Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program:
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources


Interdisciplinary evaluation of grizzly bear reintroduction to California

June 2020 - December 2024


Participating Agencies

Large carnivore reintroductions play an increasingly large role in global conservation efforts, yet they have been at the center of social conflicts that remain poorly understand. Improving our understanding of public support and opposition for these programs, especially at the local scale, is essential to sound decision-making that supports long-term conservation successes. In this research, I employ multiple methods in a case study of brown bear ("grizzly bear") reintroductions under consideration in California. Using novel spatial methods, I reconsider notions of habitat suitability by incorporating multiple approaches for understanding human tolerance for reintroduction. Simultaneously, using social science methods, I am conducting a longitudinal study of local attitudes and values around reintroduction at sites throughout the state. The findings of this research will support a well informed public conversation and first-of-its-kind data on how attitudes evolve in time and space before - and potentially during and after - a reintroduction.

Research Publications Publication Date
Massarella, K., Nygren, A., Fletcher, R., Büscher, B., Kiwango, W.A., Komi, S., Krauss, J.E., Mabele, M.B., McInturff, A., Sandroni, L.T. and Alagona, P.S., 2021. Transformation beyond conservation: How critical social science can contribute to a radical new agenda in biodiversity conservation. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 49, pp.79-87. | Abstract April 2021
Presentations Presentation Date
Santo, Anna R., S. M. Hagerman, K.M.A. Chan, A. McInturff. "The logic landscape: A typology of logics about human intervention in ecosystems to inform grizzly bear recovery in the North Cascades." NACCB 2024. June 2024
Pero, Ellen, Alex McInturff, and Peter Alagona. "California Grizzly reintroduction: a comprehensive feasibility study." North American Congress in Conservation Biology. Vancouver, Canada, 2024. June 2024
McInturff, Alex. "Triangulating habitat suitability for the locally extinct California grizzly bear." North American Congress in Conservation Biology. Vancouver, BC, 2024. June 2024