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My Mauling And Mountaintop Rescue: Longtime USU Professor Tells His Story

Mountain Journal Monday, Sep. 02, 2019

In his new memoir, 'One of Us,' bear biologist Barrie Gilbert recounts his own brutal grizzly attack and the reasons behind his passion for large landscape conservation ... We sighted our first grizzlies at 6:04 a.m. on June 27, 1977. The day had begun with sunlight chasing a long shadow across an alpine lake far below. We were in the Gallatin River headwaters of northwest Yellowstone National Park, 9,900 feet above sea level. Sitting at the top of the world, my graduate student, Bruce, and I were high with excitement as we watched a mother grizzly and three cubs amble toward a small herd of grazing elk. It was late spring in Montana’s Gallatin Range. The high valleys were greening up, and the long snowdrifts were melting away. Only a week earlier, we had left Utah State University to begin a study of grizzly bear responses to backcountry hikers and outfitters on packhorses. Finally, bears were in sight, not too far from the well-used Fawn Pass Trail.

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