Wildlife Service wants to put grizzly bears in the Washington’s North Cascades

The relocation of animals, like gray wolves and grizzly bears, has caught the attention of producers in the Pacific Northwest. Ag groups oppose the idea but a new plan by the Wildlife Service could put grizzlies into the North Cascades over the next decade.

The environmental impact statement shows the initial plan would be for a population of 25 bears but they eventually want that number to climb to 200. Groups like NCBA have spoken out against the plan but the Agency says the bears would be considered non-essential and could be killed or relocated if they harm livestock or humans.

The Wildlife Service says grizzly bears used to roam the area but now there is no confirmed presence. Washington Representative Dan Newhouse says that is not enough reason to reintroduce them, and he is looking to take action back in D.C.

“I gotta say that this is another example of the Biden Administration just ignoring the people in in favor of others who don’t even live in the area that, you know, have environmental or other concerns. But the people that actually have to live with it every single day, they’re being ignored. I think there be some appropriations actions that we could take, but it may not be limited to just that either. So we’ll be discussing what our strategy can be and we’ll be talking with folks in the Okanagan area as well to see what people there would like to see happen next.”

Wolves have been another issue for producers. In Colorado, lawmakers recently introduced a bill where producers would be compensated for livestock killed by the animals only if they used non-lethal force against them. The plan would help ranchers pay for the tools needed but several lawmakers oppose the plan.