The Bear Facts
Grizzly Recovery in the Bitterroot Ecosystem
Department of Environmental Studies
Huxley College of the Environment
Bellingham, Washington 98225
In this decision case, students consider the pros and cons of reintroducing grizzly bears into the northwestern United States as they learn about natural resource policy and the wildlife management decision-making process. Students consider four different approaches to grizzly bear recovery and management in the Bitterroot Ecosystem. As part of this, they assume the viewpoint of a stakeholder group, including environmentalists, government officials, residents, hunters, natural resource managers, ranchers, loggers, American Indians, wildlife biologists, and the tourist/recreation industry. The case was developed for use in an upper-division natural resource policy course.
- Apply natural resource policy to "real life" wildlife management case in the western United States.
- Learn and apply basic provisions of the Endangered Species Act, and understand the political processes related to its mandate.
- Critically read and understand federal legislation and government documents (environmental impact statements).
- Develop critical thinking skills and learn to support arguments (pro and con) with facts.
- Work collaboratively to come to consensus on a contentious issue.
- Learn to separate fact from opinion and emotional arguments.
KeywordsGrizzly bear; Ursus arctos horribilis; endangered species; environmental decision-making; Idaho; Montana; Bitterroot Selway Ecosystem
Topical AreasPolicy issues, Regulatory issues, Scientific argumentation, Social issues
Educational LevelUndergraduate upper division
Type / MethodsDilemma/Decision, Jig-Saw, Role-Play
Subject HeadingsNatural Resource Management | Wildlife Management | Ecology | Environmental Science |
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