Thursday, February 22: Bear Essential? The Past, Present, and Potential Future of Grizzlies in California
Free lecture with Dr. Peter Alagona.
Co-hosted by Los Olivos Library.
Thursday, February 22, 7:30 p.m.
Santa Ynez Valley Grange.
2374 Alamo Pintado Avenue, Los Olivos.
Featured image is the California state flag
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 and some Californians are beginning to wonder whether it is time to bring them back. This lecture will discuss the work of the California Grizzly Study Group, a project launched in 2016 at UC Santa Barbara that is conducting the first major study of the past, present, and potential future of grizzlies in California since 1955.
Pete Alagona is an associate professor of history, geography, and environmental studies at UCSB. Before coming to Santa Barbara, he studied at Northwestern University and UCLA, and held fellowships at Harvard and Stanford. An environmental historian by training, his work explores what happens when humans share space and resources—their habitats—with other species. He has published more than four-dozen books and articles on these and related topics, including After the Grizzly: Endangered Species and the Politics of Place in California, published by the University of California Press in 2013.