Johanna Bergen is a park warden in a Rocky Mountain National Park whose time is spent on such tasks as bear patrol, locating tourists who are lost or in other physical danger and policing park rules. She has a particular affinity for grizzly bears largely stemming from an experience she had in a Neolithic cave in Spain. She comes to view the bears as being persecuted by Park staff and by Park policy that is more concerned about the financial gains of attracting tourists and aiding scientific research than it is in protecting wild life. While an out-of-control fire rages through the forest, Johanna, with two grizzly bear skulls in hand, begins an arduous and dream-like journey to the park boundary —where wild animals can seem like ghosts, men can seem like dead animals, and trauma can strike as suddenly as lightning. One of these skulls, the one that was given to her, begins to talk to her. Told in a style that mixes realism and magical realism, interrupted from time to time by photos and by the voice of a bear, Bear War-den deals with themes of personal and ecological loss, trauma, and of women and non-human animals dealing with oppression within a male-dominated, paramilitary Parks Management system.