(DailyVantage.com) – In late September, the National Park Service and Fish & Wildlife Service announced a request for public comment on proposed plans to reintroduce grizzly bears to the North Cascades National Park in Washington State.
The proposed options include two that would restore the grizzly populations and a third option to maintain the current practice and take “no action.”
Hugh Morrison, the regional director of Fish & Wildlife, told Fox News that if grizzly bears are reintroduced to the North Cascades, it should be done in a way that would ensure the animals can peacefully coexist with communities.
The Biden administration announced late last year that it would review whether to move forward with restoring the grizzly population after litigation from environmental groups. At the time, the Chelan County Commissioners in Washington wrote a letter to the National Park Service voicing their opposition to reintroducing grizzlies to the North Cascades, citing the “negative impacts” on economic development, public safety, and “the overall livelihood of our rural communities.”
Under the proposed plan, up to seven grizzly bears would be released annually over the next five to ten years. Ultimately, the goal is to establish a population of about 200 bears in the North Cascades in the coming decades.
Washington Republican Rep. Dan Newhouse, the chairman of the Congressional Western Caucus, told Fox News that the National Park Service and Fish & Wildlife should withdraw the proposal immediately. He explained that reintroducing grizzlies to the North Cascades “would be devastating for our North Central Washington communities.”
Newhouse said residents of North Central Washington have repeatedly spoken out against restoring grizzly bears to the area as they would be “detrimental” to “families, wildlife, and livestock.”
The Washington Republican expressed disappointment with the Biden administration for ignoring the concerns of the public by pressing ahead with the proposed plan while “putting on the façade of seeking more public input,” when in reality, the administration’s decision “has clearly been made.”
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