IGBC: Recovering the Grizzly Bear Population

By: Ethan Luke.


Grizzly bears are considered by most experts to be the most aggressive of all types of bears. Their aggressive behavior is a natural instinct derived from their size: They are too large to avoid danger by climbing trees, and they historically compete with other large predators for food. Aggressive behavior for grizzlies during times of confrontation are natural. Grizzly bears normally try to avoid human confrontation and interaction, but their population has been seriously jeopardized by excessive hunting and were placed under federal protection under the Endangered Species Act in 1975. Biologists estimated as few as 600-800 grizzlies existed in the lower 48 states and declining. There are extended efforts to help recover the grizzly bear population back to its natural size, in its natural habitat.

The Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee (IGBC) was formed in 1983 to help ensure recovery of grizzly bear populations and their habitats through a coordinated effort of policy, planning, management, and research. The IGBC consists of members from the U.S. Forest Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service. the Bureau of Land Management, and Geological Survey. Other representatives come from state wildlife agencies of Idaho, Montana, Washington and Wyoming. The IGBC has become the ideal model for agencies by coordinating and cooperating the recovery efforts over the multiple jurisdictions that the grizzly bear habitat spans.

The IGBC set up four main objectives: to engage top level decision makers in a coordinated effort to recover grizzly bears through policy and procedure; to coordinate management and research actions, to implement the Grizzly Bear Recovery Plan; and to implement and oversee the management and research activities of all recovered grizzly bears. Today, biologists estimate the population has doubled and grizzly bears are believed to be increasing their numbers in most recovery ecosystems. In 2007, they were removed from the Endangered Species List.

In the 25 years of its existence, the IGBC has identified and established five significant grizzly bear ecosystems, several subcommittees and in-depth research teams to learn and teach effective education and outreach programs. Their education and outreach teaches how to avoid or minimize bear-human conflicts, as well as the proper directions for food storage and garbage management, as well as domestic stock grazing management. Their research has produced efficient bear deterrent products, bear-resistant ice coolers and portable electric fences.

The IGBC can also officially certify products as ‘bear-resistant’ that meet their tough criteria of ensuring both grizzly and human safety. The Tundra Series, YETI’s next generation cooler, is made with two inches of insulation in the body and three inches in the lid. The body of the cooler is the same type of material used to make tough river kayaks. The Tundra Series has a pad-lock mechanism, and when locked allows it is be successfully certified as bear resistant by the IGBC. The roto-molded one-piece casing will withstand the high impact of clawing, biting, thrashing, kicking, and cursing of any physical onslaught. If you are still a doubter, visit their website, www.yeticoolers.com to view a short Bear vs. Yeti video.

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Ethan Luke. Coolers - Yeti Coolers are ultra-durable coolers that will last you years.

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