Grizzly Bear Advocacy - Episode 034

Wilderness Podcast episode with Louisa Wilcox and David Mattson

Grizzly Bear Advocacy | Louisa Wilcox & David Mattson | Grizzly Times | Ep. 034

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Louisa Wilcox and David Mattson

Release Date: June 14th, 2020

In this episode, I speak with David Mattson and Louisa Wilcox, grizzly bear and carnivore scientists and activists who live near Livingston, Montana. We talk about David and Louisa’s background, speaking truth to power in Greater Yellowstone concerning grizzly bear management, attempts to delist the grizzly bear, arguments for delisting, achieving viable population numbers, distrusting state management of endangered carnivores, hunting and conservation and as a business model, juxtaposing domination vs holistic world views towards natures, elk and deer population factors in grizzly country, shifting diets due to climate change, pepper spray vs firearms for countering grizzly attacks, preventing unnecessary grizzly deaths at the hands of hunters, all the positives of having carnivores on the landscape, native American relationships with grizzly bears, our responsibility towards bears, leaving wild things for future generation, the despair of the loss of wildness by Aldo Leopold and openly expressing the love we feel for the wild.

David Mattson's Bio

David Mattson grew up in the Black Hills of western South Dakota, the grandson of pioneers who settled in the region during the early 1900s. Much to the chagrin of his sheep-ranching mother, he went on to spend his career studying large carnivores, including grizzly bears in the Yellowstone ecosystem and mountain lions in the Southwest. His fieldwork in Yellowstone spanned 1979-1993, including a stint overseeing field investigations for the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team. After Yellowstone, David earned a PhD from the University of Idaho and then migrated to Flagstaff, Arizona. He embarked upon a series of mountain lion studies during 1999-2013 that took him from the Grand Canyon and Flagstaff environs in Arizona, to Capitol Reef and Zion NPs in Utah, to the Nevada Test Site in…Nevada. During recent decades, his interest in policy led him to teaching positions with the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology prior to serving as a Research Station Leader for the US Geological Survey. He currently lives south of Livingston, Montana. 

Louisa Wilcox's Bio

Working for Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, Center for Biological Diversity and Greater Yellowstone Coalition, Louisa has advocated for preservation of wilderness and wild animals of the Northern Rockies for over 40 years. She helped lead campaigns that stopped a devastating gold mine as well as geothermal development on Yellowstone Park’s doorstep, reintroduced wolves to Yellowstone, protected Wyoming Wilderness and the Clarks Fork of the Yellowstone as a Wild and Scenic River, and prevented grizzly bear delisting and trophy hunting. Louisa specializes in developing comprehensive strategies that succeed because they work on multiple scales using various approaches, including grassroots organizing and outreach, education, media and communication, policy analysis, lobbying, coalition development, and public protest. In 2015, Louisa and her husband Dr. David Mattson started Grizzly Times,, and a podcast,, to provide a voice for grizzly bears and the wild. Louisa has a BA from Williams College and a Masters of Forest Policy from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. In 2014, she was given a lifetime achievement award from Yale. 

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