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Frank
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PostFri Feb 13, 2015 2:08 pm 
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Public Invited to Open Houses on Options for

Grizzly Bear Restoration in North Cascades Ecosystem



Public comment period open through March 26, 2015





SEDRO WOOLLEY, Wash. – The public is invited to participate in a series of informational open houses regarding restoration of grizzly bears in the North Cascades ecosystem. The meetings are being held by the National Park Service (NPS) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) as part of the Grizzly Bear Restoration Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process for the North Cascades ecosystem. This is the first opportunity for public involvement in the EIS.  The purpose of the EIS is to determine whether or not the agencies will take an active role in restoring the grizzly bear to the North Cascades Ecosystem.



The public open houses will be held at these locations and times:

Winthrop         March 3, 5-7:30 pm

                        Red Barn Upper Meeting Room

                        51 N. Hwy 20

                        Winthrop, WA 98862



Okanogan        March 4, 5-7:30 pm

                        Okanogan PUD Meeting Room

                        1331 2nd Ave N

                        Okanogan, WA 98840



Wenatchee      March 5, 6-8:30 pm

                        Chelan County PUD Auditorium

                        327 N. Wenatchee Ave.

                        Wenatchee, WA 98801



Cle Elum         March 9, 5-7:30 pm

                        Putnam Centennial Center Meeting Room

                        719 East 3rd Street

                        Cle Elum, WA 98922



Seattle             March 10, 5-7:30 pm

                        Seattle Pacific University Bertona Classroom 1

                        103 West Bertona

                        Seattle, WA 98119



Bellingham      March 11, 5-7:30 pm

                         Bellingham Central Library Lecture Room

                         210 Central Avenue

                         Bellingham, WA 98227





In addition to these open houses, the public is invited to submit written comments at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/NCEG. Comments may also be submitted through March 26, 2015, via regular mail or hand delivery at: Superintendent’s Office, North Cascades National Park Service Complex, 810 State Route 20, Sedro Woolley, WA 98284.



“This is an important phase in the process of assessing environmental impacts,” said NPS Pacific West Regional Director Chris Lehnertz. “Public comment at this stage is critical to ensure that all issues are considered.”



The FWS listed the grizzly bear as a threatened species in the lower 48 United States in 1975. The species was listed as endangered by the state of Washington in 1980.

“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 the public for their input before putting any plan into action,” said FWS Pacific Regional Director Robyn Thorson. “We will continue to work with our partners to make this an open and transparent process.”

The North Cascades ecosystem encompasses 9,800 square miles in the United States and another 3,800 square miles in British Columbia, Canada.  The United States portion of the ecosystem includes North Cascades National Park, Ross Lake National Recreation Area, Lake Chelan National Recreation Area, Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, and Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.

A few grizzly bears have recently been sighted in the Canadian part of the ecosystem, but no grizzly bears have been sighted in the United States portion for several years.

The U.S. Forest Service and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife are cooperating agencies on the EIS. Funding for the EIS is provided by the NPS. The U.S. Forest Service, FWS and other cooperating agencies and partners will provide technical support throughout. For more information on grizzly bear recovery, visit http://bit.ly/NCEgrizzly or nps.gov/grizzly.
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MtnGoat
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PostFri Feb 13, 2015 3:04 pm 
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I'm uncertain that intentionally reintroducing a lethal animal is a great idea. Surely their numbers outside of the US mainland can support the species, and enough increase in numbers down here to impact the overall count will increase risks to humans here.

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NacMacFeegle
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PostFri Feb 13, 2015 3:25 pm 
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MtnGoat wrote:
I'm uncertain that intentionally reintroducing a lethal animal is a great idea.

rolleyes.gif Grizzly bears are not monsters ravening for human flesh. They can indeed be dangerous and must be treated with caution, but like all wild animals they do not actively seek out and attack humans.

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MtnGoat
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PostFri Feb 13, 2015 3:28 pm 
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I didn't claim they were ravenous for human flesh. I'm concerned about harm to humans for whatever reason due to intentionally reintroducing them.

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NacMacFeegle
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PostFri Feb 13, 2015 4:04 pm 
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I didn't say that you said that grizzly bears are ravenous for human flesh, but your comment did give an overly exaggerated impression of how dangerous grizzly bears are. The fact is that fewer people die from grizzly bear attacks than practically anything else, as is explained in this quote from Backpacker Magazine:

Quote:
In the 2000s, there have been 27 fatal incidences so far in North America, resulting in 29 deaths. 15 were in Canada, three were in Alaska, two were in Tennessee, and single fatal attacks happened in New York, New Mexico, California, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Utah and Montana. 17 of those attacks were perpetrated by black bears, and 10 by grizzlies.
What can we learn from this, other than don’t go to Canada (kidding!)? In truth, you don’t have much to fear: That averages to just under 3 fatalities a year, when millions of people go into the backcountry or live near bear habitat. 26 people get killed by dogs every year, and 90 people are killed every year by lightning.


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MtnGoat
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PostFri Feb 13, 2015 5:21 pm 
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In what manner did I exaggerate anything?

