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Should we bring grizzlies back?

NorthCascadesNorthCascades Posts: 9,360Member Member Posts: 9,360Member Member
Grizzles were basically extirpated from Washington. The last shot was in 1967, the last confirmed sighting in 2010. There are thought to be half a dozen left, in the most remote and least visited corner of the state. (Pasayten Wilderness).

There has long been a debate about bringing them back, from the Rockies, and about easing their return through BC. The repatriation side is moving forward. North Cascades National Park is one of the biggest and least tamed wildernesses left in the lower 48, and is where they will live if they come back. To give you a sense of scale: I've gone 3 days without seeing another human while hiking across the park.

What do you think about big predators living in wild lands, but not too far away?


The North Cascades Grizzly Bear Recovery Zone is anchored by North Cascades National Park. The area includes nearly 10,000 square miles of wild country. The North Cascades were singled out for grizzly bear reintroduction by federal scientists in 1997 after they determined the area had sufficient quality habitat to support a self-sustaining population of grizzly bears — as it did for thousands of years.

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/environment/feds-look-again-at-reintroducing-grizzly-bears-to-north-cascades/

Replies

  • PhirrgusPhirrgus Posts: 1,904Member Member Posts: 1,904Member Member
    Aren't the vast majority of bear attacks due to human....er....error? Keeping it tactful there. I would hate to see the species wiped out. Maybe post "Do not approach the bears as if they're your pets or cuddly cute snap chat picture buddies because they may kill you" signs every hundred yards or so in the more public areas.
  • jjpptt2jjpptt2 Posts: 4,750Member Member Posts: 4,750Member Member
    Is there reason to believe that, if reintroduced, the new population wouldn't meet the same fate as previous bears?
  • PhirrgusPhirrgus Posts: 1,904Member Member Posts: 1,904Member Member
    jjpptt2 wrote: »
    Is there reason to believe that, if reintroduced, the new population wouldn't meet the same fate as previous bears?

    I would imagine hunting laws would have to be amended and enforced. That could prove to be a challenge though, given the opposition from local ranchers. That Cattlemans association could potentially hold enough sway to grind the process to a halt.
  • MotorsheenMotorsheen Posts: 15,219Member Member Posts: 15,219Member Member
    yes, they should continue to rebuild.


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  • puffbratpuffbrat Posts: 2,427Member Member Posts: 2,427Member Member
    jjpptt2 wrote: »
    Is there reason to believe that, if reintroduced, the new population wouldn't meet the same fate as previous bears?

    "This draft plan/EIS evaluates the impacts of the no-action alternative (alternative A) and three action
    alternatives (alternatives B, C, and D). All action alternatives would seek to achieve a grizzly bear
    restoration goal of 200 bears. The no-action alternative (alternative A) would be a continuation of existing
    management practices and assumes no new management actions would be implemented. “Alternative B:
    Ecosystem Evaluation Restoration” would seek to release up to 10 grizzly bears within the first 2 years of
    implementation, then monitor those bears for habitat use and human conflict through year 4. During
    year 4, managers would decide whether to repeat the initial releases of up to 10 bears over 2 years or
    switch to implementing alternative C. “Alternative C: Incremental Restoration” would seek to reestablish
    grizzly bear reproduction in the ecosystem by releasing up to 25 bears over 5 to 10 years. “Alternative
    Expedited Restoration” would seek to expedite grizzly bear restoration by releasing a sufficient number of
    bears that result in a population of 200 bears on the landscape, including bears added through
    reproduction, over approximately 25 years. In addition to the primary actions of each alternative, a
    number of elements would be common to the action alternatives. These elements include the restoration
    goal of 200 bears; guidelines for human-grizzly bear conflicts; capture, release and monitoring
    techniques; public education and involvement; access management; and habitat management. The
    option to designate the grizzly bear population as experimental under section 10 of the Endangered
    Species Act pursuant to a special rulemaking process is also considered."


    Basically, there isn't a guarantee but methods to try to prevent the same population loss is part of the proposal.

    ETA: quote is from the first page of the Draft EIS
    edited July 26
  • NorthCascadesNorthCascades Posts: 9,360Member Member Posts: 9,360Member Member
    jjpptt2 wrote: »
    Is there reason to believe that, if reintroduced, the new population wouldn't meet the same fate as previous bears?

    If I could say one thing to the grizzles, it would be "salmon and berries are waiting for you in the national park, you'll be safe there."

