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The Grizzly Times Podcast

Available Episodes:
Episode 42
Gary Macfarlane
Episode 41
Lou Bruno
Episode 40
Adelle Welch
Episode 39
David Stalling
Episode 38 - Part Four
Estella Leopold
Episode 37 - Part Three
Estella Leopold
Episode 36 - Part Two
Estella Leopold
Episode 35- Part one
Estella Leopold
Episode 34
Bob Jackson
Episode 33
Gabriel Paun
Episode 32
Garbriel Paun
Episode 31
Manon Dene

Episode 30
Tim Preso
Episode 29
Rob Wielgus
Episode 28
Margot Kidder
Episode 27
Jack Locker
Episode 26
Pat Williams
Episode 25
Chris Genovali
Episode 24
George Wuerthner
Episode 23
Nick Arrivo
Episode 22
Doug Peacock
Episode 21
Jim and Heidi Barrett
Episode 20
Lyn Dalebout
Episode 19
Dr Brad Bergstrom
Episode 18
Rick Bass
Episode 17
Dr. Adrien Treves
Episode 16
Dr Marc Bekoff
Episode 15
Jack Oeflke
Episode 14
Sam Jojola
Episode 13
Barbara Ulrich
Episode 12
Stephany Seay
Episode 11
Bethany Cotton
Episode 10
Dr. Paul Paquet and
Chris Darimont
Episode 9
Michelle Uberuaga
Episode 8 - Part Two
Jesse Logan
Episode 7 - Part One
Jesse Logan
Episode 6 - Part Two
Charlie Russell
Episode 5 - Part One
Charlie Russell
Episode 4
Tim Borzoth
Episode 3
Casey Anderson
Episode 2:
Chuck Neal
Episode 1
Dr Barrie Gilbert
Listen here too:

Summer Reading:    



Walden and Civil Disobedience,

Henry David Thoreau

A Sand Country Almanac,

Aldo Leopold

Our Natural History: The Lessons of Lewis and Clark,

Danial B. Botkin

Crossing The Next Meridian Land: Water and the Future of the West, Charles, F. Wilkinson

The Wisdom of the Crowds: Why the Many are Smarter than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Economies, Societies and Nations,

James Surowiecki

The Lorax 

Dr. Seuss

Teaching a Stone to Talk 

Annie Dillard

Sand County Almanac 

Aldo Leopold

Ecology of Conflict: Marine Food Supply Affects Human-Wildlife Interaction on Land

       Artelle, K.A, et al,

       Sci. Rep. 6, 25936; doi:                  10.1038/srep25936 (2016)


Wildlife Conservation and Animal Welfare: Two Sides of the Same Coin?

       PC Paquet and CT Darimont

       Animal Welfare, 2010, 19: 177-190         ISSN 1962-7286

The Unique Ecology of Human Predators

       Chris Darimont et al,

       Science, 349, 858 (2015)       DOI:10.1126/science.aac 4249 

Grizzlies in the Mist, by Chuck Neal

Chuck shares rare insights on grizzly bears with a clarity that can only come from spending decades in grizzly bears’ company. In addition to sharing fascinating natural history on grizzly bears, the book serves another purpose, a daring one, which involves stripping the veil of confusion and doublespeak utilized by managers to hide what they are doing from the public. Chuck provides a clear diagnosis of the real management problems today. He pulls no punches in his discussion or in his commonsense suggestions about how to fix the current problems for bears and the broader public interest.  

Bear Attacks: Their Causes and Avoidance, by Stephen Herrero

Bear Attacks is the classic must-read book on the subject. 


Grizzly Years by Doug Peacock

Grizzly Heart: Living Without Fear Among the Brown Bears of Kamchatka,2002,

by Charlie Russell and Maureen Enns


Spirit Bear: Encounter with the White Bear of the Western Rainforest, 1994,

by Charlie Russell


The Beardude Story: Data vs Dogma, Apr 9,2015

by Mr. Allen W. Piche


The Grizzly,1914,

by Enos A. Mills

Epi 36
Epi 37
Epi 38
Epi 35


Ecology of Place: Mountain Pine Beetle, Whitebark Pine, and Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem: WFIWC Founders Award, 2009,

Dr Jesse Logan.


In the Rockies, Pine Dies and Bears Feel It, Charles Petit,

New York Times, 2007


Global Warming's Unlikely Harbingers, Michelle Niijhuis,

High Country News. 2004


The Scrambled Natural World of Global Warming,

Washington State Magazine,

Winter 2014


Epi 34
Epi 32 & 33
Episode 31
Episode 30
Episode 29
Episode 28
Episode 27
Episode 26
Episode 25
Episode 24
Episode 23
Episode 22




Episode 21
Episode 20
Episode 19
Episode 18
Episode 17
Episode 16
Episode 15
Episode 14
Episode 13
Episode 12
Episode 11
Episode 10
Episode 9
Episode 8
Episode 7
Episode 5
Episode 6
Episode 4
Episode 3
Episode 2
Episode 1
Epi 39 Stalling
Ep 40 Welch
Ep 41 Bruno


Episode 42 - Gary Macfarlane
January 2020

Gary Macfarlane is one of the great grassroots champions of wild places in the Northern Rockies, serving as Director of the Friends of the Clearwater based in Moscow, Idaho, and on the boards of Wilderness Watch and the Alliance for the Wild Rockies. Here, Gary shares insights from 35 years of advocacy on behalf of wildlife and wilderness, including one of the largest ecosystems in the lower 48 states: the Selway Bitterroot, also called the Salmon Selway. One of the most exciting new developments in grizzly bear recovery is the recolonization of grizzlies in this vast ecosystem – a process that has just begun and could provide an ecological bridge reconnecting the long-isolated populations of the Northern Rockies.


Backpacking in grizzly country is an enlivening experience -- I am keener, sharper, and more attune to what is happening… Some people may find it stressful, but I find it exhilarating.

On public lands across the West, unfortunately, it seems the people who have the most influence are certain local elected leaders that represent the industrial perspective, that see the national forests only for the cash they can produce -- be it logs, minerals, or grazing…. All that spells trouble for species like grizzlies.

The big missing link that connects the Greater Yellowstone to the Northern Continental Divide, and that connects the Greater Yellowstone to the Cabinet Yaak and Selkirks, is the Greater Salmon Selway. It has habitat for a lot of bears … and probably could support more bears than just about any of the other ecosystems in the lower 48 states.


One of the great ironies is that a lot of the local conservation interests here, like Friends of the Clearwater, are advocates for the national interests, when sometimes the national conservation groups are trying to advocate for the local economic interests…


We’ve already lost a lot of wild country and wildlife, and species like the grizzly have already lost a lot of country which will never return. Therefore, I think we have to be insistent that what remains must remain wild…. We need to be staunch defenders, because we’ve only got one planet, and our public land system is in serious trouble now.


Episode 41 - Lou Bruno
December 2019

Lou Bruno is a teacher, naturalist, and founder of the Glacier Two Medicine Alliance that advocates for protection of the Badger Two Medicine wilderness next to Glacier National Park.


About why he lives on the front: “Driving home from school, the sun would be setting behind the mountains and lighting up the snow that was blowing off the peaks and putting alpine glow up in the clouds -- it’s extremely harsh, but it’s incredibly magical.”


And I love the fact that grizzlies are here, and that I live in country where I could walk down the road and run into one…We live with them every day, we take precautions. Everyone I know is glad to do it as far as my neighbors here, just because we like the fact that we live in grizzly country. And I feel like if you don’t like it, there’s 99.9 percent of the rest of the country that you could live in without grizzlies.

At a 2015 hearing on oil and gas development in the Badger: people were constantly getting up, one after the other, and from their point of view talking about how important it was to keep the Badger wild, and to keep oil and gas development out. And these were Native Americans, they were veterans, they were farmers and ranchers, they were conservationists, everyone you could think of. And when you look at that broad spectrum of Montana society all having the same value system as you do, it’s pretty powerful.


The problem is that a lot of people don’t believe that there is a democracy and that they can’t do anything. And I feel like when you adopt that attitude, then you’re dead in the water at the very start.

I’m 74 years old. Do you think I could climb and hike to any place in the Badger I want these days? But it doesn’t matter to me… Is it right for me to impact all of these creatures and permanently impact the land and the landscape because of me, just me?


