A reintroduction of grizzly bears to the North Cascades will be discussed at public meetings next month in Washington state.
Before making a decision, U.S. Fish and Wildlife will accept public input and make an environmental impact statement, the Spokesman-Review reported. The first meeting will be held on March 3 at the Red Barn in Winthrop, followed by additional meetings in Okanogan, Wenatchee, Cle Elum, Seattle, and Bellingham. Online comments will be accepted through March 26.
“The Grizzly Bear Recovery Plan calls on us to fully consider the restoration of the grizzly bear in the North Cascades, and this process will ensure we solicit public input before putting any plan into action,” Robyn Thorson, FWS Pacific regional director, told the Spokesman-Review.
The last grizzly sighting in the U.S. part of the region was by a hiker in 2010. The species was officially listed as threatened in the continental United States in 1975 and endangered in the state of Washington in 1980.