Grizzly Bear (pc: NPS)
NewsAuthor: S. Shaw
The National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service release a draft plan for grizzly restoration in the North Cascades Ecosystem in Washington State. The plan has four options that range from taking no action to capturing grizzlies from locations with healthy populations and relocating them to northern Washington. The three action plans seek to restore a reproducing population of approximately 200 grizzlies into the region.
In a press release North Cascades National Park states the purpose of the draft plans “is to determine what actions, if any, should be taken to restore the grizzly bear to the North Cascades Ecosystem.”
Wildlife officials did not indicate which plan they thought was best, instead they are seeking public comment through March 14, 2017 to determine what action, if any the public thinks is best.
There are plenty of options to voice your opinion. You can submit comments online. https://parkplanning.nps.gov/grizzlydeis or you can send a letter to North Cascades National Park Service Complex, 810 State Route 20, Sedro Woolley, WA 98284.
The agencies will also be holding series of webinars and public open houses.
The webinars are scheduled for Tuesday, February 14 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. PST and Sunday, February 26 from 5 p.m.-7 p.m. PST. You can register for the webinar at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/grizzlydeis and clicking on the “Meetings” link.
The public open houses will be held from 6-8 p.m. at the following locations:
Cle Elum – February 13 at the Putnam Centennial Center
Cashmere – February 14 at the Riverside Center
Winthrop – February 15 at the Red Barn
Omak – February 16 at the Annex Facility at Okanogan County Fairgrounds
Bellingham – February 21 at the Bellingham Technical College
Darrington – February 22 at the Darrington Community Center
Sultan – February 23 at the Sultan High School
Renton – February 24 at the Renton Community Center
Grizzly bears were once a common sight in the North Cascades, however the park service reports the last-known sighting of grizzlies in the United States portion of the North Cascades Ecosystem was in 1996.
Here is the full text of the Draft Grizzly Bear Restoration Plan / Environmental Impact Statement.