Seeley Swan Pathfinder -

By Tatum McConnell
Vital Ground 

How grizzly bears' digging shapes mountain meadows


November 7, 2019

James T. Smith

A grizzly sow with her cubs.

We climbed up Napa Point, approaching the tree line as the forest thinned, a few ambitious Doug firs and whitebark pines clinging onto the ridgeline. I was surprised to see a heavy layer of snow in May, and a bit perturbed, having not thought to bring my gaiters. I was participating in Swan Valley Connection's (SVC) Wildlife in the West program, taking nine credits on wildlife conservation and ecology. Today we were out with SVC's conservation director, Luke Lamar, to learn about the plight of whitebark pine and take advantage of the stunning view to practice with a map and compass.

We had...

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