ENDANGERED – A majority of people and organizations who commented on an environmental impact statement studying the restoration of grizzly bears in the North Cascades favor the return of the bear.
The National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released the report last week, providing an analysis of about 3,000 public comments received during the first phase of developing the environmental impact statement. The U.S. Forest Service and state Department of Fish and Wildlife are cooperating agencies.
The summary of the comments will be used to identify key issues while developing alternatives.
Completing the statement will be a three-year process that establishes options that could be taken to restore grizzly bears to the ecosystem, a 9,800 square-mile area of largely federal lands in northcentral Washington.
Of all the comments, 1,474 were made in support of restoring grizzly bears to the region; 285 were opposed.
The Fish and Wildlife Service listed the grizzly bear as a threatened species in the lower 48 United States in 1975. The species was listed as endangered by the state in 1980.
Riverside State Park planning discussed
PARKS – Proposals for managing a 280-acre “Trautman” addition to Riverside State Park will be discussed in a public workshop, 6:30 p.m., Thursday at Lakeside Middle School Auditorium, 6169 Highway 291, Nine Mile Falls. Directions: goo.gl/maps/kPP5E.
Management objectives to be addressed include:
• Boundary adjustments with Spokane County.
• Agreement with Spokane County Parks to manage the Trautman property.
• Agreement for state parks to manage recreation on Lake Spokane lands owned by Avista.
• Funding by Avista for recreational development.
The Trautman property acquisition at Nine Mile provides potential to link the Centennial Trail to Long Lake and the park’s Nine Mile Resort.
See details on the planning and comment online at http://j.mp/rsp-planning.
Info: Michael Hankinson, parks planner, (360) 902-8671, email michael.hankinson@ parks.wa.gov.
No sign of wolves impacting big game
CRITTERS – State wildlife managers say they have found no evidence that wolves have had significant impacts on Washington’s big-game herds.
Some wolf packs are shifting territories and the state is trying to monitor their activities, said Dave Ware, Washington Fish and Wildlife wolf program leader.
This spring, state wolf research trappers have placed additional transmitting collars on two yearlings in the Smackout Pack, a female in the Profanity Peak Pack, a female in the Dirty Shirt Pack and a female in the Lookout Pack.
In total, 14 wolves in 10 packs have state-monitored collars. The Colville Tribe may also have collars on one or two packs.
“At this point in wolf recovery, we are not seeing anything in the harvest or survey data that would indicate a decline in deer, elk, or moose populations,” Ware said.
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