George Valentic

Joined: Jan 10, 2020 Last Active: Jun 25, 2022 iNaturalist

Enjoy observing wildlife and nature and sharing the experience with others to increase people's appreciation and respect for Nature. Have worked in the wildlife and public lands arena for the better part of 36 years for the USFS, BLM, universities, parks, and as a volunteer, mostly in the western states. Have been educating the public about wildlife and Nature (including tracking wildlife, plant ID, and wilderness survival) since 1986. In 1994, I graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a degree in Natural Resources, specializing in Wildlife Ecology.

Have worked on bear research projects, and have been a Grizzly Bear Specialist/FPO for the USFS and served as Bear Smart/Trash Enforcement in the Tahoe Basin.

Becoming Bear Smart involves learning that all human attractants are dangerous for bears, causing them to become habituated to humans, and in many US states, leads to their death.. all, the result of human behavior, while a bear is just being a bear.

For over three decades have spent much time interacting with and observing bears... and have lived with black bears of the back-country for months at a time on several occasions, building personal relationships lasting 8 - 15 years. Will be a bit limited as far as the number of Black Bear and Grizzly Bear observations (including sign) I'll share here... mainly from 3 or more years ago, and/or of bears from areas that are already well known among hunters (yet still limiting my exposure of many observations), or where bears are protected from hunting...

The amount of bear sign I photograph is usually less than 2% of what I see and the percentage of what I share tends to be less than that... The areas I visit in Bear Country, are actively hunted by bear hunters, and as a result observation locations are generalized and obscured, doing otherwise can be hazardous for bears. While visiting Bear Country I try to understand the neighborhood and work at becoming accepted as part of it. Been very fortunate that this has taken place at two locations, in the past for over 30 years at a favorite place, and currently unfolding in a new area. My objectives while walking in Bear Country are to absorb all the bear sign as a tapestry on the landscape... observing how the bear sign is connected... much like looking at a human urban area like a small town or big city and seeing all it's parts... From highways to back alleys, from grocery stores to convenience stores, from hotels to homes, from parks to back yards... And while seeing what the neighbors are up to, who is gathering at the grocery store, and who is flying down the freeway. Bear Country is that in-depth... Because bears are that in-depth, much like each one of us. I do try to share examples of Bear Country that may be the usual types of bear sign seen and also some unique examples of bear sign.

To see more of my experiences in Nature and in Bear Country, you can find me on Instagram, where I share more about my relationships with bears on a personal level.

Nature is real... Where we are surrounded by truth and get a break from all the misgivings and manipulation and competition of "civilization". We all are equal in Nature... Nature accepts us as we are... Nature does not judge or condemn... It simply is.

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