Restore grizzlies in Washington? Public split on idea

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File photo of a grizzly bear mother and her cub. (PHOTO: KAREN BLEIER/AFP/GettyImages)

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.

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  • Frank

    Keep these creatures out. I lived in Montana and Colorado so I know these animals can be unpredictable and dangerous. There are too many people living in this State today to have these creatures roaming the trails and paths that hikers love to use.

    • HAMP

      Right on!. We have gotten along just fine without them. I also lived in Montana. These killers were so protected that when they came onto a ranchers land and killed livestock; including horses. The ranchers weren’t aloud to kill the bears.

  • dg54321

    They were here first, before we killed them and drove them away. They have more right to the land than we do. If it’s ecologically sound to reintroduce them, then do so.

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