North Cascades Grizzly Bear "Restoration" Plan Rife with Concerns
(WASHINGTON) - Today, the United States Cattlemen's Association (USCA) submitted comments on the North Cascades Grizzly Bear Restoration Plan Draft Environmental Impact Statement ahead of the October 24, 2019 deadline. The plan seeks to import up to 200 grizzly bears to the region, despite obvious local stakeholder concerns.
USCA Public Lands Committee Co-Chair Jack Alexander issued the following statement:
"The original intent of the Endangered Species Act was to serve as a means of ensuring survival of specific species that faced a serious threat of extinction. We have not yet witnessed the utilization of the law as a tool to promote range expansion for any non-threatened species, as is happening within this 'plan'.
"The International Union for Conservation of Nature has listed Ursus arctos, more commonly known as the “Grizzly” bear, as a 'Species of Least Concern', due in no small part to its population numbers of over 55,000 across North America. In short, the basis for this 'restoration plan' fails to take into account local stakeholder concerns regarding the safety and well-being of their families, neighbors, and livestock.
"USCA wholly rejects the findings in the draft environmental impact statement and encourages the agencies to reconsider its plan to attempt to 'restore' a grizzly bear population in the Northern Cascades Ecosystem or, at the very least, consult with appropriate local communities on next steps."