Should Grizzlies Be Restored to the North Cascades?

The awe-inspiring bears are almost extinct in Washington State, but the government is now studying whether they should be brought back.

NORTH CASCADES NATIONAL PARK—The grizzly bear looms large in the traditions of Pacific Northwest Indians, a creature both revered and almost human. It was a fixture of the natural world: a powerful predator and a source of food and stories.

Today the grizzlies of the Northwest exist mostly in legend. The few fleeting glimpses in the woods are so rare, some suspect there are no bears left in the jagged spine of the Cascade Mountains that splits Washington State.

That, however, might soon change. The federal government is starting down a road that could lead to setting the massive animals loose in North Cascades National Park. If so, it would be the first reintroduction of grizzly bears, a federally protected species—and

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