Should feds restore grizzly bear population to North Cascades?

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SEATTLE  — Federal officials want residents to weigh in on their proposals to restore the population of grizzly bears to the rugged landscape of the North Cascades in Washington state.

The first of several open houses begins in Cle Elum Monday. Several open houses are scheduled throughout the state this month.

The last open house will be held Friday, February 24 at 6 p.m. at the Renton Community Center. Also, there will be a webinar Sunday, February 26 beginning at 5 p.m. For more information, click here.

The National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are considering four options, including taking no action.

Three alternatives seek to restore a population of about 200 bears, by relocating animals to 9,800 square miles of mostly public land in and around North Cascades National Park and letting them breed.

The options differ in the number of bruins initially released and the time expected to get to that goal, ranging from 25 years for the expedited option to 60 to 100 years for the other two alternatives.

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