Episode 40 - Adelle Welch
October 2019

Adelle is a student at Park High School here in Livingston, Montana, who recently helped organize a school walkout to protest inaction by lawmakers on climate change. She and other Park High students were partof protest by millions of students around the world demanding action to address the climate crisis. Adelle is also part of the Park High Green Initiative that’s working on recyclingand promoting sustainability. Adelle,thanks for joining us today.


Yes, the facts about climate change are super sad and can get you down, but I try to use it as a jumping point -- to kind of flip it around like: “hey, no, we can stop this.” There are cool people out there doing cool things, and I can be one of those cool people -- and it’s going to be okay.

I took a backpacking trip…that really kind of boosted my confidence. And I was able to maybe take that anger that I was feeling about the political state of the world, and the climate state of the world, and kind of channel that into more outward expression, rather than holding it inside of me and being angry and upset.

I think it’s so easy to forget how connected we are as a world. We only have this world, that’s all we really know.


[Regarding the Livingston student climate change protest], I guess the most inspiring thing is how many people came together. In a small county, seeing even just 10 people or 50 people show up for a protest, or a meeting every week, is super important.


I think that in order to kind of put an end to the rapidly approaching climate crisis, it requires a drastic change in the way we live, and our lifestyle as humans… I think we have to totally reimagine everything from what we eat, to what our houses look like, to what our buildings look like. And that kind of change is really hard. And I think that it’s going to be hard for this generation, it’s going to be hard for future generations, and of course it was hard for past generations. And we’re all living together as multigenerational society, which makes it even harder, I think.

This dress I have on, I am wearing from the beginning of school to Christmas break, to protest fast fashion, and the environmental and social detriments it has… this dress protest is changing the way I look at what I buy. And that’s something so small, but it’s having an impact on the way I live, which is having an impact on the world.


Episode 39 - David Stalling
July 2019

Don’t miss this incredible interview with David Stalling, hunter, angler, writer, activist and former Force Recon Marine! A devoted conservationist, David here shares his experience as “an anti-hunter who hunts,” a serious bow hunter who has rejected the high-tech gear of many hunters – and the kind of equipment he used as a Marine. David considers himself a “Leopoldian” for the great conservationist, writer and philosopher Aldo Leopold who shared his love of large carnivores such as wolves and grizzlies. David survived some wild adventures, bushwhacking from Missoula to Alberta, and digging through the snow into a recently occupied bear den. David is a fabulous writer too – check out his site “From the Wild Side: Wild Thoughts from an Untamed Heart.


[When bow hunting] I follow the elk, and wherever I am when it gets dark, I just sleep there. I climb in my bag and throw the poncho over me if I have to. Or set up a shelter or climb under a thick spruce tree or subalpine fir… I never build a fire and I don’t cook food, because I’m usually sleeping close to the elk -- I can often hear them bugling at night -- so I try to keep really quiet.

Not too long ago I read about these people in Idaho who were using rifles similar to our sniper rifles to shoot elk at like 1000 yards from across the canyon. And it’s literally -- to steal a phrase from the Humane Society, “it’s a war on wildlife” – that’s what it feels like. All the camouflage, all the high-tech gear, people hunting with AR 15s using night vision scopes, using GPS units for their location…My experience made me realize: “this really violates the concepts of fair chase.” And it takes pretty unfair advantage when you have this kind of technology you’re using on these animals that evolved with the kind of predation of a grizzly bear or mountain lion, or maybe a Native American with a bow.

It’s so funny to me to hear hunters quoting Aldo Leopold, and then they’ll bash wolves and make up lies and misconceptions about wolves and say: “they’re eating all our elk.” And they’ll use all this high-tech gear -- and all these things Aldo Leopold wrote against and spoke against.

I had one interesting encounter with a grizzly bear sow with some cubs that I ended up encountering. And they weren’t aware of my presence -- the wind was coming my direction. And I laid down and stayed quiet behind this big log. And I just watched them for hours…I’d see the cubs running over to the sow and trying to milk, but I think they were a little too old for that, and she’d kind of swat ‘em with her paw and they’d go rolling. And then -- not to be too anthropomorphic -- but it looked like she was a bit regretful of that, and then would go over and start licking them, like maybe: “I was a little too rough.” …And I just remember thinking: “they are what they are, they’re not evil, they’re not some sacred mystical thing, they’re bears and they need space, they need tolerance, they need understanding, they need respect.”

I had never been in a bear den -- and I climbed in there and the smell, the musk, you could smell bear, you could smell it! … all this hoarfrost hanging from the ceiling of the den, like a little small cave, very dark and damp and musky smelling. And you could see where the breath from the bear had reached the

top of the cave, and then froze, and so there was some kind of ice hanging down. And there was the bed made of bear grass…


Episode 38 - Estella Leopold - Part Four
May 2019

This is Louisa Willcox with Grizzly Times and the last of four episodes of my interview with Estella Leopold, the last remaining offspring of the legendary conservationist, writer and philosopher Aldo Leopold. Our conversation here ranges from grizzly bears to climate change and the legacy of her father and the Leopold family, including younger relatives who are emerging leaders in the environment and scientific research.


Oh that’s such a horrible development [hunting grizzlies in the Yellowstone ecosystem]. I can’t imagine -- Starker [Estella’s brother and a famous wildlife biologist] would turn over in his grave. And Dad.


Well it’s astonishing that people are so easily swayed by the deniers of climate change because…it’s perfectly obvious what’s happening in the droughts in Africa, with fire sequences here in the West, and unusual hurricanes. Why should people be reluctant to listen to the climatologists who say: “Hey, as the warming temperatures of water increases, the hurricane frequency will become more frequent or more devastating or both?” That’s science…so all we have to do is realize it and admit it. It’s a shame if we put our heads in the sand.


The rate the scale of extinction going on now, and the threats of more, is certainly comparable to some of the worst natural disasters in the geologic record. And what we’re facing with climate change is going to be much worse in the future. So these are facts.


[Each of us kids], we wanted to have our own Shacks in the areas where we were. I bought an old cabin near Blackhawk Mountain in Colorado. When I bought that land there were signs up saying “Peligro,” poisoning. They were throwing strychnine pellets out of an airplane [to kill predators]. And I went to the government and said: “No this land is ‘verboten,’ we’re going to protect it.”

Reading List

Saved in Time: The Fight to Establish Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument, Colorado
By Estella B. Leopold and Herbert Meyer


Stories From the Leopold Shack: Sand County Revisited
By Estella B. Leopold


A Sand County Almanac: With Essays on Conservation from Round River
By Aldo Leopold


The River of the Mother of God: and Other Essays by Aldo Leopold
Edited by Susan L. Flader and J. Baird Callicott


For the Health of the Land: Previously Unpublished Essays and Other Writings By Aldo Leopold, edited by J. Baird Callicott and Eric T. Freyfogle

Aldo Leopold: His Life and Work
By Curt Meine


Episode 37 - Estella Leopold - Part Three
April 2019

This is the third of four episodes of my interview with Estella Leopold, the last remaining offspring of legendary conservationist, writer and philosopher Aldo Leopold. This episode is devoted to Estella, her fascinating career as a paleobotanist that took her around the world and long commitment to protecting the environment and to mentoring students. Estella here shares stories about her illustrious careeras a palynologist, her work in Bikini Atoll, China, Colorado and elsewhere. She goes on to tell about her work to protect the environment, starting with the fight to save the Grand Canyon River from being dammed to her successful campaign to save the incredible Florissant fossil beds in Colorado, and her work to keep high-level radioactive nuclear waste from being dumped near the Columbia River in Washington State. It is especially noteworthy that the battles over Grand Canyon andFlorissant were won before the passage of the majority of our environmental laws. What blew me away here was Estella’s integrative approach to conservation, which of course was in her genes.


In the last year or two, I finally began to realize why Dad called me “Baby” my entire life instead of calling me “Estella, because and he never called me “Estella,” ever. Becausethere was only one Estella in his mind, and that was Estella Bergere. [Estella’s mother]...We had a crow who was frequenting our backyard in Madison, Wisconsin. And Nina and I would look out the bathroom window in the morning, and there was Dad out there in the garden in his pajamas and slippers, digging worms for the crow, who was sitting there going “cawww cawww, I want to be fed.”Palynology has been a very fulfilling field because it permits you to work with the past, and work with climate systems and forest evolution, and lots of fascinating problems... And US Geological Survey was this marvelous source of marvelous people who knew the history of the areas, and the sources of sediments that were sort of special to determine their age and their content.A lot of good conclusions could come from that combination. After the Grand Canyon fight, we began to try and save the Florissant fossil beds which were particularly important fossils in Colorado. And they really needed to be saved because there was a threat from the summer home industry to park buildings on top of these beautiful fossil beds. And we started up our terrific fight for this Florissant...So the bills finally got through Congress that created a national monument, but it was six-year fight... Ithink the most important thing was... the press. We used print and radio and even television, and they would come and interview us and we’d take people from the Mountain Club or Sierra Club or whoever and the press with us to the field...And, we worked together, so it’s the coordination of a community effort that can get attention from the Congress and the decision makers.

