The Return of the North Cascades Grizzly Begins

The Return of the North Cascades Grizzly Begins

Conservation Northwest / Apr 25, 2024 / Grizzly Bears, News Releases

After decades of research, advocacy, and community support, we are celebrating today’s announcement that grizzly bear restoration will soon begin in Washington state.

The process of charting a course for North Cascades Ecosystem grizzly bear recovery has been long and exhaustive. Federal agencies have gone above and beyond, working closely with grizzly bear experts on recovery plan foundations, alternatives, and actions.

The agencies have hosted multiple rounds and locations over many years for public engagement, including to Tribes, political leaders, local communities and stakeholders, listening to concerns and constructive input and generally including all those who want to contribute to this historic initiative.

Federal managers are also bringing a powerful tool for enhancing social tolerance in designating any translocated bears as an Experimental, non-essential population.

The science is evident on the viability of the North Cascades habitat for securing a future for grizzly bears without significant impacts on people and their ability to live and recreate in such a vast ecosystem. The social science is also clear that the healthy majority of people recognize the importance and the inspiration of grizzly bear restoration and are confident that we can coexist.

It’s taken more than three decades to arrive at what is essentially the starting line. The real work of grizzly bear recovery starts now and will see many bumps in the road and take many decades to achieve.

Learn more about our work on Grizzly Bears


A grizzly bear mother and cubs in central British Columbia. Photo: Jeremy Williams