Tags: washington | bear | population | grizzly

Washington Bear Population Could Grow by 200 Grizzlies

Image: Washington Bear Population Could Grow by 200 Grizzlies

A Yellowstone National Park grizzly bear. (AP Photo/Jim Urquhart, File)
 

By    |   Friday, 13 Jan 2017 06:43 AM

Washington's bear population could grow if federal officials move ahead with plans to restore grizzly bears to the North Cascades National Park.

Two of four draft plans set a goal of transplanting 200 bears into the North Cascades, reported the Spokesman-Review. One calls for bringing about 200 bears to the area within 60 to 100 years, while a more aggressive plan would bring 200 bears to the North Cascades in 25 years. One plan would have wildlife officials do nothing at all.

The Associated Press said the National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will seek public input over the next few weeks on how to move forward and haven't accepted any of the plans yet.

Eight public meetings are scheduled from Feb. 13 to Feb. 24. Webinars have also been scheduled on Feb. 14 and Feb. 26.

The federal government listed grizzly bears as a threatened species in the continental United States in 1975, while Washington state officials listed the animals endangered in 1980.

The federal government is also trying to decide whether to drop protections for more than 700 grizzly bears in and around Yellowstone National Park because the population has grown so much.

The change would affect bears in Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana, as well as an equal number in ecosystems around Montana's Glacier National Park, said the Christian Science Monitor in 2015.

"As their numbers grow, grizzlies face daunting pressures – from poachers, big-game hunters killing them in self-defense, crowds of admiring tourists, dwindling food supplies, and humanity's increasing development of the wilds," said Christian Science Monitor's Todd Wilkinson.

"… Some environmentalists question if states can be trusted to oversee the bear since it was under their watch historically that bears almost disappeared. Proponents of delisting believe they can – and should."

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Washington's bear population could grow if federal officials move ahead with plans to restore grizzly bears to the North Cascades National Park.
washington, bear, population, grizzly
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2017-43-13
Friday, 13 Jan 2017 06:43 AM
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