Reading List

Saved in Time: The Fight to Establish Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument, Colorado
By Estella B. Leopold and Herbert Meyer


Stories From the Leopold Shack: Sand County Revisited
By Estella B. Leopold


A Sand County Almanac: With Essays on Conservation from Round River
By Aldo Leopold


The River of the Mother of God: and Other Essays by Aldo Leopold
Edited by Susan L. Flader and J. Baird Callicott


For the Health of the Land: Previously Unpublished Essays and Other Writings By Aldo Leopold, edited by J. Baird Callicott and Eric T. Freyfogle

Aldo Leopold: His Life and Work
By Curt Meine


Episode 36 - Estella Leopold - Part Two
April 2019

This is the second of four episodes from a fascinating interview I did last summer with Estella Leopold, the last remaining offspring of American conservation icon, philosopher and writer Aldo Leopold, who’s considered by many to be the father of wildlife ecology and the United States Wilderness system. Estella, who inherited his scientific and storytelling gene, is a force of nature herself.


Episode Two features the story of her father’s romance with her mother, also named Estella, and their early years together in New Mexico. After the family moved to Wisconsin, Aldo Leopold bought “the Shack,” a degraded farm along the Wisconsin River, and the place became the center of family life--and later, a mecca for conservationists around the world. Here, the family discovered how to restore the forests and prairie by doing it. Estella’s mother was also an incredible archer. Her story on her mother’s prowess as “Lady Diana,”which newspapers called her, also gives a sense of her parents’ relationship and family adventures –here involving craftsmanship, practice, competitions,and fun bowhunting adventures.


We children used to like to tell the story about when we first saw the Shack and the property. On a cold early spring day, we were driving in on this road, and we came to the opening ofthe farm. And there was row of elm trees going perpendicular to that road, right down to the little barn you could see in the distance. And it was a muddy, muddy road... And we got the Shack, and it was cold, and there was no door, there was one window andholes in the roof... as Dad said: “Some of those holes are big enough to throw a cat through.” The question was still in the air was:was he going to buy this place? But we didn’t know he’d already committed. We had walked into this barn and there’s this pile manure about a foot deep in the back part, frozen solid in the back of the barn. So, Mother turns to Dad and said: ‘Aldo, what do you think of this place?’ And he said: ‘I’m very excited we have so many opportunities here!’ Mother said: ‘Yes, there’s going to be a lot of challenges.’


There was a log we called “Napoleon,” which we dragged up from the river, and Dad managed to put four maple legs under it, so it became a bench. ...And Luna made a nice pine top to the table that we had got from the dump. And Starker made the privy. Everybody pitched in.


Dad always loved bows and arrows apparently, because he started in 1926 making bows and they were beautiful, and then he began to make all his own arrows. It turns out that Mother was an unusually good archer. And then Dad said: “Oh, let’s enter one of the archery tournaments.” So, they did, and Mother won first place in the Womens’ for the first year. And Dad was so proud of her. And the press was going gaga all over Mother and she kept saying: “It wasn’t me, it was him, he made all this beautiful equipment and that’s why I was able to hit the target so well today.”

Reading List

Saved in Time: The Fight to Establish Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument, Colorado
By Estella B. Leopold and Herbert Meyer


Stories From the Leopold Shack: Sand County Revisited
By Estella B. Leopold


A Sand County Almanac: With Essays on Conservation from Round River
By Aldo Leopold


The River of the Mother of God: and Other Essays by Aldo Leopold
Edited by Susan L. Flader and J. Baird Callicott


For the Health of the Land: Previously Unpublished Essays and Other Writings By Aldo Leopold, edited by J. Baird Callicott and Eric T. Freyfogle

Aldo Leopold: His Life and Work
By Curt Meine


Episode 35 - Estella Leopold - Part One
March 2019

This is the first of four podcasts from a fascinating interview I did last summer with Estella Leopold, the last remaining offspring of American conservation icon, philosopher and writer Aldo Leopold, who’s considered by many to be the father of wildlife ecology and the United States wilderness system. Estella, who inherited his scientific and storytelling gene, is a force of nature herself. She embodies the kind of grace, humility and generosity of spirit that are increasingly endangered today. And she offers here insights about her father, her family and herself that no amount of reading can give.


This interview covers the span from the turn of the last century to the present. From Bikini Atoll in Micronesia and China’s Yangtze River to the wilds of Mexico and the woods of Wisconsin. She covers everything, from wilderness, fire ecology, forests and cows to ancient pollen, pikas and pet crows. She shares delightful stories about her own career as an internationally acclaimed paleobotanist and conservationist, and well as the next talented generation of Leopolds. Plus she’s fun. In fact, I haven’t heard the word “fun” so much in a long time or “love,” which are central themes in the lives of the Leopolds.


We’d sit around the dining room table and Dad would say: “Now what did you learn today that was of interest, Estella?” Or Carl, or whomever. And we’d start the conversation, and he’d keep asking questions.


And Dad would walk home every day for lunch during the week, and he would come through the front door, and Mother would come to greet him always looking very fresh and wonderful. And then they would hug, sometimes for a long time in the front hall, and we children, we would wait until it was our turn to hug Dad.


He got into bird song sequence. He didn’t sleep very well. He would wake up at all hours of the morning, 3 o clock, and get up and go outside with his coffee cup, and build a fire and sit by the fire out front in the summer, and listen to the birds... And pretty soon he ordered a light meter, so that as each bird came in to song, he would record the amount of light available at the camp site from the rising sun and tying it to the bird song that was beginning at that time. He got these all organized in terms of their sequence in the morning.


A lot of what we’re talking about is an understory of love. You look at Sand County Almanac. Someone commented that there were more uses of the word “love” in Sand County Almanac and in Dad’s literature than many other writers. He was really focused on the connection -- moral and mental connection with nature -- and love is that connection.


He certainly had an epiphany by visiting the German forests… where he discovered to his dismay that the German forests were all manicured. And everybody walked through and picked up all the sticks on the ground and tried to plant all the trees in absolute rows. And from then on, he said: “Let’s have natural reestablishment of vegetation at The Shack.”

Reading List

Saved in Time: The Fight to Establish Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument, Colorado
By Estella B. Leopold and Herbert Meyer


Stories From the Leopold Shack: Sand County Revisited
By Estella B. Leopold


A Sand County Almanac: With Essays on Conservation from Round River
By Aldo Leopold


The River of the Mother of God: and Other Essays by Aldo Leopold
Edited by Susan L. Flader and J. Baird Callicott


For the Health of the Land: Previously Unpublished Essays and Other Writings By Aldo Leopold, edited by J. Baird Callicott and Eric T. Freyfogle

Aldo Leopold: His Life and Work
By Curt Meine


Episode 34 - Bob Jackson
March 2019

Bob worked as a backcountry ranger for Yellowstone Park for 30 years, where he became known as “Action Jackson” for his work that led to a record number of convictions of poachers in the park’s remote southern area known as the Thorofare. Bob rode perhaps around 70,000 miles in Yellowstone’s backcountry, and had lots of bear encounters, but he never had to deploy bear spray once. Some of the poachers Bob helped convict were protected by powerful politicians like former Vice President Dick Cheney, which put him in the crosshairs of his own agency. Here Bob shares stories of his fascinating career and gives simple, logical and compelling advice on how mounting hunter conflicts with grizzly bears can be reduced.


Once you get into “horse country” down in the southern part southeast corner of Yellowstone…it’s kind of a lawless land.


All those [hunter] camps could be clean, but they’re not. Why aren’t they? Why are they leaving the elk carcasses where the bears can get at ‘em? They all know what they need to do, but they’re not going to because it’s more important to be “old wild west…”


…you’re behind a tree or cliff waiting for the bad guys, because you’re in a good spot but that good spot means you’re hidden even more. And so, if the wind was right, the bear could be really on you. That happened four times. That’s where your scalp actually moves, you feel it move, and you got a 50 percent chance. And so, you could say I was lucky.


