Feds resume study of restoring grizzlies to North Cascades

SPOKANE, Wash. — Environmental groups on Thursday hailed a decision by the Biden administration to resume studying whether grizzly bears should be restored to the remote North Cascades mountains in Washington state.

The National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said they would jointly prepare an environmental impact statement on restoring the endangered bears to the North Cascades ecosystem.

Humans killed the bears off from the ecosystem long ago and restoration there will contribute to the general recovery of the endangered animals in the Northwest, the agencies said.

“This overturns the Trump administration’s rash termination of these plans,” said Andrea Zaccardi of the Center for Biological Diversity. “Without a helping hand, grizzly bears are likely to disappear from the Pacific Northwest.”

But Republican U.S. Rep. Dan Newhouse, who represents central Washington, criticized the plan.

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“The introduction of grizzly bears into the North Cascades would directly, and negatively impact the people & communities I represent,” Newhouse tweeted. “It is disappointing our voices are once again being ignored, even after the last process was discontinued due to overwhelming local opposition.”

Newhouse said introducing an apex predator to the area would threaten

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