SEATTLE — The Interior Department’s decision to restart the process to restore grizzly bears to the Northern Cascades would herald an incredible conservation success story and is crucial to recovering grizzly bear populations nationwide.
“The grizzly bear is deeply important to Indigenous and Pacific Northwest communities, with the Northern Cascades a historic home to these iconic bears. Yet, the North Cascades currently have no known population of grizzlies, to the detriment of local ecosystems,” said Les Welsh, director of conservation partnerships for the Pacific Region at the National Wildlife Federation. “We wholeheartedly support the Interior Department’s decision to restart this process and look forward to working with Tribal governments, local partners, and the federal government to restore a healthy population of grizzly bears to the Pacific Northwest.
“Bears and people can coexist, and the administration’s announcement ushers in an exciting chapter for grizzly bear restoration in the North Cascades. After 30 years of analyses, process and discussions we have a clear way forward,” said Joe Scott, international program director for Conservation Northwest. “It will take decades to do so and we’re confident that grizzly bears will thrive here just as they do in other wild places and parks, which have served as a model for the rest of the world.”
The Northern Cascades are one of six Grizzly Bear Recovery Zones designated by the federal government as crucial to recovering grizzly bear populations nationwide to a healthy level.
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