…I mean the bears are what makes life. Yeah, I always had to think of bears -- every night you bang on the door before you go out in case there’s a bear right on your porch. You’re yelling “here bear” when you’re going to the outhouse, you’ve got your flash light, you’re ready to go. But that’s where the humbleness comes in. You’re not top dog.


That’s how I would get the poachers, you let them go through all their stories, and you break them down, and they cry when they’re broken down. Then you get the confessions.


The culture is what’s got to change… Like first off, [hunters] have to get full [elk] quarters out of there, just like everybody used to do. And they got to get them out immediately…. All these bears that are coming around [outfitters] camps, if there isn’t food, they don’t come around.


Episode 32 & 33 - Gabriel Paun
November 2018

Gabriel (“Gaby”) Paun is a Romanian environmental and animal welfare activist, with two decades of experience in Romania and other parts of Europe, as well as Africa and Australia. Gaby has a degree in ecology and served as an organizer for Greenpeace before founding the Romanian group, Agent Green, focused on animal welfare, forestry and wildlife issues.

He has enjoyed major success in stopping the spread of genetically modified crops in Romania, exposing illegal logging in the country’s forests, and investigating and exposing the cruelty of the live animal export industry. He also campaigns for protecting the well-being of farm animals and companion animals.

In 2016 Gaby won the prestigious European environmental award, EuroNatur, which was also enjoyed by Nelson Mandela and Mikhail Gorbachev.

PLEASE consider contributing to Agent Green, which is also now expanding work in Romania on coexistence with bears:

Excerpts Part 2

Dealing with people when investigating and exposing things in Romania can put you in a very dangerous situation. I’ve been kidnapped and beaten -- there were several murder attempts against me in the past years…

I’m taking [from the workshop] simple tools with me, which I heard about before, but I never saw them at work. I like very much some of the things I have seen, but I think the biggest factor of positive change is opening peoples’ minds, those people living with the bears.

Two years ago, we got the trophy hunting ban. But there was revenge by the hunting districts, instigated by the trophy hunting industry… That is a big problem…

Right now, we are turning away from forests with native species, with small openings and long production cycles, to a more intensive logging, replacing native species with monocultures. So, all the bad things that western Europe did in the past, and here in the U.S. in some parts.

I’m terribly concerned about inbreeding, because when you have so few left, it’s like a Russian roulette if they will survive or not. They have too few lands and too few individuals in the populations. When you’re telling me there is not more than 1,000 bears in Yellowstone and around, that’s close to nothing. We are on the edge.

Excerpts Part One

When I look at the bear situation here and in Romania, I can find so many similar issues and problems -- also so much to learn in terms of solutions.

We [in Romania] have many more bears in a smaller territory. I was a little bit surprised to hear there are so many troubles here with so few bears. I would even say that grizzly bears, I’m not sure if they can survive in such small numbers.

Romania has more virgin forest than all the rest of Europe together. It’s the primeval forest, it’s the core of biodiversity. That is why we have so many brown bears and wolves and lynx… When you go in one of those forests -- I mean except those trails on the sky left by airplanes -- I can’t say this is year 2018, I can easily say this is 5000 B.C., you don’t see the difference.

But there are threats… logging, climate change and human persecution. So regardless that we have 6 or 7 times more brown bears that the U.S. has, except Alaska, it is a bigger problem. Now they want to reopen trophy hunting. We basically can never rest in this fight. But as long as we can fight, we have a chance.

My first year [with Greenpeace], first major battle and victory -- we actually had to deal with an American company who was very powerful in Romania, Monsanto. They spread their genes all over the country, 99 percent of their soy was genetically engineered, and through a high-profile campaign -- you would not believe here in the U.S. -- but we managed to kick them out. Now the country is clean of GMOs


Episode 31 - Manon Dene
October 2018

Manon Dene is Wildlife Policy Specialist Humane Society International (HSI). Recorded at a recent workshop with Romanian bear experts on coexistence with grizzly bears, in Seeley Lake, Montana. Manon is a young French animal rights activist advocating for wild animals at the European level and internationally. She works as a wildlife policy specialist for HSI to defend European large carnivores such as wolves, bears, lynx and wolverines, from persecution and trophy hunting. She also works to defend endangered animals exploited in international trade through international conventions such as CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) and CMS (the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals).

Here are a few excerpts:

One of the problems that was created following the issuance of the decision to ban trophy hunting [of brown bears in Romania] is that there has been an increase of conflicts between humans and bears… Obviously, the media is a key actor in this situation because whenever there is an attack occurring on a human, the public always says the bear has been the problem.

Going to the Blackfoot Challenge and the Swan Valley Conservation Cooperative, and learning from them has been so important to start the process in Romania… Coexistence involves electric fencing, financing some bear aware garbage [systems]. Hopefully, we create some successful pilot projects in places in Romania, then we can extend to other counties, to the neighboring towns.

It’s tough -- there’s definitely passionate people want to defend these animals, but we’re up against such big industries, like multi-billion industries like trophy hunters, but even the trophy hunters they’re so little compared to the agriculture, agronomic industries.

What I love in my job is that it relies a lot on people, human connections that we build -- and this is what we’re doing also in this workshop.

Reading List

Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, by Jared Diamond


Animal Liberation, by Peter Singer

The Sixth Extinction, by Richard E. Leakey

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, by Malcolm Gladwell


Episode 30 - Tim Preso
August 2018

Tim Preso is Managing Attorney for Earthjustice’s Northern Rockies regional office in Bozeman, MT. He a lead attorney on Earthjustice's suite of national forest protection cases, as well as on cases to block oil and gas leasing in the Wyoming Range and to protect wolves in Idaho and Wyoming from unlawful persecution.

Tim has enjoyed enormous success on behalf of wild nature, including stunning wins for grizzly bears. He was also a lead attorney in a case that upheld the protection of 60 million acres of roadless lands and the Clinton Roadless Rule.

Tim is one of the lead attorneys in a current case involving the government’s 2017 decision to strip endangered species protections for Yellowstone grizzlies and allow trophy hunting for the first time in 43 years. He will argue for restoring grizzly bear protections on August 30, 2018 in federal district court in Missoula.

Tim received a B.A. in journalism from Oregon State University in Corvallis. He worked for several years as an award-winning reporter for a Bend, Oregon newspaper, covering environmental issues. Tim then returned to school and graduated summa cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C. He clerked for Judge Harry T. Edwards of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit before joining a D.C.-area law firm.

Reading List

Sand County Almanac, Aldo Leopold

"Mountain Lion", poem by D.H. Lawrence


Wildlife in America, Peter Matthiessen


Episode 29 - Rob Wielgus
August 2018

You will be fascinated by Dr. Rob Wielgus’ carnivore research and what he shows about how to improve coexistence with wolves, grizzlies and mountain lions. Rob’s is also a tragic tale of what can happen when a world class scientist gets crossways with entrenched political interests – and the livestock industry. Until recently, Rob was Associate Professor and Director of the Large Carnivore Conservation Lab at Washington State University. For the last 30 years, he and his colleagues and students have conducted internationally acclaimed research on large carnivores and their prey. Until being shut down in recent months, Rob’s lab was renowned in the carnivore research and management community for cutting-edge research.


The cause of Rob’s troubles? A few bad actors in the cattle industry and their regressive allies in the state legislature.


The implications? What happened to Rob sends a chilling signal about what is happening to free speech, scientific inquiry and academic freedoms in our country. We can expect increased politicization of large carnivore research, and attempts by livestock and other industries to shape carnivore science.


A few choice excerpts:

I find it inconceivable that we don’t have such a no hunting boundary [for grizzlies] around Yellowstone Park, because hunting of bears outside of the Park will directly kill bears inside the Park. These are Park bears that are leaving the Park for a period of time -- they’re simply going to be shot. And if you’re killing male bears, Park bears, their cubs will be killed because of infanticide… It’s an assault on protected Park bears. …


It didn’t matter what you said about wolves, you couldn’t win. And if you reported the scientific truth on wolves, you’re pretty much dead. The Republicans just nailed me big time for that, and they were willing to nail the university for that. It was a ‘scorched earth’ policy. People wanted wolves dead, and that’s all there was to it. So scientific truth, academic freedom, all of that stuff, just went out the window.


