xConnectNW 119 - Relocating Bears

On this episode of xConnectNW, we learn that biologists in the Pacific Northwest work to reintroduce Grizzly bears into multiple national parks. Plus, safety tips for hiking and camping where Grizzly bears live.


Producer:Kari Watkins 

Online Version: Kanale Rhoden, Director/Producer & Destiny Liley, Associate Producer

Posted: Friday, April 3, 2015 | 4:00 p.m.


Currently, there are fewer than 20 Grizzly bears in the North Cascades. Biologists are testing the waters and seeing if they want to slowly but surely reintroduce the bears back into the community. EarthFix environmental reporter, Courtney Flatt said, “They’ve been trying to make this decision for more than 20 years. For some of the biologists that have been working on this, this has been their whole career.” 

The last time that biologists discussed reintroducing the Grizzlies into the community was in 1993 over the course of multiple National Park and Park Service meetings across Washington state. “People don’t want them reintroduced into the community. People are primarily concerned about their cattle, losing their land and putting the lives of bikers, hikers, and rock climbers in danger.” Flatt said.

There are people voting for a reintroduction of the Grizzlies and think it will not cause any harm. Biologists believe having bears on a landscape means the landscape is healthy. “It would take 100 years before we see a self-sustaining population on the cascades. It takes them a long time to reproduce.” Flatt explained. Some safety precautions Flatt suggested for when in the back woods are to wear bells, hang your packs, and don’t bring food in the tents.

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