Restore grizzlies in Washington? Public split on idea
SEATTLE (AP) — U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employees are working to draw conclusions from some 3,000 comments on a plan to restore grizzly bears to the North Cascades.
The Seattle Times reports that after public meetings in six cities an environmental-impact statement is in the works and a final decision is expected in late 2017.
Submitted comments range from outrage at the possible reintroduction of a predator to hopes of conservation.
Grizzlies would be returned to about 9,800 square miles, mostly federal lands, from the Canadian border down to Wenatchee, extending west to towns such as North Bend and Darrington.
Most grizzly bears in the state were killed by settlers. It’s estimated there may be fewer than 20 of the bears living in the North Cascades south of the Canadian border.