Universities are supposed to be the last bastions of academic freedom and scientific truth, and so usually they’re not influenced by immediate politics like that. And they’re supposed to stand independently in the name of scientific truth. And in this case the university didn’t, it simply caved in to political pressure…


if you state the scientific facts, you end up losing your job. And the will of the people, the American people, is being completely ignored because of this -- it’s just a real tragedy. I think we’re in a super critical period, where the wildlife and the American people are being downtrodden.

Reading List

Effects of Wolf Mortality on Livestock Depredation

Does Hunting Regulate Cougar Populations: a Test of the Compensatory Mortality Hypothesis

Resource Competition and Apparent Competition in Declining Mule Deer

Sexual Segregation and Female Grizzly Bear Avoidance of Males

Effects of Sport Hunting on Cougar Complaints and Livestock Depredations


Episode 28 - Margot Kidder
July 2018

Warning: this interview with actress and activist Margot Kidder could change your life. Margot was a brilliant spokesperson for the underdog and the dispossessed, who cared deeply about wilderness and the fate of the planet. Margie was also my friend, and one of the most generous, hilarious, smart and beautiful people I have ever met. Margie enjoyed a successful career acting, known, in particular, for her role as Lois Lane in the Superman Series alongside Christopher Reeves.

This interview was done in December, 2016, shortly after Margie returned from unprecedented protests at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota, aimed at stopping a pipeline from being built under the Missouri River. Within a week of this interview, the Trump administration ordered the razing of the protest site, forcible removal of all remaining protesters, and completion of the pipeline.

The time then did not seem ripe to publish this piece, but Margie passed in May, 2018, and I feel that others could be empowered and inspired by her perspectives and experience at the protest. She offers insights here that have not been covered in the press. Margie shares a powerful and clear vision for improving our relations with each other, and the importance of challenging the dominant role of the extractive energy industry and tackling perhaps the most important problem of our time: climate change.

These excerpts from Margie

[At Standing Rock], there’s a sense of community and shared purpose. We’re all fighting climate change in our way, we’re all fighting for water, we’re all fighting these big oil corporations that are destroying our planet for our grandchildren…So there’s a shared purpose -- and then there’s this spiritual and emotional and literal sharing of your tent, your food…your thoughts, your love, your hugs…

The most emotional part of it…was that some tribes had not spoken for 100 years -- the American wars against the Indians were so genocidal and horrible. In particular, the Crow, who decided very early on when white guys came West, they would side with the white guys. And the other native bands did not appreciate that…then the Crow came in from Montana on horseback in full dress, greeted with hugs by the Lakota, Dakota, Nakota, Oglala, Cheyenne, who had been their enemies…There was not a dry eye in the camp... the weeping was extraordinary.


Here’s what nobody’s getting…this is a goddamn Canadian pipeline. This is not an American pipeline. This a foreign country getting poor white people in North Dakota to pay, out of their taxes, in these tiny little dirt-poor towns for what they’re calling “security.” Which is, in fact, the worst advertisement for these pipelines in history.

…Can the wisdom, the love, the caring, the unity of all of us and these indigenous peoples rising up together, beat the most wealthy, powerful industry in the world that basically owns our government?


I got to grow up -- I was really blessed in the wilderness -- literally, our backyard were the boreal forests. … I grew up with Indian friends, and as a young woman I could never resist a handsome young brave, I’ll tell you.


When I think of the destruction of the boreal forests, I could break down and sob at the drop of a hat. We had Northern Lights at night in the winter, and snow for infinity…And I think now of climate change, and that that no longer exists.


… I haven’t felt this much at home and myself since I was fourteen years old…God at 68, I got to finally come home, on this funny patch of Army Corps of Engineer land, with all these tents and a lot of aboriginal people who’ve never seen snow before, and driving their cars into snow banks…


So, it’s time these Native kids grabbed the mantle, took their education to heart, and took that wisdom and said: “Back off, we’re going to take over because you made a big mess.”


Episode 27 - Jack Locker
June 2018

Listen to this inspiring interview with Jack Locker, a rock and roll musician based in LA and a conservationist, who’s using his music and many other talents to save the environment, including grizzly bears. (Two great songs of his are linked below.) I have worked with Jack since he drove all the way from LA to Bozeman in 2006 to testify at a public hearing on the federal government’s proposal to strip protections for grizzly bears in Yellowstone. (We won that round in court, but the government recently delisted grizzlies again).


At the hearing, Jack articulated an informed and inspiring alternative to the government’s headlong rush to delist – and later even wrote a wonderful song about his views, called Hibernating Dreams (link below). Since then, Jack has stayed active and informed about grizzly bears and many other conservation issues, while creating more cool music.

Listen to the songs
Hibernatiing Dreams


Sol Mates

These excerpts from Jack

I am doing whatever I can do to help and try to preserve our planet, and especially for the wild animals… I’ve written songs about the grizzly and other threatened wildlife. And some of the tunes exposed the mistreatment of our planet, while trying to show how amazing these places are and the importance of their survival…

One song was called Planetary CPR, which stands for “Conservation, Preservation, Restoration” of wildlands. What do wild animals and species on the brink of disappearing need the most? Conservation, preservation, restoration of habitat, where they live.


So, who is behind the politicians who want to delist the Yellowstone grizzly? Federal Fish and Wildlife Service representatives, as well as deep-pocket lobbying groups consisting of trophy hunters, some cattle ranchers, energy developers and land developers... So, is this a government of the people, or of trophy hunters and land developers?

The thing is that the system is broken, so it’s hard to fix issues when the system’s broken. And until you fix the system, you can’t fix the issues, you just can’t.

Hibernation Dreams - Jack Locker
Sol Mates - Jack Locker


Episode 26 - Pat Williams
May 2018

In this interview, former Montana Congressman and friend, Pat Williams, shares fascinating insights from his long career in politics and work to protect the environment – while demonstrating his chops as a terrific storyteller. Pat served nine terms (18 years) in Congress. In addition to conservation, Pat has been dedicated to strengthening America’s education system, making schools safer for our children, advancing the arts, and fighting for the underprivileged.

Pat once remarked that he did not go to Congress as a conservationist, but he left as one. Pat sponsored legislation that designated the Lee Metcalf Wilderness north of Yellowstone Park and the Rattlesnake Wilderness north of Missoula, Montana. He led the successful legislative effort to save the Bob Marshall Wilderness from oil and gas development, and helped ban geothermal energy drilling near Yellowstone National Park.

These excerpts from Pat

“And this wolf [in a pen inside Yellowstone Park], this female wolf…was pacing back and forth against the far fence with her tongue hanging well below her jaw. And the look in her eyes, it looked as though there was a candle behind both eyes that glimmered and sparked and moved around on a breezy day. I realized it’s the epitome of wildness for me. That was the most wild thing I had ever seen. Well, if those things -- whether they’re grizzly bears or woodpeckers or wolves -- are going to be protected, we’ve got to give them a home in which they can be protected… In Montana that means public land. So, the only suggestion I have about managing them… is: give them space.”

“In my view these animals [such as wolves, bison and grizzly bears] belong to the world, but certainly to all Americans. And it does seem to me that this may be an area for the Congress to step into. And make a determination as to whose animals are these, and who should manage them, and how should they be managed, and what group of people should have a say in that management.”


“…The truth of it was, now looking back, we moved from an extractive economy to something else -- to a conservation or a tourism economy. It’s a different kind of economy that produced more jobs, by the way, than the extractive economy had produced during the last 75 years or so.”

“I was a little surprised… how earnest President Bill Clinton was about protecting the [Yellowstone] Park at that moment [from the threat of the proposed New World gold mine]… Bill Clinton called me and said: ‘Pat, what are you doing up there about this?’ This was after we had moved on it [a deal to stop the mine and restore the degraded landscape]… Later, he would call me and say: ‘Is Yellowstone Park okay? Is that mine gone yet?’ So, he was really into it.”


“I encourage my students and young people to get your feet wet. Even if you only read the paper every day. But you can do more than that. You can register to vote. You can get some other people to register to vote. You can listen to speeches, you can go to campaign rallies, you can read about things. Get your feet wet. Several of them, by the way, have run for public office and then told me or their friends: ‘I’m only doing this to get my feet wet.’”

