EXHIBITS

Old Ephraim: The Legendary Grizzly of the Bear River Range: The Era of Old Ephraim and Frank Clark

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The Era of Old Ephraim and Frank Clark

History of Grazing and Predator Control in Cache National Forest

Grizzly Bears in the Bear River Range

Locating a bear
A group of people looking for a bear in Blacksmith Fork Canyon, Utah, July 1908
(USU Special Collections & Archives, Blacksmith Fork Canyon photograph collection, P0026, Box 1, Photograph 11)

The dramatic influx of sheep in the Bear River Range caused much of the grizzly bears’ habitat to become overgrazed, but it simultaneously offered a tantalizing new source of food.[5] Because they are omnivores, plant sources are an important part of grizzly diets, and this resource suddenly became scarcer.[6] Additionally, grizzlies are opportunistic feeders, meaning they will feed on whatever food is available. Mostly defenseless sheep were an easy and alluring opportunity.[7] Some combination of these factors led a small portion of grizzlies to attack flocks, and those that killed once often continued to do so. Herders responded by hiring professional trappers, or, like Frank Clark, killing bears themselves, usually with no regard to which had killed livestock and which had not.[8]

Frank Clark (1879–1960)

[1] Lysle R. English, “A History of Grazing in Logan Canyon” (master’s Plan B, Utah State University, 1971), 9–10, accessed July 12, 2019, http://exhibits.usu.edu/files/original/6ca5bc72e20ea7ec2bcdc436d9d1fd6f.pdf.
[2] William H. Lewis, “The Historical Origins of the Logan Forest Reserve,” (History 201 paper, Utah State University, Logan, 1967), 16, USU MSS 491 Box 3, Fd. 15.
[3] Lewis, “The Historical Origins of the Logan Forest Reserve,” 21.
[4] Ralph Roberts, “History of Cache National Forest,” 1940, MSS 491, Box 2, Folder 7, Cache National Forest, Utah State University Special Collections & Archives, Logan, UT.
[5] English, “A History of Grazing in Logan Canyon,” 14–16; David E. Brown, The Grizzly in the Southwest: Documentary of an Extinction (Norman, OK: Oklahoma University Press, 1985), 97­–100.
[6] “U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Grizzly Bear (Ursus Arctos Horribilis),” USFWS National Digital Library, published March 2007, accessed July 12, 2019, https://digitalmedia.fws.gov/digital/collection/document/id/23/rec/2.
[7] Richard K. Knight and Steven L. Judd, “Grizzly Bears that Kill Livestock,” Bears: Their Biology and Management 5, (1983): 186–190, accessed July 12, 2019, https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/3872537.pdf.
[8] Victor S. Sorenson, “The Wasters and Destroyers: Community Sponsored Predator Control in Early Utah Territory” (master’s Plan B, Utah State University, 1992), 21.
[9] Frank Clark, “By Request of Forest Service,” 979.2524 Ep38 A-5 – A-7, Old Ephraim File, General Book Collection, Utah State University Special Collections & Archives, Logan, UT, accessed July 12, 2019, http://digital.lib.usu.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/Ephraim/id/81/rec/4; Garth P. Monson, “The Death of a Legend,” in, “The Legend of Old Ephraim, The Bear of Utah,” by Richard A. Monson, 1985, Folk Coll 8, Box 31, File 85-013, USU Student Fieldwork Collection, Utah State University Special Collections & Archives, Logan, UT.