The sides, unfortunately that is the way it appears, are getting ready for the public meetings for the restoration of a grizzly bear population in Washington’s North Cascades Ecosystem. The first one is March 3 in Winthrop, WA. Here is the complete list.

  • Tuesday, March 3rd in Winthrop from 5-7:30 p.m. at the Red Barn Upper Meeting Room
  • Wednesday, March 4th in Okanogan from 5-7:30 p.m. at the Okanogan PUD Meeting Room
  • Thursday, March 5th in Wenatchee from 6-8:30 p.m. at the Chelan County PUD Auditorium
  • Monday, March 9th in Cle Elum from 5-7:30 p.m. at the Putnam Centennial Center Meeting Room
  • Tuesday, March 10th in Seattle from 5-7:30 p.m. at the Seattle Pacific University Bertona Classroom 1
  • Wednesday, March 11th in Bellingham from 5-7:30 p.m. in the Bellingham Central Library Lecture Room

Here is an alert from the National Parks Association, Defenders, and Conservation Northwest
Additional from Conservation Northwest.
A story from the ag newspaper, the Capitol Press, shows hostility from the cattle association, the major opponent of wolves in Washington.

News reports are being made that the North Cascades in Washington have a remnant population of about 20 grizzlies. If so, it is hard to say how only the tracks of one bear have been confirmed in recent years. The area is large and the Paysaten Wilderness portion is much less traveled, but it is hard to keep that many bears hidden.

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides.

28 Responses to Washington state grizzly bear reintroduction meetings begin March 3

  1. avatar Eric says:

    Predation is key for a healthy ecosystems, Look how wolf re-intro into Yellowstone without taking 1 bite brought back Aspens/Cottonwoods, many birds, Beavers, Brook Trout, Fox, Otter, and Helped Buffalo, Pronghorn, and Grizzly Bears. They also reintroduced them in Denali and struggling Caribou numbers went up along with all the other benefits. (yellowstone Elk population went down slightly, now in balance)
    They alone bring $20,000,000 a yr to the area. We need to kids off the electronics & get them outdoors hunting, hiking, fishing, camping, canoeing,etc as they will be the future of conservation.

    • avatar Pat Cassin says:

      Can you skin Griz Pilgrim?
      I worked in Alaska for 20 years. Many under water commercial diving, a few drilling and or blasting in land.

      For my part, I carry guns. A 12 gauge, a couple large caliber hand guns, but the most useful was the flare gun. No sense blasting the bear, just scare him off.

      2ed choice? Smokey Bear

  2. avatar Gary Humbard says:

    The FWS wouldn’t being going forward with this proposal if it didn’t think re-introduction would be successful. For Biological, ecological, economical, social and legal reasons it makes sense for re-introduction. The North Cascades Ecosystem is huge with enough area for at least 200 bears to roam without getting into too many conflicts with humans. There is some good habitat south of the NCE as well, but they would need to cross I-90. Transferring bears from the NCDE seems like an option since the habitat and prey base is somewhat similar and this is the largest population of bears in the lower 48.

    Politically, Washington state is and has been a blue state as both senators are Democrats, the majority of house members are Democrats and the governor is a Democrat. The misinformation, scare tactics, and other strategies of the people in opposition IMO will not stop the reintroduction.

    Please consider sending electronic or hand written comments using the attached link.

    http://www.conservationnw.org/news/pressroom/usdi-public-invited-to-open-houses-on-options-for-grizzly-bear-restoration-in-north-cascades-ecosystem/at_download/file

    • avatar Pat Cassin says:

      I don’t think that bears vote.

    • avatar Pat Cassin says:

      “The FWS wouldn’t being going forward with this proposal if it didn’t think re-introduction would be successful.”
      REALLY
      The FWS we see is on paper, made of megabytes and public hearings.
      Have you been close enough to smell a Griz?
      A bit of a target rich environment!
      Which the target? The Bear…or You?

      “This situation will get out of hand.
      Someone is going to get killed!”

      All because of arrogance and someone’s need to hear their name and be promoted. I say let that person(s) take the bear(s) home.

      Make short work of it.

      • avatar Gary Humbard says:

        Have you been close enough to smell a Griz?

        As a matter of fact I have and my life was rewarded immensely with that experience that you will probably never understand.

        “This situation will get out of hand.
        Someone is going to get killed!”

        Tens of thousands of drivers every year are killed on highways so don’t drive, hundreds of people are killed from bees, snakes, dogs, spiders and horses in the US each year and less than 1 is killed by bears. And of course humans are by far the biggest animal killer of humans.

        https://historylist.wordpress.com/2008/05/29/human-deaths-in-the-us-caused-by-animals/

        • avatar skyrim says:

          Well said Gary…

        • avatar Pat Cassin says:

          Great! Tag,your it..
          Take the Griz home with you!

          Since I’ve been alive, the Human population on Earth has doubled. You buzz about car wrecks and spiders. No Worries, human’s day will come leaving a worldwide layer of Coke bottles a fossil marker.

          They’ll be fun to find for somebody.

        • avatar rork says:

          I think that’s an underestimate of cow caused human deaths, I see 20/year numbers. I know folks doing cow sertoli cell research that say it used to be amazingly common in days gone by, when every little dairy-cow farm had a bull – using packaged semen is safer.

  3. avatar BC says:

    As much as I would like Griz back in the Cascades I am very doubtful this will happen. We will see.

