Grizzly Bear’s could be returning to the North Cascades. numbers would increase under a plan released today by four Federal agencies . A draft plan suggests four options, ranging from taking no action to other efforts to capture bears from neighboring Montana and British Columbia and transplant them to 9,800 square miles of mostly public land surrounding North Cascades National Park.
Two of the alternatives envision a goal of about 200 bears within 60 to 100 years, while a third expedited option expects to restore 200 animals in 25 years.
The National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service did not pick a preferred alternative. Instead they’re seeking input over the next several weeks on what steps they should take to restore grizzly bears to their natural range. In Washington, the grizzly plan has prompted debate as federal officials sought input in 2015 as it developed its draft environmental-impact statement. Supporters said the bears should be brought back, that the population won’t recover without help and their return would increase the biodiversity of the ecosystem.
Opponents argue the animals should recovery naturally, while others worried about potential increased dangers to people and livestock..