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Grizzly Flat image of Grizzly Flat Bears

Sometime in the summer or fall of 1850, Buck Ramsey with a company of prospectors were searching for gold on the mountains between the North and Middle Forks of the Cosumnes River in the eastern portion of El Dorado County. The party was enjoying their evening meal near one of those noble springs that abound in the vicinity, relishing the usual miner’s feast of those times – bread, bacon, and coffee.

The feast was not ended before an unexpected visitor, parting the brush and cracking the dried limbs and leaves under his tread presented himself. He was a magnificent specimen of the Sierra’s noblest beast – a Grizzly Bear. His intrusion lasted but a moment. Rapidly, but perfectly self-possessed, Buck grasped his rifle, and with a ringing shot sent his majesty tearing through the underbrush, over the flat and down a steep slope where he was subsequently found … a trophy of the skill and coolness of the lamented pioneer. This incident furnished the appropriate name which the village bears.

The California Grizzly Bear (Ursus californicus) was designated official State Animal in 1953. Before dying out in California, this largest and most powerful of carnivores thrived in the great valleys and low mountains of the state, probably in greater numbers than anywhere else in the United States. As humans began to populate California, the grizzly stood its ground, refusing to retreat in the face of advancing civilization. It killed livestock and interfered with settlers. Less than 75 years after the discovery of gold, every grizzly bear in California had been tracked down and killed. The last one was killed in Tulare County in August 1922, more than 20 years before the authority to regulate the take of fish and wildlife was delegated to the California Fish and Game Commission by the State Legislature.


Historical Souvenir of El Dorado County California with Illustrations and Biographical
Sketches of its Prominent Men & Pioneers, Oakland, California, 1883, Paolo Sioli, Publisher