This month we venture off the beaten path back into the woods and the bears backyard to gain wisdom from the Great Grizzly.
I recently went on an adventure to a remote coastal region of British Columbia hoping to garner an understanding for the ways of the wild and the unique systems which have for centuries helped support a healthy and vital environment.
I discovered an integral piece of this puzzle lies in the powerful presence of the Grizzly. Watching from afar, I learned much about the bears impact and influence on the land, its creatures and wild resources.
Putting this into practice for the modern man and woman I have outlined governing principles which encompass the Great Grizzly as a Guide.
Eat for the Earth
Follow the seasons when you eat and return the remains of your meal in natural form to the earth, so nutrients can then feed a fertile soil. Grizzlies are natural gardeners, digging in forage they prepare seed beds for germination and also spread seed when they visit the bear bathroom. This is good for the earth and other creatures great and small who refuel on the rich resources growing in the grizzlies garden. Consume then Compost to reduce your living impact on earths natural resources!
Grow like a Griz on Greens
The food habits of the Great Grizzly depend largely on environment but also on adaptive food preferences. According to Shepard and Sanders authors of the Sacred Paw, “All bears are omnivorous but the proportion of meat to plants in their diets varies, not only among different species but seasonally and with availability.”
Subsisting on seasonal foods means the grizzly will at times source all their energy from a vegetarian diet. In fact, the North American brown bear typically eats more than 200 types of plants and consumes a higher percentage of vegetation (85-98%) than many other bears. Whilst the Syrian brown bear is almost totally vegetarian.
Lyngby’s sedge (Carex lyngbyei) a main staple for bears during spring, contains 25% raw protein. A common shoreline sedge to the Pacific Northwest it can be purchased from native plant nurseries (ie. Woodbrook) to snip and sprinkle over your salad!
Earn what you Eat
Sourcing food from aquatic habitats, ground vegetation – above and below, and trees the grizzly enlists skill and physical effort to acquire their food. Swimming (can catch 60-100 fish a day), digging, leveraging rock, stripping bark and climbing to fuel their powerful frames. Put some muscle into your meals and maintain a healthy body through functional exercise. Get outdoors leaving electrical expense behind and work up a sweat the old fashioned way. This not only minimises your energy consumption but healthcare outlay as well.
Bear Behaviour Benefits
The Grizzly lives an ‘eco-vital’ existence adding value to the earth through a lifestyle which enriches the environment rather than depletes it. If all humans heeded the example they set, the world would be a better place, eco-systems would sustain through natural means and our resources would renew themselves.
Back the Bears
The Great Grizzly needs guardians for as impressive a beast as the bear maybe it too has succumb to the changing climate and conditions of a modern world. Of greatest impact to the Griz is land fragmentation and the loss of their Freedom to Roam.
With the grizzly bear as its compass, Vital Ground works to reconnect fragmented landscapes in the U.S. and Canada critical to wildlife movement and biodiversity. Because the grizzly’s range covers several hundred square miles—from alpine meadows to valley bottoms—protecting and expanding habitat and migration corridors important to the Great Bear benefits entire animal and plant communities in the wildest, yet most imperiled places left on the continent. Since its founding in 1990, Vital Ground has helped to protect and enhance more than 604,000 acres of wildlife habitat in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Alaska, and British Columbia.
Click here to donate to Vital Ground and become a guardian for the Great Griz.