Writing Westward Podcast 044 - Robert Chaney - The Grizzly in the Driveway

Writing Westward Podcast       Episode 044

Robert Chaney

The Grizzly in the Driveway:

The Return of Bears to a Crowded American West


University of Washington Press, 2020



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Robert Chaney is a journalist based in Montana and the managing editor of one of the region’s major newspapers, The Missoulian. Much of his work in the past decades has focused on the environment and the thorny issues of managing our public lands and resources in the West. In his new book, The Grizzly in the Driveway: The Return of Bears to a Crowded American West (University of Washington Press, 2020)., Chaney traces the recent history of Grizzly Bear reintroductions to different regions in the Northern Rockies, the complicated intersecting issues of the ACTUAL role they play in their ecosystems, and the fears we have about them, imagined malicious personalities we project on them, and resulting politics that often overshadow science in policy-making concerning their management. As an apex predator of immense size and with immense destructive and deadly capacities, Grizzly Bear encounters are not something to be taken lightly. However, as Chaney illustrates from various angles, successful balancing of ecological needs and human activities in the Mountain West must be driven by more than our fear of them. With more and more people venturing into Grizzly habitats for recreation, work, or residence, these are issues that must be weighed carefully. Chaney helps us start a number of these crucial conversations.

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