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KayDee Gilkey Grizzly Bear Reintroduction Comment Period Extended
by KayDee Gilkey, click here for bio

Program: Land & Livestock Report
Date: March 17, 2017

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From time to time, I like to bring awareness to issues that may currently only affect a portion of my listening area — like Central Washington — on the topic of grizzly bear reintroduction. The US Fish and Wildlife service announced there has been an extension on the public comment period by 45 days through April 28th on their proposal to reintroduce grizzly bears.

 

The draft EIS includes a no action alternative, plus three action alternatives that would seek to restore a reproducing population of approximately 200 bears through the capture and release of grizzly bears into the North Cascades Ecosystem.

 

U.S. Congressman Dan Newhouse who represents this area shares that he concerns about ramping up the grizzly bear population artificially.

 

Newhouse: “There are a lot of issues with that — safety concerns, tourism concerns. If they come in naturally from Canada. There has been some crossover back and forth over time. That seems a more natural progression — I’d be okay with that. That is kind of that taking no action option. But to artificial introduce them — to me — I haven’t heard frankly, from any constituents yet that are clamoring to move forward with this. Like I’ve said before, the people who have to live with the bears should be the people that we listen to; and not someone who is not from the area who may good intentions but unrealistic notions of what the grizzlies would bring to the area. So that has been my goal all a long that the citizens of Okanogan County have the opportunity to express their opinion.”

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