The termination of the grizzly bear recovery planning process in the North Cascades is yet another example of the Trump administration going against science in the name of politics.
The Grizzly Bear Recovery Plan is mandated by the Endangered Species Act. It is not just a whim of the local managers to restore this keystone species to the North Cascades ecosystem.
For decades Skagit County commissioners contracted with a lobbyist who fed them incendiary lies about bears. They hired the American Stewards of Liberty from Texas and brought in a self-professed bear biologist from Montana to tell them that the bears would soon be in the tulip fields.
In reality, the recovery plan is a well thought out, very conservative approach to restoring a healthy population of bears to the wild lands of Washington. The grizzly bear belongs in our national parks, including in North Cascades National Park, where they have roamed for thousands of years and contributed to the wild nature of these last few protected landscapes.
Rep. Newhouse championed the demise of the plan and in so doing chose to listen to a select few of his constituents, ignoring many supporters of wild places. An overwhelming number of comment letters to the Department of Interior favored the recovery of bears to the Cascades. These letters came from people who spend time in the wilderness areas, including those who live near the proposed recovery areas.
These people choose to live near and visit these places because of their wild nature, not because they are tame and sterile. Let us hope our local leaders are listening to all of us, not just the elite few who tell them what they want to hear.