Over the last two centuries human expansion has halted and almost destroyed natural habitat for many species across America. In recent time there has been multiple efforts to “rewild” or restore natural places to previous states. Recently there have been success stories with grizzly bears, wolves, and fishers in the North Cascades Ecosystem.
The above excerpt from Corin Cates-Carney describes how far behind the North Cascades ecosystem is compared to comparable wild spaces in regards to grizzly population. The success of both the Yellowstone and Northern Continental Divide sites strengthen the argument for grizzly reintroduction in the North Cascades.
Starting in 1997 the North Cascades was designated as a recovery zone for the bears. A lot of work was needed to be done to get the local population ready for a sizable bear population again. Two of their biggest tools: education and outreach.
Overall, Oeflke says, concerns about reintroduction have been far outweighed by support for bear recovery.
One such support is by Ron Judd, who shares a personal story with a group of bear juveniles.
Near the towns of Twisp and Omak in Okanogan County, a new wolf pack has started. Called Loup Loup it will be the official confirmed pack within Washington State boarders. The pack moved from Idaho and Montana on their own accord to the Methow Valley. While uncertain, biologists think there might be up to six in the pack.
Currently, the minimum wolf population in Washington State is 68 (without Loup Loup) which is a major improvement from a population of 27 four years earlier.
For the first time in 70 years, fishers are back in Washington State. If you are unfamiliar with what a fisher is think of them like a large carnivorous weasel.
Late last year wildlife officials released seven back into the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Transported in wooden crates from British Columbia these seven will start the re-population of fishers in the North Cascades.
90 have already been released into the Olympic Peninsula. Over the next few years a total of 80 fishers are planned to be released in the North Cascades.