Sedro Wooley, Wa.- Congressman Dan Newhouse has issued a statement criticizing remarks made by US Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke in support of reintroducing grizzly bears to the North Cascades. Zinke spoke on Friday in Sedro Wooley declaring his support for the plan.
He said, “I’ve dealt with grizzly bears all my life.” And added “I’m in support of the great bear and I’m also in support of doing it right. Federal officials looking to restore the grizzly bear population released a draft plan last year with four options, ranging from taking no action to varying efforts to capture grizzly bears from other locations and transplant them to 9,800 square miles of mostly public land in and around North Cascades National Park.
Congressman Newhouse said he was disappointed that Sec. Zinke did not first speak with him first. He said he’s heard from his constituents in Central Washington that reintroducing grizzly bears was a bad idea and that the federal government should listen to and respect the local community.
The National Park Service and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service worked on drafting the environmental impact statement (EIS) for several years. After being published for public opinion, it was met with mixed reaction.
Recently his department stopped the EIS but it’s unclear why. Zinke did tell reporters that he expects a decision on the EIS by the end of the year.