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US proposal to reintroduce B.C. grizzlies in North Cascade area gets huge responseIndia Blooms News Service
The North Cascade which once had thousands of grizzly bears now had fewer than 10 and since 1996 bears had not been spotted on the U.S. side of the border.
But the North Cascade area has a large remote wilderness habitat and could can accommodate about 200 grizzlies according to the U.S. federal assessment.
"Grizzly bears are a wilderness icon. They have enormous benefits for ecosystems … and they're essentially a missing piece here," Joe Scott of Conservation Northwest, a Washington-based environmental group that's been working on the issue for decades, was quoted as saying by CBCNews.
The U.S. federal had proposed to capture B.C. grizzly bears using baited traps, transport and deposit these by helicopter to their final remote destinations to Washington State.
This proposal was met with very favourably due to an online campaign by cartoonist, The Oatmeal.
More than 1000,000 people favoured the U.S. proposal of reintroduction of grizzly bears to the North Cascades ecosystem in Washington State, said the National Parks Service(NPS).
After the agencies received several requests for an extension to the comment period from members of the public and local elected officials, the NPS and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (U.S. FWS) decided to extend the public comment period through April 28, 2017.
"Because it's happening in a national park and because grizzly bears are something that people are passionate about [on both sides] ... it's not surprising that we have a large number of comments," Denise Schultz of the North Cascades NPS was quoted as saying by CBCNews.
Conservation Northwest, the National Wildlife Federation, and The Oatmeal had been supporting the proposal to move 25 bears over the next five to 10 years, then monitor those bears to see their behaviour and adaptability.
They also decided that the grizzly bears come from a source group that eats the same kinds of food as the landlocked North Cascades, and are stable and survivable after the young bears had been removed from the breeding population.
Scott was confident that B.C. people could afford to supply a couple of bears over several years and also hoped that Canadians who lived around Wells Gray would be happy to help the U.S. with that effort.
The B.C. Ministry of Environment refused to discuss the grizzly plan with CBC News till the U.S. government had decided what it planned to do.
Schultz of the NPS confirmed, there was no agreement at that time to move B.C. bears and added that much more negotiation and discussions need to be done before any commitment can be made or any decision taken.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)