Grizzly bears haven't been spotted in Washington's North Cascades since 2010, but federal officials are eyeing an official comeback for the controversial predator.
Per the Spokesman-Review, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) will hold public meetings next month to propose a grizzly reintroduction plan. The North Cascades ecosystem encompasses around 9,800 square miles in the United States and 3,800 in British Columbia. The U.S. portion includes North Cascades National Park and the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.
"The Grizzly Bear Recovery Plan calls on us to fully consider the restoration of the grizzly bear in the North Cascades, and this process will ensure we solicit public input before putting any plan into action," a FWS spokesperson told the paper.
Grizzly bears were all but eliminated from the Cascades by the mid-1960s, though intermittent sightings have been reported on both sides of the border since then. (BACKPACKER's reporter went searching—to no avail—in 2012.)
The FWS will accept public comments on the proposal through March 26.
Read more: The Spokesman Review