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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Friday, August 22, 2014

The Northern Cascade Mountains in Washington State is one of the locations that the USFW feel should once again be home to Grizzly Bears............Suitable habitat there suggests some 200 to 400 bruins could fill up this 9,800-square-mile swath of north-central Washington, including the eastern and western slopes of the Cascades, North Cascades National Park, Lake Chelan National Recreation Area, Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest and Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest................Based on sightings and tracks over the years, biologists estimate that fewer than 20 grizzly bears remain in the North Cascades -- the last U.S. outpost of West Coast grizzlies that once roamed from Canada to Mexico............... Another 25 or fewer survive just north of the border in the Canadian Cascades, isolated from the rest of Canada's 25,000-some grizzlies. ..............The Cascades population is still reeling from the orchestrated massacre of the trapping days............ Between 1827 and 1859, 3,788 grizzly bear hides were shipped out of Northwest trading posts, according to Hudson's Bay Company records............. By 1860, an estimated 350 grizzly bears survived in the Cascades, down from an historical population of around 1,000............ Between 1900 and 1967, people killed another 66 bears, as recounted in David Knibb's book, Grizzly Wars..

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Feds weigh reintroducing grizzlies in North Cascades

The National Park Service said Thursday it will consider moving
 bears into the North Cascade Mountains of Washington state to
aid their

The agency is launching a three-year process to study a variety
options for helping their population. Director Jonathan B. Jarvis
 that the process is required under federal law but no decision
 had been made.
Native American tribes and conservation groups have pressed
 for years
for the federal government to do more to bring back the bears.
“It marks the potential turning point in the decades-long decline
of the last
grizzly bears remaining on the U.S. West Coast,” Joe Scott,
 conservation director of Conservation Northwest, said in a
 statement. “Without recovery efforts, these bears may soon
be gone forever.”
Numerous grizzly bears roamed north-central Washington in
 the past, but
early settlers and trappers killed thousands for fur in the
 mid-19th century.
The region’s booming population has also encroached on
 their habitat.
The tribes have cited their cultural connection to the bears
 in urging
 their preservation.
Federal authorities listed the grizzly bear as threatened in
the lower 48
 states in 1975 and ultimately designated
 five areas in Washington, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming
to focus on
 boosting the population.
A small population of grizzlies exists in Washington’s
Selkirk Mountains,
and the park service says the animals have been seen
recently in the
Cascades north of the Canadian border. But they haven’t
been seen in
 the Washington Cascades in years.
Officials have been looking hard, too. In the past three
years, they’ve
set up “hair-snare” traps — basically bait surrounded by
 stretches of
barbed wire that snag samples of a bear’s hair — in
 about one-third of
 the North Cascades region. The traps have produce
 many samples of
 black bear hair, as confirmed by DNA tests, but no
 grizzly hair, said
Bob Everitt, northwest Washington regional director
 of the state Fish
 and Wildlife Department.
“It doesn’t mean there aren’t grizzly bears, but it sure
 suggests they’re
 pretty rare,” Everitt said.
In 1997, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service added a
chapter on the North
 Cascades to its grizzly bear recovery plan. The
document said that within
five years, authorities should evaluate options for
 recovering bears in the
 region, which covers a 9,800-square-mile swath
of north-central
Washington, including the eastern and western
slopes of the Cascades,
 North Cascades National Park, Lake Chelan
National Recreation Area,
 Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest and
Mount Baker-Snoqualmie
National Forest.
It suggested that a sustainable grizzly
 population in the North Cascades
 might be about 200 to 400 bears.
Since that chapter was added, some work
has been done to improve
conditions for grizzlies in the North
 Cascades that mainly involved securing
garbage to keep bears away
from humans, Everitt said.
“There’s only so much you can do when
you don’t have any bears,”
 he added. Lawmakers made clear in the
mid-1990s that they didn’t
want bears introduced in the state.
A law passed at the time directs the Fish
 and Wildlife Department to
 work to encourage the natural recovery
of grizzly populations but
says: “Grizzly bears shall not be transplanted
 or introduced into the
state. Only grizzly
 bears that are native to Washington stat
e may be utilized by the
 department for management programs.”
The park service said it would work with
 the U.S. Forest Service,
 the state and the public in making any
 decisions, including about whether to
 bring grizzlies into the area.
“Grizzly bears are controversial,” Everitt
 said. “We want to make
 sure everyone is heard on this issue
before it gets concluded.”

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