In addition to state and local governments, many livestock and agricultural industry groups oppose Biden administration plans to release grizzly bears Located in a forested area near a rural community in Washington state.
The groups, including the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), Public Lands Council (PLC) and American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), said in comments submitted to the federal government this week: Free the grizzly bear Neighboring communities will feel the pain for members of the area.
They also said the move would threaten public safety and jeopardize future conservation efforts.
“Introducing apex predators like grizzly bears into new areas of Washington state is a mistake and poses a huge threat to our rural communities and hard-working farmers and ranchers,” said Wyoming rancher and incoming NCBA President Mark Mark Eisele said.
“This plan is driven by bureaucrats thousands of miles away from the West who don’t fully understand the harm this species will cause producers. The Biden administration should listen to rural residents and reconsider this plan.”
PLC president Mark Roeber, a Colorado rancher, added: “Grizzly bears are 20 times more dangerous than black bears and are known for aggressive, fatal mauling behavior. Their broad diet means they Can harm anyone—corn growers, orchardists, ranchers.” , Shepherd. The list goes on. “
Robb argued that the decision to airdrop the bears into a new environment should not be taken lightly, saying he faced problems with livestock depredation due to large numbers of gray wolves near his ranch. He added that grizzly bears are a larger predator that “only results in the depredation of livestock.” More harm to Washington state’s livestock producers. “
In late September, the National Park Service and the Fish and Wildlife Service proposed a draft rule and environmental impact statement that would open the door to releasing grizzly bears in North Cascades National Park in northern Washington state along the U.S.-Canada border. The proposal was criticized by left-wing ecology groups but not by local lawmakers and residents.
Under the proposal, the federal government would release up to seven grizzly bears per year into the North Cascade Ecosystem (NCE) over the next five to 10 years.
The federal government’s top goal is to get the grizzly bear population to about 200 in the next few decades.
NCBA, PLC, AFBF, the American Sheep Industry Association and several local affiliates wrote in comments submitted Monday.
“This will cause many significant economic harms to producers on both private and public lands, as well as serious increases in human safety risks. These consequences are bad enough on their own, but when this reintroduction occurs, it is even more difficult for producers to Put up with it.” It doesn’t even take continued growth in grizzly bear numbers nationwide. “
The federal plan released in September includes three options, two involving aggressive recovery of the threatened grizzly bear species and a “no action” option that would maintain current management practices.
The public comment period on the proposal expired Monday.
“We reiterate our opposition to the reintroduction of grizzly bears due to the potential adverse impacts to our local communities and the lack of local government involvement from federal agencies,” the Chelan County Commission, the local governing body near NCE, wrote in its own comment.
“At a minimum, we hope that you will consider our comments and develop a draft EIS and proposed 10(j) rule that more accurately reflects current science, management needs, and the impacts of grizzly bear reintroduction on local communities.”
The governments of Montana and Idaho also weighed in on the proposal, saying the federal proposal would be harmful.
“Grizzly bears occupy a variety of habitats regardless of land ownership or zoning. It is naive to think that bears can only be found on public lands, unless the goal is to manage bears to exclude any bears that wander onto private lands,” “If this is the purpose, more bears will be needed to achieve desirable numbers,” wrote Dustin Temple, director of Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.
Grizzly bears occupy the North Cascade Mountains and have been “an important part of the ecosystem” for thousands of years, according to the National Park Service.
However, during the 20th century, the species became endangered due to aggressive hunting practices, and the last confirmed sighting of a grizzly bear in the NCE was in 1996.
FWS regional director Hugh Morrison said in September that grizzly bears are part of the region’s heritage and restoring them in a way ensures communities, residents and animals “can all coexist peacefully.”
The program would release grizzly bears near communities, and according to the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife, accidentally or intentionally killing grizzly bears in the state could result in hefty fines and penalties because the species is listed as a federally threatened species and State threatened species. Listed as an endangered species.
Plans to reintroduce grizzly bears to the North Cascades date back to the Obama administration.
Then, after strong opposition from states led by Rep. Dan Newhouse, the Trump administration concluded that grizzly bears would not recover in the ecosystem.
Former Interior Secretary David Bernhardt noted in July 2020 that grizzly bears are not in danger of extinction and that his agency can manage grizzly bear populations within their existing range.
Late last year, however, the Biden administration announced it would again review whether to move forward with large-scale repairs after environmental groups filed a lawsuit, a process that led to the September proposal.