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Zinke supports restoration of grizzlies in North Cascades

This July 6, 2011, file photo shows a grizzly bear roaming near Beaver Lake in Yellowstone National Park, Wyo. (Jim Urquhart / Associated Press)
This July 6, 2011, file photo shows a grizzly bear roaming near Beaver Lake in Yellowstone National Park, Wyo. (Jim Urquhart / Associated Press)
Associated Press

SEDRO-WOOLLEY, Wash. – Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke says the federal government is moving forward with plans to restore grizzly bears in the remote North Cascade Mountains of Washington state.

Zinke made the announcement Friday during a visit to North Cascades National Park’s headquarters, about 75 miles north of Seattle.

The Department of the Interior announced in 2014 that it would consider relocating grizzlies to aid their recovery in the Cascades. An environmental review has been underway, but in recent months there have been questions about whether it would continue.

Zinke said Friday that restoring the grizzlies would represent “the American conservation ethic come to life.” He expects a formal decision by the end of the year.

American Indian tribes and conservationists have pushed for grizzly restoration in the North Cascades for decades.

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