Pat Williams Recommended Readings:


Sycamore Row
By John Grisham

Last Bus to Wisdom
By Ivan Doig

To Each His Own
By Leonardo Sciascia

His Final Battle
By Joseph Lelyveld


Episode 25 - Chris Genovali
April 2018

You must listen to this fascinating interview with Chris Genovali, the Executive Director of Raincoast Conservation Foundation. He is a leading conservationist, prolific writer, and major voice for the voiceless creatures of British Columbia. Chris shares the inside story of a hugely successful campaign that recently stopped trophy hunting of grizzly bears in British Columbia. With humor and clarity, Chris describes weaving a diversity of approaches involving science, economics, collaborative partnerships with First Nations, ethics and the law. There is so much to learn from the sophisticated, ingenious and big-hearted efforts for grizzlies in BC, that I could not cut down this gripping interview..

These excerpts from Chris

“Don’t be afraid to talk about the ethical side of these issues… It seems wildlife management is burdened with this ridiculous restriction that you can’t talk about ethics. And that’s not right and we need to change that.”


“If you’re not prepared to go all in for the long haul, you should probably find something else to do with your life. Find another career… To succeed, you need a lot of perseverance, a lot of commitment and not give up easily.”


“Businesses within British Columbia recognize that there’s no ecological, no economic, no ethical reason to be killing these bears for trophies… They know how much more lucrative viewing these animals is than killing them.”


“The majority of the hunting community was actually opposed to trophy hunting of grizzlies. I think there’s a distinction that needs to be made between shooting large carnivores for trophies and just hunting in general.”

Chris Genovali: Readings


Sciences Advances, March 7, 2018

New Study Casts Doubt on Scientific Basis of Wildlife Management in North America

By Kyle A. Artelle, John D. Reynolds, Adrian Treves, Jessica C. Walsh, Paul C. Paquet, Chris T. Darimont

Vancouver Sun, February 4, 2018

'Political populations' plague wildlife management

By Chris Genovali


Victoria Times Colonist, January 19, 2018

Anecdotes, guesses no justification for killing wolves

By Chris Genovali and Paul C. Paquet


Raincoast Blog, December 18, 2017

Jubilation over NDP decision to stop grizzly hunting in British Columbia

by Chris Genovali


Vancouver Sun, October 14, 2017

Only ban on all grizzly hunting will ensure the slaughter ends

By David Suzuki, Faisal Moola and Chris Genovali

Victoria Times Colonist, November 12, 2017

End all grizzly-bear hunting throughout B.C.

By Chris Darimont, Kyle Artelle, Paul Paquet, Chris Genovali and Faisal Moola


Episode 24 - George Wuerthner
March 2018

Meet George Wuerthner, a prolific author, gifted photographer, and expert in natural history and Wilderness. He has logged countless miles on foot, canoe and skis to explore wildlands that support our wildlife, including grizzlies. George has several advanced degrees in field sciences, and, in the tradition of Wilderness champions such as Aldo Leopold and Bob Marshall, he has become one of the greatest living authorities of public lands and Wilderness. George has written more than 30 books –guides to Wilderness and natural history, as well as gorgeous yet terrifying coffee table books such as Clearcutting and Thrillcraft.

These excerpts from George

“The biggest problem with delisting grizzly bears is that the bears are not at [sufficient] population levels in the Yellowstone area where you can say with certainty that they are going to survive into the future. There’s still too few of them. And bears have unoccupied habitat, particularly in the Wyoming, Caribou and Snake River Ranges, that could support more bears and increase the population tremendously. We need a larger population to be certain that we won’t have problems with genetic inbreeding or climate change.”

“We are seeing the destruction of our wildlife to favor private businesses that operate on our public land…”

“Grazing livestock in Greater Yellowstone is like putting out picnic baskets for the grizzlies. And then we kill the bears, because they happen to find the picnic baskets – it’s a real problem.

For more on George

Gallatin Range Wilderness Needs Defenders, The Wildlife News, 03/01/18

The Premature Delisting of the Yellowstone Grizzly Bear, Counter Punch, 12/05/17

It's time to prioritize wolves over livestock, Crosscut, 10/23/17

Episode 23- Nick Arrivo
February 2018

You must listen to this interview with Nick Arrivo, attorney for the Humane Society of the United States, who is challenging Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2017 decision to remove endangered species protections (“delist”) for the Yellowstone grizzly bear and to allow a trophy hunt of grizzlies. (Five other cases have also been filed). Nick has been involved in a slew of interesting issues, from a successful ban on bobcat trapping in New Hampshire, efforts to prevent Washington state from increasing cougar hunting, and bans on a New Mexico cougar trapping program that threatened to kill endangered Mexican wolves and jaguars. In the interview, Nick reveals a strong ethical backbone and fierce compassion for animals, domestic and wild. Nick challenges us to imagine a different relationship with plants and animals, and says this about his mushroom hunting hobby: “it forces you to pay attention to forms of life that are maybe a little less sexy, that aren’t at eye level. There’s an incredible diversity of life underneath the leaves and along the roots of trees that if you aren’t looking for it, you don’t really notice - but once you start, it’s this entire alien kingdom of life!”


Nick outlines the deficiencies of the government’s decision to delist Yellowstone grizzlies, including this: “I think the [Fish and Wildlife] Service knew that the states were doing a pretty poor job throughout the entire process, and kind of looked the other way, while the states went through regulatory processes that were legally and substantively pretty poor -- the most important component of which of course is the plan to allow trophy hunting.”


We can rest assured that the fate of Yellowstone’s grizzlies is in good legal hands!

For more on Nick, see:

Animal rights activists file suit against State Game Commission over cougar traps, Santa Fe New Mexican, 6/28/16

Groups call State’s cougar cam ‘ironic’ in light of expanding trapping, KRQE New Mexico, 6/29/16

And here is another wonderful interview with Nick, Animal Law Podcast #12: Why Grizzlies, Cougars, And Bobcats Need A Good Lawyer, with Nick Arrivo, Our Hen House, 5/27/16


I could not resist this intro to a reading that Nick sent:





— George Orwell (1984)



— U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Recommended Reading from Nick:

Recovery in a Cynical Time – With Apologies to Eric Arthur Blair, by Dale Goble
(Download, PDF)

All Animals are Equal, by Peter Singer
(Download, PDF)

Episode 22 - Doug Peacock

September 2017

You must listen to Doug Peacock, world-renowned writer, naturalist, veteran, and defender of the Wilderness, for his perspectives on the Yellowstone grizzly and what may happen if the recent removal of endangered species protections (delisting) is not reversed.


Doug met grizzlies up close and personal after spending two tours in Vietnam as a green beret medic, Doug returned a bit of an emotional wreck, and sought out solace of wilderness in Wyoming’s Wind River Mountains and then in and around Glacier Park. Doug has since spent over four decades documenting and filming grizzlies in the wild. He’s written two books on grizzlies, Grizzly Years and The Essential Grizzly, as well as other books, including Walking It Off about his relationship with author Edward Abbey, and most recently, In The Shadow Of The Sabertooth.


This from the interview: “In my opinion, climate change will, in itself, along with the lost protections, the absence of efforts to establish any kind of connectivity or linkage or genetic exchange with other grizzly bear ecosystems to the north  -- that hunting season is going to plunge the Yellowstone grizzly, this little island ecosystem of bears, into a terminal decline. So I feel this is the most important moment of all in our decades-old battles to save the Yellowstone grizzly. The combination of climate change and a proposed trophy-hunting season is the end of the Yellowstone grizzly -- so we’re going to have to win this one.” In court.


Listen to the whole interview, for more on his friendship with author Ed Abbey, the hairy story of the Black Grizzly and more. 


Check out, and

Books By Doug Peacock

(but check out his bibliography at for more of his writings).

For more you can do, also see:


In the Shadow of the Sabertooth: 
A Renegade Naturalist Considers Global Warming, the First Americans and the Terrible Beasts of the Pleistocene

The Essential Grizzly: The Mingled Fates of Men and Bears, Doug and Andrea Peacock  

Walking It Off:  A Veteran's Chronicle of War and Wilderness


Grizzly Years: In Search of the American Wilderness

Episode 21 - Jim and Heidi Barrett

April 2017


If you are feeling depressed by the state of our nation, take hope and a few minutes to listen to the stories of two conservation heroes, Jim and Heidi Barrett.  Jim and Heidi are long-time residents of Silver Gate MT, near Cooke City on the doorstep of Yellowstone Park.  They raised their son in the company of grizzlies, moose, wolves, and other wonders of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. With modesty and courage, they took on – and won -- some of the biggest environmental threats facing their wild corner of the ecosystem. They were leaders in the epic battle to stop a gold mine from being built at the edge of Yellowstone Park; they worked to bring under control the escalating use of off-road vehicles; and they played a major role in improving sanitation systems in an area that had long been a “black hole for bears” because widely available garbage had caused so many bears to be killed.

