I'm not exactly sure what Timothy thought he was doing out there. I can see that he has found meaning in his life by connecting with nature, and that's admirable. He was able to grasp the full reality of nature. He understood the harshness that many environmentalists fail to recognize.
Yet he still had a romanticized view of nature and his quest. He claimed to be protecting the bears even though they lived on federally protected land. He stylized his adventures and built them up in his head. His life was built around these trips; they saved him from alcoholism and defined his life. By convincing himself of how grand and noble his trips were he was able to feel better and better about his life.
His real achievement came in capturing the beauty of nature. The images he recorded are amazing. That's my favorite part about the film. His video relays the importance of continued protection of such places.
I find it hard to tell if he's doing more for nature or more for himself. However, the fact that he tackled such extremes makes him a much more respectable environmentalist than all those who prefer the greatest extent of their interaction with nature to be in the safety of a zoo.
Here’s a list of the 10 deadliest animals in the world. The bear is number 10 – responsible for an estimated 5-10 human fatalities per year