In North America, grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) once ranged from the Pacific Ocean to the Mississippi River and from Central Mexico to the Arctic Ocean.Today, the prairie population of grizzly bears is locally extinct (extirpated) in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. It was extinguished through human intolerance, market hunting, rapid conversion of habitat to agricultural fields, and loss of key prey (buffalo).
....The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) lists grizzly bears as a "Special Concern" species due to characteristics that make it particularly sensitive to human activities or natural events. In Alberta, the grizzly bear is designated as threatened, while in British Columbia, it is blue-listed. (Parks Canada)
VWS has been working with local concerned groups, including the Friends and Residents of North Fork, to save this small semi-isolated population of about 80 grizzly bears for the past 25 years. In 2007, partly in recognition of the need to protect core wilderness of high habitat value for these grizzly bears, the province established the Granby and Gladstone provincial parks. Despite this important conservation initiative, the province has tragically allowed accelerated road-building and clearcut logging of critical grizzly habitat and movement corridors between and around these protected areas. Unless the widespread logging is stopped, these southern dry land grizzlies are doomed. Much of this threat today is from BC Timber Sales (BCTS), owned by the province of BC.
Grizzly bears have one of the lowest known reproductive rates of all North American land mammals. The age of first reproduction ranges from 5-8 years. A female produces young every 3-5 years. In mountain parks, research indicates that on average, female grizzly bears have offspring every 4-5 years. Mating takes place from mid-May to early July. Males will travel long distances to mate with available females.
The most sought after grizzlies in hunting are the biggest males. This picture (with identifying characteristics removed) shows a hunter with a male grizzly in its prime: shot, killed and skinned during mating season in the vicinity of a receptive female. The bear was about 7' tall, and approximately 14 years old.
Hunters gain more access through roads established by logging companies. This is especially relevant in the Glade watershed where currently only a minimal number of roads exist, and a large portion of the watershed is solely accessible by foot.