Jim and Heidi Barrett are proof that a few people with big hearts and determination, can make an immeasurable difference for the wild, and all of us.

For more on Jim and Heidi and the efforts to reduce conflicts with grizzly bears around Cooke City, see my blog:


Recommended reading:  

Books by Barbara Kingsolver

Anything by Rick Bass

Sun Magazine

Check out Jim’s art: 

Episode 20 - Lyn Dalebout

February 2017

This show is tailor made for these troubled times! Poet and educator Lyn Dalebout is a woman with many hats and talents: she is also a biologist and a sidereal astrologer, who writes a weekly blog called Earth Sky Oracle. (Check out the recent ones on Obama and other political figures). Lyn has a book of poems called Out of the Flames. Her writing has appeared in a number of anthologies.

This week’s podcast is dedicated to our dear friend Anthony Birkholz, whose bright flame was tragically extinguished last week. Tony’s last project involved a film about grizzly bear delisting.   Bon Voyage, Tony!

Recommended reading:

Episode 19 - Dr. Brad Bergstrom

November 2016

Don’t miss this show featuring Dr. Brad Bergstrom, a mammalian ecologist, conservation biologist, and Professor of Biology at Valdosta State University. For nearly ten years, Brad chaired the Conservation Committee of the American Society of Mammalogists, where he reviewed endangered species policies. Brad has been deeply involved with large carnivore issues, especially grizzly bears and wolves. His views on delisting and grizzly bear recovery are insightful, interesting and wise.  


Listed: dispatches from America's Endangered Species Act. Harvard Univ. Press, Cambridge, MA.

Roman, J. (2011)


Predatory bureaucracy: the extermination of wolves and the transformation of the West. University of Colorado Press, Boulder, CO.  Robinson, M.J. (2005)


The wilderness warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the crusade for America. Harper Collins, New York. Brinkley, D. (2009).


Yellowstone: A Journey Through America's Wild Heart. National Geographic Society. Quammen, D. (2016)


Recommended Papers and Letters:


American Society of Mammalogists and Society for Conservation Biology (2016) joint statement on proposed Grizzly Bear delisting :

Bergstrom et al. (2014) License to kill: reforming federal wildlife control to restore biodiversity and ecosystem function.  Conservation Letters 7: 131-142.

Endangered Species Coalition and EarthJustice. (2003) A citizens' guide to the ESA.

Episode 18 - Rick Bass

October 2016

Don’t miss this episode with Rick Bass! A world renowned writer and conservation advocate, Rick shares his long experience fighting for Wilderness, bears and his beloved Yaak Valley. Hearing his words will make you fall in love with Wilderness, grizzly bears, wolves all over again!


Here’s Rick: “Anytime you’re fortunate enough to see a bear, any kind of bear, it changes your day, changes your week, it re-calibrates how you think about yourself. You’re just struck by the sentience and intelligence of the animal. It re-calibrates this myth, this perception we have that because our brains are pretty big, we’ve got everything figured out.”


Grizzly Years, Doug Peacock

All the King's Men, Robert Penn Warren

One Writer's Beginnings, Eudora Welty

Solo Faces, James Salter 

Episode 17 - Dr. Adrien Treves

September 2016


Catch the latest show with Dr. Adrian Treves, an Associate Professor of Environmental Studies at the University of Madison in Wisconsin! Adrian’s research focuses on finding a balance between human needs and those of large carnivores.

In his latest paper, he and his colleagues pointed out the shoddiness of research design being used today to justify killing of carnivores. Drawing from lessons learned from the bio-medical research community, authors applied a “gold standard” for scientific inference, in order to evaluate lethal and nonlethal efforts to reduce human and livestock conflicts. They found that no research done in the last 40 years met this rigorous test, and few met even the more relaxed “silver standard.” The majority of recent studies of lethal methods found no effect, or a counter productive effect of increased livestock loss from carnivore killing. This led to the authors to recommend a moratorium or a suspension of lethal methods until "gold standard" experiments are completed.

Episode 16 - Dr. Marc Bekoff

August 2016


Dr. Marc Bekoff brings infinite wisdom and compassion to our relationships with animals. He is a former professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and is a fellow of the Animal Behavior Society and a past Guggenheim fellow. His scientific research includes animal behavior and cognitive ethology, which is the study of animal minds. With over 1000 articles and 30 books thus far, Marc is a leader in behavioral ecology, and pioneered the field of compassionate conservation.. His homepage is

Books available on Amazon

Kids & animals, Marc Bekoff, Foreword by Jane Goodall

Jasper's story: Saving moon bears, by Jill Robinson and Marc Bekoff

Ignoring nature no more: The case for compassionate conservation, edited by Marc Bekoff

Why dogs hump and bees get depressed, by Marc Bekoff

Rewilding Our Hearts: Building Pathways of Compassion and Coexistence, by Marc Bekoff

The Jane Effect: Celebrating Jane Goodall, edited by Dale Peterson and Marc Bekoff

The Animals' Agenda: Freedom, Compassion, and Coexistence in the Human Age (with Jessica Pierce, 2017, Beacon Press)


Essays on bears:


Compassionate conservation:


Trumping wildlife/trophy hunting:

Episode 15 - Jack Oelfke

August 2016

Imagine the return of grizzly bear in Washington's vast North Cascades wilderness, where it fulfills its ancient role in the ecosystem! That is what Jack Oeflke of the North Cascades Park Complex discusses in this inspiring show. Ample habitat is available to support a population of several hundred grizzly bears, in an ecosystem that is on a par with Yellowstone and Glacier, but now lacks a reproducing population of bears. Public support is strong for the proposal to reintroduce bears, which could occur in the next few years. A final decision is expected by the end of 2017.  Join the conversation!

Episode 14 - Sam Jojola

August 2016


Sam Jojola tells the gripping (and dangerous) story of his career as an undercover agent for the US Fish and Wildlife Service -- and his fascinating later career as an actor, which he says shares a lot with undercover work. For two decades, Sam worked on cases of illegal parrot smuggling, wildlife poisoning, and illegal trophy hunting by Safari Club types. His shares his serious concerns about the legal framework for managing grizzlies if federal protections are removed.


Sam says"state and federal agencies need to work in tandem, both are important. With the limited number of bears in the world, and with six out of eight of the world's bear species imperiled, why take a chance with grizzly bears, that deserve everything we can possibly do for them?"

The Lizard King by Bryan Christy - about a fellow USFWS Special Agent Chip Bepler who chased a notorious reptile smuggler in Florida. 


Of Parrots and People by Mira Tweti – Chapter 9, entitled "The Invisible Man," is about some of Sam’s covert work on the illegal parrot trade.


Winged Obsession by Jessica Speart - about the world's most notorious and prolific rare butterfly smuggler, caught by a colleague of Sam’s. The author gave Sam an acknowledgement for bringing this case to her attention.


A Hunt for Justice by Lucinda Delaney Schroeder - chronology of friend of Sam’s, a USFWS Special Agent, about an undercover Dall Sheep case she made in Alaska.


Plunder of the Ancients by Lucinda Delaney Schroeder - chronology of the illegal trafficking of Native American artifacts by art dealers in Santa Fe and elsewhere. 


Animal Investigators by Laurel A. Neme, PhD - great story about the world's first USFWS Wildlife Forensics Laboratory in Ashland, OR, with chapters on bear gall bladder investigations.

Episode 13 - Barbara Ulrich

July 2016


Barbara Ulrich shares her experience as an owner of an ecotourism business in Gardiner, MT, the doorstep of Yellowstone Park. Faced with the government’s troubling treatment of wolves, bison and other wildlife when they step outside the boundary of Park, Barbara became a leader of a community-based effort to improve state management. Her intelligent, low-key, but persistent style has paid off, with Montana’s adoption of more benign wolf policies. Feeding her curiosity about how the natural world works, Barbra went on mid-career to pursue graduate work looking for signals of past changes in climate in microbes that flourish in bison poop.

Spillover by David Quamman

A Montana writer attacks medical forensics in these stories of significant relevance to the modern world!


The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars by Michael Mann

Climate change is not a religion, it's science - and sadly, politics. Michael Mann addresses these issues head on.


The Signature of All Things Elizabeth Gilbert's great historical fiction work whose main character is a strong willed, intelligent, woman who is by nature, a scientist.

