Washington Fly Fishing Forum banner
1 - 20 of 58 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,555 Posts
Hunh, I thought I read that this was a done deal a few years ago. The game department flew the grizzle bears into the Cascade mountains in the same black helicopters that they used to bring the wolves in a few years earlier. I just learned yesterday about a secret equipment storage yard and warehouse south of town. That has to be where the department is storing the black helicopters.
 

·
Dumbfounded
Joined
·
10,887 Posts
Oh good! Another species dumped into the current century where man (ranchers, land owners, etc) will kill them... again.

Hell, we may as well have wolves roaming around getting shot by ranchers and hunters.... or wait, we already do!

:eek:
 

·
Ignored Member
Joined
·
12,110 Posts
Oh good! Another species dumped into the current century where man (ranchers, land owners, etc) will kill them... again.

Hell, we may as well have wolves roaming around getting shot by ranchers and hunters.... or wait, we already do!

:eek:
Are you at all familiar with the area where these releases will take place? There are no ranchers or farmers. The north Cascades is some seriously rugged country.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
420 Posts
The feds are doing this not the state. If I am correct, a few years back a law was put in place prohibiting the WDFW from being involved with Grizzly Bear Reintroduction transplants
 

·
bushwhacker
Joined
·
426 Posts
Hunh, I thought I read that this was a done deal a few years ago. The game department flew the grizzle bears into the Cascade mountains in the same black helicopters that they used to bring the wolves in a few years earlier. I just learned yesterday about a secret equipment storage yard and warehouse south of town. That has to be where the department is storing the black helicopters.
Careful with that sort of talk, they'll believe you. Hell I still have a few hairs from those Canadian super wolves in the back of my unmarked white van that I should probably sweep out...

Some good info on this is available in the below video, and more perspectives available here and at www.northcascadesgrizzly.org.

I also interviewed a grizzly bear biologist about the quality of the habitat in the North Cascades a few months back. It's a good read for anyone who thinks there's not enough salmon to sustain them, or that they're gonna "decimate the deer and elk population". (Hint: they eat grass, bugs, berries and ground squirrels).

The feds are doing this not the state. If I am correct, a few years back a law was put in place prohibiting the WDFW from being involved with Grizzly Bear Reintroduction transplants
Yes, prohibiting WDFW from actually transplanting and releasing bears. But not prohibiting WDFW from being involved in an ESA-mandated native species restoration effort lead by federal agencies on federal public lands. Sounds like a state Attorney General opinion on this may be coming out soon.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,850 Posts
ChaseBallard -

Thanks for the link it addressed the obvious question that popped to mind as I read this thread.

It still seems highly likely that seasonal that grizzly bears would be seasonal visitors to the low elevation river basins to take advantage of rich food resources and in doing so creating a set of human interaction problems. Hard to imagine that salmon in the fall for bears preparing to den and vegetation like salmon berries and shuck cabbage in the spring as the bears search for post den food being on the bears annual diet.

Curt
 

·
bushwhacker
Joined
·
426 Posts
ChaseBallard -

Thanks for the link it addressed the obvious question that popped to mind as I read this thread.

It still seems highly likely that seasonal that grizzly bears would be seasonal visitors to the low elevation river basins to take advantage of rich food resources and in doing so creating a set of human interaction problems. Hard to imagine that salmon in the fall for bears preparing to den and vegetation like salmon berries and shuck cabbage in the spring as the bears search for post den food being on the bears annual diet.

Curt
Yep, that's a valid concern. And one federal agencies, landowners and the state wildlife department will have to work through. It won't likely be until after the bear population has come back some, we're talking less than 5 bears today, and even in a decade it will be well less than 50. And even then the areas where bears will overlap with fish-bearing streams will be limited (think upper Nooksack tribs, Bacon Creek, Chilliwack especially, Lost River) but it will eventually happen, and it may create potential conflicts.

Thankfully we don't have to reinvent the wheel on this. We can look to Montana, Wyoming, and even northeast Washington for potential strategies to limit human-grizzly bear conflict when the two interact in lower elevation areas.

And you're all still down to fish Yellowstone and AK, right? The chance for an encounter with grizz on a North Cascades stream will be much, much smaller than those places. Still, bear spray doesn't weigh much. It will be worth carrying in the above areas and the backcountry of the North Cascades.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,850 Posts
ChaseBallard -
Not suggesting that the potential of the bears feeding along the lower elevation rivers is reason to not re-introduce grizzlies. Just that the bears using those streams as feeding stations seems to inevitable.

As an aside the only grizzly sign I have seen was along the Sauk (a couple miles upstream of the Suiattle). There were several bears feeding on a concretion of chum carcasses. Based on the tracks one was clearly a grizzly (that was in the late 1990s). Seems to me once an introduced populations expands their range south of Highway 20 natural routes to those low elevation feeding grounds would be along Cascade, Suiattle, Whitechuck and Stehekin.

curt
 

·
bushwhacker
Joined
·
426 Posts
ChaseBallard -
Not suggesting that the potential of the bears feeding along the lower elevation rivers is reason to not re-introduce grizzlies. Just that the bears using those streams as feeding stations seems to inevitable.

As an aside the only grizzly sign I have seen was along the Sauk (a couple miles upstream of the Suiattle). There were several bears feeding on a concretion of chum carcasses. Based on the tracks one was clearly a grizzly (that was in the late 1990s). Seems to me once an introduced populations expands their range south of Highway 20 natural routes to those low elevation feeding grounds would be along Cascade, Suiattle, Whitechuck and Stehekin.

curt
No disagreements there. It could be years or decades, but it will eventually happen. And we'll have to work through it like we do with other wildlife species.

Interesting about the Sauk tracks. It's not impossible. One of the more reliable grizzly bear reports from recent years that I've seen was from a ways up Bacon Creek. The others have all been from deep in the Pasayten east of Ross Lake.

Glad you used the tracks as a reference, 99% of the time we get "grizzly" reports and ask "How do you know the bear was a grizz?", the answer is "it was brown."
 

·
bushwhacker
Joined
·
426 Posts
The question is how many apex predators can exist in the current situation?

Dave
Grizz aren't an apex predator. An umbrella species yes. A keystone species, sometimes. But not a predator and certainly not "apex". They're not wolves, and they're not going to be having any discernible impact on ungulate populations.

These are omnivores who's diet mostly consists of plants, bugs and berries. Those big claws? They're shovels for digging up roots, ground squirrels and flipping rocks to find insects. Don't believe me? You don't need a wildlife biology degree, just do some Googling.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
243 Posts
Grizzlies are already in the North Cascades and have been for some time. Estimates I've heard are over 20 bears but less than 40. This can climb much higher during salmon season as bears come down from BC to feast on the bounty.

This would hardly be a "re-introduction," but rather a supplemental, artificial stocking, much like adding more steelhead hatcheries to the Skagit or Elwha systems.
 

·
Outta Here
Joined
·
3,912 Posts
We get the occasional griz in NE Washington. I worry more about the bears gettin' hurt than I do people. We've already got way too many fukin people, and too few grizzlies.

As Edward Abbey said, "If there ain't something out there that can kill and eat you, then it ain't wilderness".

Frankly, I worry far more runnin' across fuked-up meth heads than wolves, bears, or cranky moose.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,847 Posts
I've came across five grizzlies in Washington in my lifetime, and very recent sign from a VERY, very large boar that busted over the hill as we came around the corner. To be fair most of these encounters were on horseback many, many miles from civilization. But I know there are grizzlies in Washington, and always has been.
 
1 - 20 of 58 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top