  4. avatar Kayla says:

    Hope it happens but I also have my doubts! Go Grizzlies!

  5. avatar monty says:

    I have always been pro grizzly and that’s what draws me to Yellowstone & Glacier ecosystems. In 1994 I didn’t believe that the wolf introduction would happen so what the hell, go for it!!!

  6. avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

    Keep Grizzly Bears Out Of Washington, Residents Say
    http://kuow.org/post/keep-grizzly-bears-out-washington-residents-say

  7. avatar Dave says:

    I think grizzly bears and wolves ought to be planted near Olympia, Tacoma, Seattle, etc FIRST! See how YOUR livestock, small animals and kids are affected.

    Then let the rest of know it went before you foist your ideas on the rest of us again.

  8. avatar Mick says:

    I GUARANTEE you that those of us who live in the Northwest and hike the Cascades do NOT want grizzlies reintroduced here! Currently we can hike with friends, family, kids or even solo, go out to a nice viewpoint and enjoy it or even camp overnight and we don’t have to worry about being mauled or chowed down by an 800 pound carnivore. We’d like to keep it that way. You know, there’s a limit to this reintroduction stuff. Otherwise, why not breed grizzlies in suburban Kirkland where I live, or right in Seattle’s Discovery Park, I’m sure they used to be all over the metro area once upon a time. Heck, let ’em loose in Pioneer Square, I’m sure you’ll never see a street corner crack deal go down there again! If people want to hike in grizzly country then they are perfectly free to make a trip to Idaho or Montana for that. Again, NO to hiking with grizzlies, NO to reintroducing them back into the North Cascades!!

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

      Mick,

      Living in Idaho, not far from Yellowstone, and having written several backpacking guides that required extensive backpacking in grizzly country, I think I know the real danger of grizzly bears. It is greatly exaggerated. Given the the high density of black bears in Washington State, I think that if there is a bear danger, you have already been enjoying it.

    • avatar skyrim says:

      Mick, So you like your wildness, but you want it sanitized. Me thinks you should stay indoors

    • avatar Outdoorfunnut says:

      Mick Don’t forget your pepper spray. I read somewhere that the grizzly was listed as a species of “least concern” by the International environmental community. Why is it still listed as Endangered here in the US?

    • avatar Jim says:

      Mick,

      Talk to your friends in Olympia and maybe they will pave the trails for you. Maybe they will even fence it for you so that you don’t get hurt.

      As spoken earlier, “Go Griz”!

  9. avatar Gary Humbard says:

    Mick, you seem to be scared of the big bad bear, yet you drive to enjoy the outdoors and have a astronomically higher chance of getting hurt or killed on the highway than ever even seeing a grizzly. Get the facts about the dangers when visiting the outdoors and read a book about encounters with grizzlies. The encounters have a definite theme, almost all were hiking alone, making little noise, they got too close to the bear [especially sow and cub(s)] or didn’t store their food correctly.

    Your statement about re-introducing them in residential areas is pure comical and as skyrim stated, you need to stay indoors and let the great bear return to some of the best habitat left in North America.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fatal_bear_attacks_in_North_America

  10. avatar Pat Cassin says:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYs2Iwoc_Ss

    No contest. Grampa Walton would not have made the cabin.

  11. avatar Chris Deile says:

    Man mauled by grizzly along Denali highway 4-5 days ago, and University of Alaska Southeast mountaineering class instructor just mauled by a bear two days ago; critical condition yesterday, upgraded today. was leading 11 students. With reintroduction of grizzlies into Cascades a similar scenario risked with WWU ecology professor Chris Morgan (as he advises bear spray). Bear spray not enough, Google: “Chris Deile Coloradoan” for my letter explaining it did not stop the bear in its charge in our 1996 attack (‘A can of spray’, A lot of luck; Anchorage daily news; 9/29/96). Also, then Gov. of Idaho Dirk Kempthornes August 2001 USA Today article “Cost to humans too great’, regarding reintroduction of grizzlies into Idaho has valid points that apply to cascade reintroduction. Namely, it was calculated that $4-10 million would be the cost of a human life lost due to a grizzly attack, and that such would be unjustified since the grizzly bear is not endangered. They are thriving. Etc. USFWS in March of 2016 proposed removing Yellowstone griz from the threatened species list (not endangered) due to recovery success. If grizzlies were endangered, I’d be all for reintroduction into Cascades. But since they are not, but thriving, then where is the justification to reintroduce them while telling the public to use bear spray (since whenever there is an attack, wildlife officials themselves respond with firearms–not just bear spray)?

  12. avatar Chris Deile says:

    Ooops…the Kempthorne article referred to above was called “Risk to humans too great”. Also, I agree with a post here about flare guns being used as a possible means of non-lethal protection in a bear attack. However, there are only a small number of attacks that have been successfully averted by flare guns (Larry Kaniut was credited with that information on a bear attack site). So it’s still a bit early to know if that’s a wise decision. But if something can be effective in saving human lives while also saving the lives of the bears, that’s a win-win situation. Bear spray is not it though. Spray proponents cite “scientific research” in claiming spray to be the better defense, yet William James pragmatism supersedes that. If wildlife officials promoting bear spray were really convinced spray is the best defense, then, again, why would they not go with “scientific research” and rely solely on spray themselves, instead of relying on firearms when push comes to shove?

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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