Episode 12 - Stephany Seay

June 2016


Today's episode is with Stephany Seay, media coordinator for the Buffalo Field Campaign. Stephany is on the front lines of protecting Yellowstone’s buffalo, for which there is sadly still great hostility in Montana and among cattlemen. She and other members of Buffalo Field Campaign monitor buffalo year round, and they bear witness to the government's mistreatment of them, such as last winter when about 600 animals were killed.

Dan Brister’s In the Presence of Buffalo


Everything by Derrick Jensen, especially Endgame, Vols. 1 & 2, & The Myth of Human Supremacy

Episode 11 - Bethany Cotton

June 2016


Bethany Cotton of Wild Earth Guardians is  a leading light in the fight to protect grizzly bears, wolves, lynx, bobcat and the wild nature of the American West. She started early, testifying at a hearing against a proposed mine (still not built) at the age of 12, and made the decision to become an environmental attorney in high school. You can't help but be inspired by her passion and moved by her resilience and tenacity.

Episode 10 - Dr. Paul Paquet and Dr. Chris Darimont

June 2016


This week, Louisa talks with Dr. Paul Paquet and Dr. Chris Darimont. Paul and Chris are both world renowned experts on predators and their wild ecosystems. Both have publications, infact a huge number of publications; a list as long as your arm. They may look conventional on paper, but in reality they’re kind of rebels, and they represent a serious challenge to conventional wildlife management, because in addition to researching the animals and their ecosystems, they have expressed concern about the welfare of wildlife.

More Reading

The Lorax, Dr. Seuss

Teaching a Stone to Talk, Annie Dillard

Sand County Almanac, Aldo Leopold

Ecology of Conflict: Marine Food Supply Affects Human-Wildlife Interaction on Land

       Artelle, K.A, et al,

       Sci. Rep. 6, 25936; doi: 10.1038/srep25936 (2016)

Wildlife Conservation and Animal Welfare: Two Sides of the Same Coin?

       PC Paquet and CT Darimont

       Animal Welfare, 2010, 19: 177-190 ISSN 1962-7286

The Unique Ecology of Human Predators

       Chris Darimont et al,

       Science, 349, 858 (2015) DOI:10.1126/science.aac 4249 

Episode 9 - Michelle Uberuaga

May 2016


Michelle Uberuaga is the Executive Director of the Park County Environmental Council in Livingston, Montana, a grassroots organization working to protect a landscape that is vital to the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem – and one that is threatened by two massive gold mines, rural sprawl, and lingering intolerance to grizzly bears and wolves.  Armed with a background as an attorney, a winning personality, and the ferocity of momma bear, Michelle is making headway, along with the members of PCEC… Michelle articulates why species like the grizzly bear need active local AND national constituents, explaining why she works at both scales.

Episode 8 - Dr. Jesse Logan - Part 2

May 2016


In Episode 8, Dr. Jesse Logan shares the second part of the interview, with fascinating insights on how whitebark pine trees, which provide vital seeds to grizzly bears, are sitting ducks when it comes to the predatory pine bark beetle. Dr. Logan talks about what it was like working on climate change issues in the hostile Bush administration, and his overriding passion for wilderness and wildlife.

Episode 7 - Dr. Jesse Logan - Part 1

May 2016


Louisa Willcox speaks with Dr Jesse Logan who blew the whistle on the threat to whitebark pine, a key grizzly bear food, from mountains pine beetle and global warming long before anyone else had imagined it. He tells the amazing story of predicting and then documenting the tragic loss of a magnificent forest in Greater Yellowstone, and using his knowledge to help in the fight to restore legal protections to the Yellowstone grizzly bear. Jesse is a forest ecologist, climate expert and outdoorsman extraordinaire, who in his 70's can still kick your ass in the woods.

More reading:

Ecology of Place: Mountain Pine Beetle, Whitebark Pine, and Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem: WFIWC Founders Award, 2009, Dr Jesse Logan.


In the Rockies, Pine Dies and Bears Feel It, Charles Petit, New York Times, 2007


Global Warming's Unlikely Harbingers, Michelle Niijhuis, High Country News. 2004


The Scrambled Natural World of Global Warming, Washington State Magazine, Winter 2014

Episode 5 & 6 - Charlie Russell

April/May 2016


Charlie Russell is a rancher, bear expert, film-maker and author, who has such a special personal way with bears that some call him a bear whisperer -- a honorific that he poopoo’s. Charlie has spent much of his life pioneering a different kind of compassionate and respectful relationship with bears and other wildlife, one he thinks is possible for all of us. Charlie has accomplished what many thought impossible, including raising tiny orphan cubs and releasing them successfully in the wild to flourish. Charlie’s decade in Russia’s Far East were high adventure, tracking poachers in his ultralight plane, and building a Russian ranger corps to protect bears and other wildlife.   Charlie speaks to tragic deaths by bears of friends like Timothy Treadwell, and the threats to grizzly bears in Alberta and Yellowstone by proposed sport hunting.

Grizzly Heart: Living Without Fear Among the Brown Bears of Kamchatka,2002,

by Charlie Russell and Maureen Enns


Spirit Bear: Encounter with the White Bear of the Western Rainforest, 1994,

by Charlie Russell


The Beardude Story: Data vs Dogma, Apr 9,2015

by Mr. Allen W. Piche


The Grizzly,1914,

by Enos A. Mills

Episode 4 - Tim Bozorth

April 2016


Louisa Willcox speaks with Tim Bozorth, retired land manager and member of Yellowstone’s Interagency Grizzly Bear Subcommittee, who candidly shares his opposition to grizzly bear delisting. During his 45 years in public service, Tim stood up for the public and our natural resources, and helped make the world a safer place for grizzly bears in the Gravelly and Centennial Mountains. Here he outlines his vision for what still needs to be done next to achieve long term recovery for the grizzly bear.

More reading:


Walden and Civil Disobedience, Henry David Thoreau

A Sand Country Almanac, Aldo Leopold

Our Natural History: The Lessons of Lewis and Clark, Danial B. Botkin

Crossing The Next Meridian Land: Water and the Future of the West, Charles, F. Wilkinson

The Wisdom of the Crowds: Why the Many are Smarter than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Economies, Societies and Nations, James Surowiecki

Episode 3 - Casey Anderson

April 2016


Louisa Willcox talks to Casey Anderson, who raised a grizzly cub, Brutus, from a tiny baby to a 900 pound giant. Casey challenges us to think differently about our relationships with bears, who are a lot like us. Casey owns Grizzly Encounter, an educational facility that harbors grizzly bears, many of whom were rescued from dire conditions, or zoos that were closing down.

More information on Casey and Brutus:



Casey’s TEDx Bozeman Talk:


Casey’s book - his story about Brutus:


Casey's video choices:


Montana Grizzly Encounters

Episode 2 - Chuck Neal

March 2016

Louisa Willcox talks with a man who pulls no punches when talking about the management problems of the ecosystems and the political dominance of the livestock industry over all other values on public lands.  Chuck Neal, ecologist, author, and grizzly bear expert, and old friend and colleague spent 40 years as an ecologist working for the Departments of Interior and Agriculture across the West, from New Mexico to Montana, with a special emphasis on wilderness and habitat. Chuck has a passion for grizzly bears and has spent countless hours in Yellowstone’s backcountry in the company of bears. His book, Grizzlies in the Mist makes for a fascinating read. 

Suggested reading:


Grizzlies in the Mist, by Chuck Neal


Bear Attacks: Their Causes and Avoidance, by Stephen Herrero


On connectivity for grizzly bear populations?!blank-6/cymg


How many bears do you need to get to recovery?!blank-6/cymg

Episode 1 - Dr. Barrie Gilbert

March 2016


Louisa Willcox of the Grizzly Times talks with an old friend and colleague Dr. Barrie Gilbert for insights to the mess that is about to unfold in the world of grizzly bears. Barrie is an expert and a retired professor of animal behavior at Utah State University who studied grizzly bears from Yellowstone to Alaska for 40 years.

Now he’s also studying how they’re being managed by the government and his view points offer a stark warning. 

Suggested reading:                             

Grizzly Years by Doug Peacock   


Agency Spin, By Dr. David Mattson!agency-spin/c19kj


Killing Grizzly Bears, Grizzly Times!killing-grizzly-bears/c80v


Without a Safety Net, Grizzly Times!Without-A-Safety-Ned

Ep 42 Macfarlane
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