Public Input for Grizzly Bear Recovery Plan

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service are seeking public comments on the scope of a proposal to reintroduce grizzly bears in the North Cascades. You can submit comments online before the comment period closes on March 26.
Margot Tsakonas Margot Tsakonas
March 17, 2015

North Cascades National Park, considered the “wild nearby” for its incredible scenery and wildlife, is also at the center of an opportunity being led by the National Park Service, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and U.S. Forest Service to restore a grizzly bear population.

Recovering these bears to the North Cascades Ecosystem provides a rare opportunity to recover a large native wildlife species that was present prior to the turn of the 19th century. This opportunity must also be balanced with the impacts to local communities and recreationist.

The Grizzly Bear Recovery Plan for the North Cascades Ecosystem was originally approved in 1982, and then updated in 1997. This past summer, the park service announced that as part of the already-existing recovery plan, re-introduction of a small number of animals would be considered. 

As part of the process for considering this reinitroduction an Environmental Impact Statement will be prepared; it will analyze various options. The initial step in this sure-to be-lengthy decision making process is to establish the scope and to gather public input. 

If you are interested in learning more, start with this short summary document:

Much more detail is available on that website. Public meetings have already been held, but you can provide comments on the web site itself.  The intent of public comments at this stage is to help identify what sorts of things should be considered in the impact statement and in alternative devlopment-- not necessarily to advocate pro or con for re-introduction. 

The comment period closes March 26.

The Mountaineers have submited scoping comments with Washington Outdoor Alliance here.


Add a comment

Log in to add comments.
Eric Thompson
Eric Thompson says:
Fri, Feb 10, 2017 9:18 PM

Please look at the bear closures in the greater yellowstone eco system. If it's even close to the same in the cascades the closures will be staggering.