Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, July 27, 2016

Contact: Jeff Miller, (510) 499-9185,

PSA Campaign: Who Really Belongs on California's Flag?

OAKLAND, Calif.— The Center for Biological Diversity today launched a series of public service announcements as part of its “Bring Back the Bears” campaign aimed at returning grizzly bears to parts of California.

Bring Back the Bears
Videos are available for media use.

The campaign, developed by gyro San Francisco, features the California state “Bear Flag,” but without the iconic bear. “California grizzlies have been missing from California for nearly a century,” read the ads. “Help us return these endangered bears to their native home — where they belong. (In the remote Sierra Nevada, not your backyard, silly.)” In four short videos, California archetypes make their case to be featured on the flag in place of the bear.

The spots encourage Californians to speak out in favor of grizzlies and sign a petition urging the California Fish and Wildlife Commission to consider bringing these bears back to their native home in the Sierra Nevadas, where there are 8,000 square miles of prime habitat.

“Grizzly bears lived in California long before it became a state, and they deserve a home here today,” said the Center’s Jeff Miller. “Returning these incredible animals to remote portions of our state would be a key step in rewilding parts of California and saving one of America’s most iconic animals. It’s time to bring back the bears.”

The petition is at site provides additional information about the cause, as well as facts debunking famous myths about grizzlies.

“It’s absurd that our state flag features an animal that hasn’t resided in the state for almost a century,” said Ronny Northrop of gyro San Francisco. “We’re proud to help drive awareness for the mission of the Center for Biological Diversity.”

Grizzly bears once roamed across California for centuries, from the state's mountains to its valleys and beaches. But decades of persecution drove them off the landscape, and the last grizzly in California was shot in 1924.

Grizzlies today survive in just a few pockets in the Rocky Mountains — roughly 4 percent of their historic range in the lower 48 states. If these endangered bears are going to recover, they need to be returned to more of their native homes in the American West (remote places typically far away from people).

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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