Long before national parks were formed, bears were important to cultures around the world. Bears' strength, impressive appearance, and behavior led to the creation of stories, legends, and mythologies—from constellations to Native American place names to Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Today bears continue to have a place in our culture. We use their image as symbols and mascots; feature them in books, movies, and television; and preserve the parks that honor our relationship with them over the years.
For thousands of years, people in the Northern Hemisphere have looked skyward and picked out the stars forming the constellations Ursa Major (the Great Bear) and Ursa Minor (the Little Bear). Read more