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In a Major Victory for Wildlife, Grizzly Bears Can Soon Roam North Cascades Again

A final Record of Decision will be signed following a legally mandated 30-day waiting period. Photo: Grizzly bear photographed at the Woodland Park Zoo. Credit: Conservation Northwest

The Friends of the North Cascades Grizzly Bear coalition celebrates today as federal agencies greenlight a plan to bring grizzly bears back to the North Cascades Ecosystem.

The National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have announced the final environmental impact statement and grizzly bear reintroduction plan. The agencies’ decision to restore grizzlies to their historic homelands, where they are functionally extinct, is a huge victory for wildlife and the people who cherish our wild landscapes. The decision recommends a 10(j) rule that would give agencies flexibility under the Endangered Species Act to responsibly manage bears.

“After years of advocacy the Upper Skagit Tribe looks forward to the day the great bear returns to the rugged North Cascades which our people previously shared with Grizzlies for thousands of years,” said Scott Schuyler, policy representative for the Upper Skagit Tribe, whose territory lies within the recovery zone. “We thank leaders at the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Department of Interior for their intention to restore a cultural icon in the North Cascades.”

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