Biden Admin to Unleash Dangerous Grizzly Bears Near Rural Community: ‘A Natural Heritage!’

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Biden Admin to Unleash Dangerous Grizzly Bears Near Rural Community A Natural Heritage

The Biden administration has announced a new proposal to reintroduce grizzly bears back into North Cascades National Park in northern Washington, causing concern with locals who argue it would be devastating to their communities.

The new proposal, published in federal filings on Friday, includes three options:

  • Two would be to actively restore populations
  • One would be to maintain current management practices

The public will be invited to comment on the proposal in November.

“If this part of our natural heritage is restored, it should be done in a way that ensures communities, property, and the animals can all coexist peacefully,” Hugh Morrison, the regional FWS director, said.

Under the new Biden plan, the NPS and FWS would release up to seven grizzly bears into the North Cascades ecosystem annually for ten years, the New York Post reports.

The goal would be to establish a grizzly bear population of roughly 200 bears in the area.

The announcement also noted that grizzly bears are an “essential part of the ecosystem” and have occupied the North Cascades for thousands of years.

However, due to aggressive hunting practices in the 20th century, the species were driven to near
extinction.

“The National Parks Service and Fish and Wildlife Service should end this process immediately by rescinding the draft EIS and proposed 10(j) rule,” said Congressional Western Caucus Chairman Dan Newhouse, R-Wash.

“The introduction of grizzlies into the North Cascades would be devastating for our North Central Washington communities,” Newhouse added.

The new plan will reintroduce grizzly bear populations in the federally-managed North Cascades National Park.

“Time and again, our communities have spoken to express staunch opposition to the introduction of these apex predators, which would be detrimental to our families, wildlife and livestock alike,” he added.

“I’m beyond disappointed that the Biden administration is ignoring our concerns by moving forward with the introduction while putting on the façade of seeking more public input after their decision has clearly been made,” he continued.

The Obama administration first tried to reintroduce grizzly bears to the North Cascades, but faced significant state opposition.

The Trump administration concluded that grizzly bears would not be restored to the ecosystem due to the dangers they pose.

However, the Biden administration said it would review whether to proceed with releasing grizzly bears back into the ecosystem.

In July 2020, former Interior Secretary David Bernhardt noted that grizzly bears are facing extinction, adding that his agency could manage populations on their existing range.

But following extensive litigation from environmental groups last year, the Biden administration announced it would review whether to move forward with restoration,

“We have previously provided extensive comments opposing grizzly bear reintroduction into our local communities,” the commissioners of Chelan County, Washington, wrote to the NPS in late 2022.

“We continue to oppose grizzly bear reintroduction given the likely negative impacts to public safety, economic development, recreation opportunities, and the overall livelihood of our rural communities.”

“The federal agencies leading this effort have generally failed to address these concerns and have failed to engage in any meaningful way Chelan County and other neighboring counties in the proposed grizzly bear restoration area,” they continued in their letter.

Meanwhile, the Washington Cattlemen’s Association, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, and Public Lands Council said Biden’s proposal would devastate grazing cattle.

The proposal was cheered by environmental groups who said bears “clearly belong” in the North Cascades.

“I’m delighted to see that a plan to restore grizzly bears to the North Cascades is moving forward,” said Andrea Zaccardi, the carnivore conservation legal director at the Center for Biological Diversity.

“Grizzly bears once thrived in the North Cascades, and this is a good step toward bringing grizzlies back to this vast, wild area where they clearly belong.”

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