Well, it's finally happening.
In May 2010, my first book, The Grizzly Manifesto, will be published by Rocky Mountain Books. It is not the first book about bears I started, but it is the first one to see its way into print, and given the importance of the subject matter – namely, grizzly bear conservation in western North America – I’ll be embarking on a book and media tour shortly after its release.
This book is unique, I think, because it blends all that’s special and important about grizzly bears with my personal experiences as a journalist and conservationist. I've spent much of the last ten years learning about the people and political processes that are supposed to preserve grizzly bears and the habitat on which they depend. Sadly, the system seems terribly broken and ineffective, especially in Canada. As it's name suggests, it also provides a blueprint of sorts that will prevent the grizzly’s decline and possible disappearance if we don't change our ways.
The grizzly bear, once the archetype for all that is wild, is quickly becoming a symbol of nature’s fierce but flagging resilience in the face of humanity’s growing appetite for natural resources — and of the difficulty our wealth-addicted society has in changing its ways.
North America’s grizzlies survived the arrival of spear-wielding humans 13,000 years ago, outlived the short-faced bear, the dire wolf and the sabre-tooth cat—not to mention mastodons, mammoths and giant ground sloths the size of elephants—but a growing wave of urbanization and industrialization continues to push the Great Bear further north and west, just as it has since Europeans arrived in its home 400 years ago.
Despite their relatively successful recovery in Yellowstone National Park, the bears’ decline in Canada continues largely unchecked. The front line in this centuries-old battle for survival has shifted to western Alberta and southern BC, where outdated mythologies, rapacious industry and disingenuous governments continue to push the Great Bear into the mountains and toward a future that may not have room for them at all.
I’m hoping to partner with conservation organizations, independent bookstores, and/or universities/colleges in major towns and cities in both the U.S. and Canada. Potential stops include Jackson Hole, Bozeman, Missoula, Lethbridge, Calgary, Edmonton, Jasper, Canmore, Banff, Vancouver, Victoria, and even Seattle. If (you or someone you know) might be interested in helping organize an event in your area in May/June/July, please contact me for more information.