Prior to the Gold Rush, California was home to as many as ten thousand grizzly bears. After 1849, the state’s grizzly population plummeted, and the last credible sighting of a wild “chaparral bear” occurred near Sequoia National Park in 1924. Today, California’s grizzlies are lost but not forgotten; they have been extinct in the state for nearly a century but they remain our official mascot. Some Californians are beginning to wonder whether it is time to bring them back. Pete Alagona, associate professor of history, geography, and environmental studies at UC Santa Barbara, will discuss the work of the California Grizzly Study Group. This project was launched in 2016 at UC Santa Barbara and it is conducting the first major study of the past, present, and potential future of grizzlies in California since 1955.
This event is free to the public.