Increasing numbers of a dangerous animal increases risks to humans in the same areas. Assuming the population is sufficient elsewhere for preservation, increasing their present range increases the likelyhood of harm, and perhaps with little benefit to the grizzlies as a species.

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NacMacFeegle
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PostFri Feb 13, 2015 6:14 pm 
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MtnGoat wrote:
In what manner did I exaggerate anything?

MtnGoat wrote:
I'm uncertain that intentionally reintroducing a lethal animal is a great idea.


tongue.gif

MtnGoat wrote:
Increasing numbers of a dangerous animal increases risks to humans in the same areas.

Sure, but if you will refer to my previous post, in all of North America (including Alaska and Canada) there is only an average of 3 deaths caused by bears per year, and  that includes black bears which account for nearly 2/3 of such incidents. To put that in perspective, 26 people are killed by dogs and 90 by lightning every year. Compared to other hazards bears hardly represent a threat to humans at all!

MtnGoat wrote:
increasing their present range increases the likelyhood of harm,

Again, considering that more people are killed by black bears than by grizzlies, and that it is possible that an increase in grizzly populations would lead to a decrease in black bear populations, it is logical to conclude that the introduction of grizzlies might actually decrease the likelyhood of harm.

MtnGoat wrote:
.........and perhaps with little benefit to the grizzlies as a species.


confused.gif  How do you figure that restoring the historic range of a species would not benefit it? The greater their range the greater their chance of long term survival, and the healthier the population as a whole will be due to the subsequent increase in genetic diversity that comes from a more widespread population.

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MadCapLaughs
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PostFri Feb 13, 2015 10:40 pm 
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MtnGoat wrote:
I'm uncertain that intentionally reintroducing a lethal animal is a great idea.

Every time you drive, you put your fellow humans at far more risk than any population of grizzly bears will.

I'm uncertain that intentionally allowing you to drive is a great idea.
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MtnGoat
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PostSat Feb 14, 2015 10:27 am 
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well, we could always reintroduce them to your house, and see how that extremely low risk feels then.  tongue.gif

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gb
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PostSat Feb 14, 2015 1:42 pm 
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MtnGoat wrote:
well, we could always reintroduce them to your house, and see how that extremely low risk feels then.  tongue.gif

That makes no sense. Obviously Grizzly bears would be introduced in the middle of wild lands. I'm all for it. Love to see a Grizzly while out hiking.

I had an encounter in the Canadian Rockies in which a mother and two cubs came up from behind me and passed 15' away while I was changing clothes. Scared me but the bear was not aggressive. One of the neatest experiences of my life.
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monorail
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PostSat Feb 14, 2015 1:57 pm 
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MtnGoat wrote:
well, we could always reintroduce them to your house, and see how that extremely low risk feels then.  tongue.gif

If the grizzlies can halt gentrification, I say 'welcome to the neighborhood!'
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Grannyhiker
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PostSat Feb 14, 2015 2:06 pm 
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Strange that similar public meetings about grizz in the North Cascades were going on in the late 1980s.  I attended one.  The same arguments were going on as in this thread.

Since all this was discussed 30 years ago and the North Cascades became part of the Grizzly Bear Recovery Program back then, why the meetings now?

For that matter, since the recovery program has been going on for 30 years, where are the bears?

I've hiked in Wyoming's Wind Rivers, where grizz are spreading rapidly (confirmed sightings in all parts of the range, although most are still in the northern part).  Never spotted a grizz although I really wanted to see one (from a safe distance, of course)!  As far as risk goes, I was at far more risk driving to and from the trailhead.

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MtnGoat
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PostSat Feb 14, 2015 5:29 pm 
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Why *add* risk?

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treeswarper
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PostSat Feb 14, 2015 6:37 pm 
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Grannyhiker wrote:
Strange that similar public meetings about grizz in the North Cascades were going on in the late 1980s.  I attended one.  The same arguments were going on as in this thread.

Since all this was discussed 30 years ago and the North Cascades became part of the Grizzly Bear Recovery Program back then, why the meetings now?

For that matter, since the recovery program has been going on for 30 years, where are the bears?

I've hiked in Wyoming's Wind Rivers, where grizz are spreading rapidly (confirmed sightings in all parts of the range, although most are still in the northern part).  Never spotted a grizz although I really wanted to see one (from a safe distance, of course)!  As far as risk goes, I was at far more risk driving to and from the trailhead.

I seem to remember this and a promise that grizzlies would not be imported and dumped in our woods.

I'd like to see an accounting on how much money has been spent since the start of this, and how much more is going to be poured down the drain.

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PostSat Feb 14, 2015 7:25 pm 
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Quote:
I seem to remember this and a promise that grizzlies would not be imported and dumped in our woods.

I remember that!  We were told that there was absolutely no need to import grizz, because they would move in on their own accord from BC.  Obviously, that hasn't happened.  Either BC bears don't like Washington, or, more likely, their population in BC hasn't increased enough to push them to look for greener pastures.

Why does my computer keep changing "grizz" to "frizz"?  rolleyes.gif

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