Wednesday, January 7, 2009

People And Movies And Bears! Oh, My!

A couple of years back I heard a program about local bears on my local public radio station. At the time I'd thought that I had seen a grizzly in northern Washington's Pasayten Wilderness. I contacted the guests and sent in a couple of photos, but when I enlarged them enough to share it was clear that the bear hadn't been a grizzly after all, only an extremely large brown-pelted black bear (only!).

Anyway, I'm still on their mailing list and not long ago received a message from "Wildlife Media". It took me a moment to catch on before I remembered. But it was interesting, and I thought maybe someone else might like to know about these folks.

Here's the gist of it:

Dear friends,

It's been an amazing year - especially for our new non-profit conservation organization 'Wildlife Media' - the 20 minute promo film for "Beartrek", our first feature-length documentary, has been receiving rave reviews (watch it here - I promise it will give you goosebumps: We're filming the most compelling bear stories around the world, and also funding conservation efforts in those places as we go. First off was Alaska, among the biggest bears on earth. Our next stop was Borneo where the smallest bears remain largely a mystery to science. Once we gather the funds we'll be filming in Peru, the Arctic, and Mongolia. Please check out our site and tell your friends. It has been an incredible and humbling experience working with a small family of people to get this unique project off the ground. It's also resulted in other exciting steps including a new film we're working on for PBS/National Geographic Television about Alaska's bears!

Our local work to help people understand the grizzly bears of the North Cascades is also going really well through G-BOP (, thanks to another great team of people. We have fewer than 20 grizzly bears left in the 10,000 square mile chunk of wilderness here, but through our work we've found that most people would like to see this change - there's a great deal of support on the ground for these majestic creatures. G-BOP is going so well we've even started working on education about cougars and wolves too!

For the bears,


PS. You can email me at

Chris Morgan (MS) Scientist and Conservationist
Executive Director
Wildlife Media,
1208 Bay St, Suite 202
Bellingham, WA 98225, USA
360.734.6060 (office)

Wildlife Media is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to promoting conservation via media, education and funding campaigns for the sake of both people and wildlife. "Good films do more than evoke wonder, inspiration and emotion. They can promote change," which is one of their goals. They concentrate on large animals and interesting ecosystems to "draw audiences to the world of wildlife conservation".

Chris Morgan also leads bear viewing trips to the Katmai coast of Alaska, where participants "see up to 100 bears per 5 day trip".

And the film ""Beartrek"" referred to in the email is a feature length documentary about a global motorcycle trip with Chris Morgan seeking rare bear species and documenting the stories of the people working with them. There are clips available (see below).

Footnote: On December 29, 2008, the radio program "Weekday" from KUOW in Seattle broadcast "The State of the Wilderness in 2008".

This was "A survey of animals facing extinction. In the Pacific Northwest, the endangered include Orcas, salmon, grizzlies, and owls. Tune in to find out the state of the wilderness from the experts. Also, we take a boating excursion on Puget Sound to track Orcas. Which animals are struggling to survive? What does it mean for our future and what can we do about it?

Guests were Stuart Pimm, professor of conservation ecology at Duke University; Chris Morgan, director of the Grizzly Bear Outreach Project, and producer of the feature documentary "Beartrek"; Brad Hanson, wildlife biologist with the Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Seattle; Sara LaBorde, special assistant to the director of the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife.

See below for links to audio files from this program.


About "Beartrek" the movie. (Viewable clips.)
Chris Morgan's Brown Bears of Katmai tours.
Donate to Wildlife Media.
Wildlife Media.
Wildlife Media blog.
Wildlife Media brochure (PDF, 3.3 MB).

State of the Wilderness audio files:
MP3 MP3 High
MP3 MP3 Low