Feds Announce North Cascades Grizzly Bear Restoration Alternatives; Comment Period Opens

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM FEDERAL AGENCIES

The National Park Service (NPS) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) invite the public to participate in a series of informational open houses regarding the proposed alternatives for the restoration of grizzly bears to the North Cascades Ecosystem. The alternatives are described in the draft Grizzly Bear Restoration Plan/Environmental Impact Statement (draft EIS), released today by the two agencies. The meetings are one part of the public’s opportunity to comment on the draft EIS.

BIOLOGISTS TAKE MEASUREMENTS ON A GRIZZLY BEAR. (NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, FLICKR)

BIOLOGISTS TAKE MEASUREMENTS ON A GRIZZLY BEAR. (NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, FLICKR)

The purpose of the EIS is to determine what actions, if any, should be taken to restore the grizzly bear to the North Cascades Ecosystem. Although there are six populations of grizzly bears in North America, the last-known siting of grizzlies in the United States portion of the North Cascades Ecosystem is 1996. The goal of the public comment period is to gather comments regarding the draft EIS; public comments received on the draft EIS will be evaluated and considered in the identification of the preferred alternative, which will be published in the Final EIS. The full draft EIS is available at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/grizzlydeis.

The alternatives analyzed in this draft EIS include a “no-action” alternative, plus three action alternatives that would seek to restore a reproducing population of approximately 200 bears through the capture and release of grizzly bears into the North Cascades Ecosystem. The alternatives were developed by a planning team with input from the public, local, state and federal agencies, and the scientific community.

In addition to the open houses, the public also is invited to submit written comments at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/grizzlydeis. Comments may also be submitted through March 14, 2017 via regular mail or hand delivery at: Superintendent’s Office, North Cascades National Park Service Complex, 810 State Route 20, Sedro Woolley, WA 98284

In order to maximize opportunities for public input, webinars are scheduled for Tuesday, February 14 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Pacific Time and Sunday, February 26 from 5 p.m.-7 p.m. Pacific Time. For more information about the open houses and to register for the webinars, visit: http://parkplanning.nps.gov/grizzlydeis and click 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

The grizzly bear was listed as a threatened species in the contiguous United States in 1975. The species was listed as endangered by the state of Washington in 1980.

The North Cascades Ecosystem encompasses 9,800 square miles in the United States and another 3,800 square miles in British Columbia, Canada. The United States portion of the ecosystem includes North Cascades National Park, Ross Lake National Recreation Area, Lake Chelan National Recreation Area, Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, and Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.

The U.S. Forest Service and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife are cooperating agencies on the EIS. Funding for the EIS is provided by the NPS. The U.S. Forest Service, FWS and other cooperating agencies and partners will provide technical support throughout.

For more information on grizzly bear recovery, visit http://bit.ly/NCEgrizzly or www.nps.gov/noca/grizzly.htm.

3 thoughts on “Feds Announce North Cascades Grizzly Bear Restoration Alternatives; Comment Period Opens”

  1. Do not interfere with nature. Leave the process to happen on its own. We’ve done enough damage by planting and relocating animals already.

  2. The problem is that we have already interfered with nature. The whole reason grizzlies are threatened in the ecosystem is because of market hunting and no regulation. Since we humans have already messed with the natural process of nature, we need to be conservationists and restore what we messed with. Also why do people think it is so dangerous for Washington state when Wisconsin and Montana and Alaska do just fine with grizzlies. Of course they are dangerous but more people are killed by black bears every year than by grizzlies. If people could use facts enstead of assumptions to make a descision life would be better. And don’t think I am some seattle liberal, I am a active hunter and backpacker and I vote conservative every time. Nature is dangerous as a whole, don’t put all the blame on grizzlies bears. If you are to afraid of the woods don’t go in them.

  3. Please explain why myself and others have seen them as well as tracks and other sign in the paysaten/devils dome area on the high hunt as well as watched one cross the road in newhalem creek area. Waste of tax payer money for something that if left alone will eventually recover.

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