The Trump Administration has done what Eastern Washington residents and lawmakers have been unable to do here — halt a plan to move grizzly bears into the North Cascades.
For three or so years, North Cascades National Park, U.S. Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife and extreme environmentalists have been pushing to introduce grizzlies in the mountains from Yakima County to the Canadian border in a so-called “recovery zone.”
They continued to push their extreme agenda even though bringing grizzlies into the state is illegal under the Revised Code of Washington. Furthermore, they continued the push over the objections of rural residents who work, live and recreate in the mountains.
Last week, North Cascades National Park Superintendent Karen Taylor-Goodrich confirmed higher-up federal officials had halted the effort. Apparently, someone higher up in the federal Department of the Interior and the Trump Administration heard ruralites’ objections and read our state law.
That’s good news for disenfranchised rural residents who want to more say in how their areas are managed by the public employees they pay. And it’s a win for states’ rights advocates.
Revised Code of Washington 77.12.035 calls for a grizzly bear population to be established naturally. The law further states, “Grizzly bears shall not be transplanted or introduced into the state.”
Federal officials heretofore have failed to prove there is a benefit to rural areas by introducing the predator. They have failed to prove that introduction will lead to a sustained population. And they have failed to listen to the people who live, work and recreate in the Cascades.
Grizzly advocates were attempting to relocate about 200 bears from British Columbia and Montana to the Cascades. But do we really need to introduce yet another predator in our region when the state has yet to figure out how to manage the growing wolf population?
We’re glad the Trump Administration has brought common sense to the debate over whether we need grizzly bears, predators rural residents don’t want.