsing the Participants    October 27, 2017   

Part II: Diagnosing the Landscapes    November 6, 2017

This two part essay provides a framework for orienting to coexistence challenges based on differences in participants, differences in landscapes, and differences in the systemic drivers of conflict.

Traveling Fast & Silent: Mountain Biking With Grizzly Bears    February 27, 2020

This blog examines the special challenges and risks posed by people on mountain bikes traveling silently and fast in areas occupied by grizzly bears.


The Grizzly Cost of Coexistence, Part Two   December 12, 2019

This is the second of a two-part essay that digs into the costs of coexistence, offers some ideas about possible funding sources, and calls for establishing a new federal fund to support coexistence efforts with large carnivores (wolves, grizzlies, black bears, mountain lions).

The Grizzly Cost of Coexistence, Part One   December 1, 2019

This is the first of a two-part essay that delves into why coexistence with grizzlies matters, the complexities of coexistence, and why we need more resources.

Tale of Two Carnivores: Lions, Bears and BBC's “The Conversation”   March 3, 2010

This essay discusses the BBC interview with African lion biologist Shivani Bhalla and Louisa Willcox that featured a cross-cultural conversation about the challenges of coexistence with large carnivores. 

Coexistence Success Stories

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These three blogs by Louisa feature cases where people have successfully risen to the challenges of coexisting with grizzly bears, either by a long history of culturally embedded practices, as in Romania, or because of the intentional adoption of practices that minimize conflicts with grizzlies, as in Cooke City and on a handful of ranches in the Northern Rockies.

Saving Romania's Brown Bears, Sharing Lessons About Coexistence, Conservation   November 11, 2018

This essay features the work of some remarkable Romanian brown bear scientists and advocates who traveled to Montana for a workshop about coexistence with bears – and showed that it is possible to live cheek by jowl with lots more bears.


Trash Talk: Cooke City Cleans Up Garbage, Saves Bears    January 8, 2017 

This essay tells the story of how the town of Cooke City, once plagued with garbage-related conflicts with grizzlies, cleaned up its act – and analyzes key ingredients that made this success possible.


Cattle in Grizzly Country     April 21, 2016

This essay examines the commonsense practices and attitudes of ranchers who are amicably living with grizzlies, and compares their approach with certain anti-grizzly ranchers responsible for killing excessive numbers of grizzlies.

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