Over the centuries, the relationship that Californians have had with the grizzly bear is one of dualities expressed in fear and fascination. Although now extinct in the state, the grizzly has long been a central character in California’s history. Illuminating the story of the grizzly is the exhibition “Bear in Mind: The Story of the California Grizzly,” which opens at the Mendocino County Museum on Saturday, June 4, 2022. The California grizzly possessed characteristics that we hold dear: independence, adaptability, resourcefulness, intelligence, and strong maternal care. Yet human interaction with the bears was misguided, intolerant, and violent. Scientists estimate that 10,000 grizzlies once lived in California, perhaps the densest population of brown bears on the continent. However, through increased human settlement, loss of habitat, and hunting, by the early 1900s the California grizzly had vanished and could only be seen on the state flag. Although the loss of the California grizzly was a tragic lesson, we are not too late to save other threatened and endangered species. Today, California grizzly bears only exist in our imaginations as symbols of things desired and things lost. Since the mid1800s, the grizzly has been used as an icon, advertiser, and entertainer, making the image of the bear a familiar one to most people. Little physical evidence remains of the grizzly bears that once roamed California. It is through stories, artifacts, striking images, and the hands on activities that the “Bear in Mind” exhibition provides, that we can take an in-depth look at the history and science of California’s most revered and feared animals. The “Bear in Mind: The Story of the California Grizzly” exhibition is based on the Heyday Books publication, Bear in Mind: The California Grizzly by Susan Snyder, as well as The Bancroft Library exhibition of the same name. Currently scheduled for installation at more than 17 museums across the state over the next three years, “Bear in Mind” will continue at the Mendocino County Museum through Sunday, July 31, 2022. The “Bear in Mind: The Story of the California Grizzly” exhibition is produced and toured by Exhibit Envoy. The exhibition was developed in concert with The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, and Heyday Books. Exhibit Envoy collaborates with California institutions to create and tour smaller, affordable, high quality exhibitions that enhance civic engagement and human understanding. This exhibition was supported by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation with additional funds from the Bank of the West.