By Ann McCreary
Methow Valley News 

Grizzly restoration plan elicits strong opinions


Last updated 11/16/2023 at 3:51pm

Ann McCreary, Methow Valley News

The Winthrop Barn was packed for a public meeting to gather comments on the proposed reintroduction of grizzly bears to the North Cascades.

The idea of restoring grizzly bears to the North Cascades brings up strong emotions, which were evident among speakers at a packed house in the Winthrop Barn on Friday night (Nov. 3).

A public meeting was held to gather comments and provide information on a proposal to reintroduce grizzly bears to the North Cascades Ecosystem, a 9,800-square-mile area in Washington, which includes the Methow Valley, that once supported a healthy population of grizzlies before they were hunted into extinction.

Some speakers warned of grizzly bears "coming down" from the mountains and attacking crops, animals and humans in populated areas like Twisp and Winthrop.

Other speakers said risks posed by grizzlies are greatly exaggerated, and said many communities in the West have shown it's possible to co-exist with the bears

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