Ranchers applaud decision not to introduce grizzlies to Washington’s Northern Cascades ecosystem


The Department of the Interior announced Tuesday it was scrapping a plan to reintroduce grizzly bears to the Northern Cascades and other communities in Washington.

“The people who live and work in north central Washington have made their voices clear that they do not want grizzly bears reintroduced into the North Cascades,” said Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt. “Grizzly bears are not in danger of extinction, and Interior will continue to build on its conservation successes managing healthy grizzly bear populations across their existing range.”

The plan, which had been considered since 2015, had fierce opposition from farmers, ranchers and rural communities.

“Secretary Bernhardt’s announcement today is welcome news to local stakeholders across the region who know that the introduction of grizzly bears would be detrimental to their rural communities in the North Cascades. Ranchers and public lands users in these communities face overwhelming losses and impacts from huge gray wolf populations, and when paired with the economic hardship of the coronavirus pandemic, the introduction of yet another apex-predator would prove devastating, NCBA Executive Director Kaitlynn Glover said in a statement. “We applaud Secretary Bernhardt and his team for relying on science and local voices to guide an important decision.”