Newhouse to Interior Department: Stop Ignoring Local Community on Bringing Grizzlies to Central WA

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WASHINGTON D.C.- U.S. Rep Dan Newhouse (R-WA) expressed deep concern regarding the U.S. Department of Interior’s announcement in March of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s support for transporting grizzly bears into Central Washington.

Rep. Newhouse requested that the public comment period be restarted so that local impacted communities could have their say on the proposal:

Newhouse wrote in a letter to Secretary Zinke: “Bringing grizzlies to the North Cascades would have grave impacts on my constituents in Washington’s 4th Congressional District. Just as my constituents have consistently expressed their steadfast opposition to this proposal, I will continue to stand in opposition to a plan that threatens the way of life in North Central Washington. I opposed this proposal when it was introduced by the previous administration and will continue to do so if the current administration moves forward with this plan.”

Rep. Newhouse continued in the letter: “Over the past three years, I have been in contact with families, farmers, outdoor recreationists, local elected representatives, and community stakeholders who do not feel their concerns have been taken seriously by federal officials. I recommend you do the same. I would be happy to facilitate such conversations. The federal government must listen to and respect the local communities that will be affected by this plan, and I urge you to take into consideration the negative impacts this plan will have on the constituents of the 4th Congressional District.

“I believe the federal government should defer to the will of state and local communities on species reintroduction issues, and I encourage you to evaluate the need for reintroducing grizzly bears into the [North Cascades Ecosystem], as well as the substantial impacts this action would have on local communities, businesses, and families. Additionally, given the disrespectful manner with which my constituents have been treated, the public comment process must be restarted to allow residents the opportunity to voice their concerns and comment on the proposal in the proper setting.”

Click here for the text of the entire letter.