The National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released a document in January describing four ideas for reintroducing grizzly bears to the North Cascades region in Washington state. They asked for public comments on the proposals, which range from doing nothing to building a new population of 200 bears within 25 years. Today, no more than 10 grizzlies are believed to roam the 10,000-square-mile area.
As with anything involving predators in the West, this is a controversial topic. It is heartily backed by wildlife conservation organizations and some Native American tribes. It is staunchly opposed by ranchers’ groups and some local officials.
[Here’s what seeing bears at National Parks looked like 90 years ago]
By March 10 — four days before the end of the comments period — the agencies had received an estimated 6,500 comments, a Fish and Wildlife spokeswoman in Washington said. By Tuesday, however, that number had jumped …