This week the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) issued a proposed rule to reintroduce grizzly bears into the Northern Cascades of central Washington. Fundamental to this proposed rule is the expectation that FWS will be releasing 5-7 bears into the area over the next several years until a sustained population of 25 bears is reached, but in portions of the proposed rule, FWS notes that the length of the program could reach multiple decades.
The Sportsmen’s Alliance will review the proposed rule over the coming days and weeks, and will provide our comments before the deadline of November 13, 2023, but we take note at the outset that escalating negative grizzly bear–human interactions in several areas of the western United States is a cause for serious concern.
“We’ve seen time and again that when humans and apex predators interact, the outcomes can be devastating,” said Todd Adkins, vice president of government affairs at the Sportsmen’s Alliance. “There is no evidence that reintroducing grizzlies into this area is necessary for the survival and health of the species, but we know there will be negative – and often deadly – consequences, so FWS has to do much more than simply put the wheels in motion.”
About the Sportsmen’s Alliance: The Sportsmen’s Alliance protects and defends America’s wildlife conservation programs and the pursuits – hunting, fishing and trapping – that generate the money to pay for them. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation is responsible for public education, legal defense and research. Its mission is accomplished through several distinct programs coordinated to provide the most complete defense capability possible. Stay connected to Sportsmen’s Alliance: Online, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.