Public Comment Report Available for North Cascades Ecosystem Grizzly Bear Restoration Process

Published on June 12, 2015, by IGBC Executive Committee

Sedro Woolley, Wash. – The National Park Service (NPS) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) have released the report analyzing public comments received during the first phase of an environmental impact statement (EIS) for grizzly bear restoration in the North Cascades ecosystem. The EIS is a three-year process to determine a range of actions that could be taken to restore grizzly bears to the North Cascades ecosystem, a 9,800 square-mile area of largely federal lands in north central Washington state.

FWS listed the grizzly bear as a threatened species in the lower 48 United States in 1975. The species was listed as endangered by the state of Washington in 1980. The EIS is being developed jointly by the FWS, which administers the Endangered Species Act, and the NPS. The U.S. Forest Service and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife are cooperating agencies in the process.

The NPS and FWS held a series of public open houses from Feb. 13 through March 26 in which they shared information and solicited public input on the range of issues related to grizzly bears and the North Cascades ecosystem. Comments were also accepted by postal mail, online, and in person at North Cascades National Park. The summary of some 3,000 individual comments be used by the agencies to identify key issues during development of a range of alternatives to address grizzly bear recovery.

A draft Environmental Impact Statement containing the proposed alternatives will be released in summer 2016 and another public comment period will follow.

The analysis report and other documents related to the planning process can be found here:http://go.usa.gov/3PZMG.

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