    Hunting is illegal within the park and larger management area, apparently 10,000 square miles. Not that illegal things don't ever happen there, I found a bike deep in the wilderness once. But most people won't hike 20 miles through very brushy and overgrown terrain to shoot a bear. Especially if there are few of them and the chances of putting in all that effort and not even seeing one are high.
  • PhirrgusPhirrgus Posts: 1,904Member Member Posts: 1,904Member Member
    Azdak wrote: »
    Phirrgus wrote: »
    Aren't the vast majority of bear attacks due to human....er....error? Keeping it tactful there. I would hate to see the species wiped out. Maybe post "Do not approach the bears as if they're your pets or cuddly cute snap chat picture buddies because they may kill you" signs every hundred yards or so in the more public areas.

    I try to get by with a select few “life rules”.

    1. Treat others as you would like to be treated (aka The Golden Rule).
    2. Don’t f—k with bears.

    I have found I don’t need any others.

    That's a great formula to live by. :)
  • whmscllwhmscll Posts: 2,148Member Member Posts: 2,148Member Member
    They’ve talked. About re-introducing grizzlies to California, too. As a frequent hiker and formerly frequent backpacker, I prefer to deal only with black bears and mountain lions, whose behavior I understand much better. I am terrified of grizzlies. It’s sad that the only grizzly in CA is on the state flag, but I am in no rush to see them back here. When I went backpacking in Alaska, the fear was real.
  • jjpptt2jjpptt2 Posts: 4,750Member Member Posts: 4,750Member Member
    gpbw0or8i71s.jpg

    I'm glad I read that to the end.
  • ccrdragonccrdragon Posts: 2,359Member Member Posts: 2,359Member Member
    To continue that ^^^^ train of thought... I heard a story on the radio this morning where a guy in Russia was going out to hunt mushrooms. He told his wife that if he wasn't home by 10, he had probably been eaten by a bear. When he didn't return home that night, his wife called the police to report him missing... the search the next morning found his remains, and in fact, he HAD been eaten by a bear! :neutral: :neutral:
  • MikePfirrmanMikePfirrman Posts: 1,029Member Member Posts: 1,029Member Member
    They tried to reintro grey wolves here, near Tucson, around 10 years ago. Didn't go really well with the farmers shooting most or all of them. I'd be OK with it but I'm not sure how I would feel if I ventured further into the mountains. About a month before I moved into my house there were quite a few Mountain Lion pics sitting up on people's back walls.
  • 4legsRbetterthan24legsRbetterthan2 Posts: 16,429Member Member Posts: 16,429Member Member
    For creatures that will seek out the remote areas, I don't have a problem with it. Of course they'll keep an eye on the numbers of bears that will come to populate the area, but I doubt there's going to be much trouble with them getting to thick (and not just from a human interaction scenario, but for keeping the population to a size that can be supported by the ecosystem).

    I live in the mid-Appalachians and there's been talk for years of re-introducing wolves to the area and recently, mountain lions (the eastern mountain lion has been officially declared extinct, but there are hunters who go into the deep rural areas of the mountains who swear there's still a few around, my brother being one). Farmers are having a fit, but I don't see a problem here, either, especially the big cats (though with the way the western cougars are spreading their range eastward, I don't think the DNR will need to actually reintroduce the cats; I think they'll be here on their own soon enough).

    The deer herd here in WV is suffering because of over-population. The deer are smaller and more apt to health problems, not to mention the devastation that too many deer is having on the woodlands. The reintroduction of an apex predator to help cull the herd down to a more manageable level is desperately needed here, both for the health of the deer and the health of the environment.

    But farmers in the area are protesting vehemently, claiming the cats and wolves would go after their cattle and sheep. I don't know about the wolves since they do run in packs, but I'm all for bringing the big cats back. The cats are solitary, prefer remote regions, and are large enough to prey on deer and be more apt to stick with deer and less likely to go after sheep and cattle.

    Indeed the problem in this area is that the DNR, instead of bringing back a larger, more solitary predator like the cats, brought in the eastern coyotes who are must more apt to hang around human population centers and go after smaller animals such as sheep and goats and peoples' pets. I've seen reports that the coyotes even have breeding populations in places like Chicago and New York City. The big wolves and cats, on the other hand, are much less likely to settle near human population centers like that. Indeed the coyote population here has grown so thick that the state has had to put a bounty on them just to try to get their numbers back down to a manageable population.

    I think a lot of the protest from people comes from propaganda - they are fed this idea that cougars, wolves, sharks, and grizzlies are dangerous and will attack anyone unprovoked, and with the media sensationalizing any such attack, not to mention movies portraying such attacks in gruesome detail, the idea gets into people's heads that its a common occurrence wherever these animals live. However, when you look at the actual stats, I think its actually something rare to happen, and that if people are taught to respect the animals and to observe basic safety measures, that we can co-exist. There are consequences to wiping out an entire species from an ecosystem - the problem with Appalachian deer being a prime example.

    The wolves would definitely hunt the livestock. The cats, I think it largely depends on the farm. A small farm in the hills/mountains might have issues. Wide open areas of farmland, probably not.
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