Waterton-Glacier Peace Park

In the Presence of Bears

There is nothing that gives more to the sense of place of wilderness, than the presence of a grizzly bear. Imagine the Rocky Mountain landscape without the great bear. It is, as if the landscape has lost part of its soul. Most of the western states have suffered this fate. Grizzlies have lost over 90% of their former range. Now their most important enclave in the lower 48 is at stake. It is the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park and the adjacent Flathead River Valley, that conservationists have been trying to protect for years.

Encounters with the King of the Mountains

” ….I was sitting on a high alpine slope, looking over mountain lakes and ranges. It was a peaceful September day. Flocks of migrating water pipits fluttered by, filling the air with their soft calls, while golden eagles shot through the skies above me, arching in acrobatic grace. It was late afternoon, and slowly the mountain cast a shadow of blue light over me. I had been on that alpine ridge for days, waiting for something to happen. I was watching a large bighorn sheep when I noticed that it had become quite alert. I turned my head, following the direction of its gaze. My eyes met with those of a silver-tipped grizzly.

It was as if the mountain wall had simply given birth to the grizzly—it appeared that quickly and silently from out of the blue light. In a single instant, it seemed the whole mountain came alive, vibrating with anticipation. In awe I sat there, watching the magnificent creature digging for roots. I knew he was aware of my presence—the wind had long since carried my scent over to him. Slowly the bear came closer, and everything seemed to fall into a hush. Silence filled the place, as if the whole world was holding its breath, watching the king of the mountains enter the stage . . .”  

— Florian Schulz
Auszug aus seinem Buch Yellowstone to Yukon - Freedom to Roam

Imagine the American West without the grizzly bear. THE WEST is a great part of America`s history and identity. It needs to keep the symbol of the west alive. This struggle over Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park goes far beyond the status of ” A PARK IN DANGER”. It is about the WILDLIFE GATEWAY between the USA and Canada. The Flathead River Valley can be seen as a “Wildlife Superhighway”, where moose, wolves, grizzlies, black bears, lynx and wolverine move across political border as well as in and out of protection. Such north-south running valleys are extremely rare and the Flathead is one of a kind that still offers wild-land qualities that animals depend on. 

Get involved and send your message to the Canada’s Minister of the Environment. We need to protect this place for the grizzlies!

My book: Yellowstone to Yukon – Freedom to Roam has a wonderful collection of essays by Dr. David Suzuki, Douglas Chadwick, Karsten Heuer, David Quammen, Rick Bass, Ted Kerasote and other great contributors, that look at the dream of a interconnected ecosystem with functioning wildlife corridors from many different angles. 

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Über Florian

Als professioneller Naturfotograf widmet sich Florian Schulz dem Schaffen von einzigartigen Naturaufnahmen. Seine Bilder werden in Magazinen wie National Geographic, BBC Wildlife und GEO veröffentlicht. Schulz stammt aus Süddeutschland und verbringt im Jahr durchschnittlich acht bis zehn Monate im Feld, um mit seinen Fotografieprojekten gesamte Ökosysteme zu dokumentieren.

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