Support for North Cascades grizzly population recovery

April 03, 2018

Last week US Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced plans to complete a previously halted environmental impact assessment that may lead to the reintroduction of grizzly bears to the North Cascades ecosystem. More details can be found in an article from the Seattle Times.

While there are many questions as to what decisions will be made based on the impact assessment, any attempt at recovery for this population will require cross-border cooperation. The North Cascades designated grizzly bear recovery zone crosses over the border from Southern BC, where the species is listed as “Threatened” by the Province of British Columbia, to the state of Washington, where they are designated as “Endangered” by state legislation.

The Province of British Columbia has its own plan of action for recovery efforts on the North Cascades population – its small size and isolated location made it the highest conservation priority. Written in 2004, the plan can be accessed here, but in October 2017 the BC Auditor General found the plan has never been implemented (see p8 of the audit here).

The US Fish and Wildlife Service also has its own plan of action for recovery efforts on the North Cascades grizzly population, written in 1997 and accessible here.

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