North Cascades grizzly bear
On the edge of extinction? A very small population of grizzly bears continues to roam Washington's North Cascades. They need our help to persist and recover.
Grizzly bears have lived in the Cascades for thousands of years. There are still grizzly bears in Washington State, including in the Selkirk Mountains. But today the North Cascades grizzly, the only population of grizzlies outside of the Rocky Mountains, is in desperate trouble.
What you can do to help the Cascades grizzly
First time in many years, confirmed photo of a rare North Cascades grizzly bear!
Latest Cascades grizzly bear news
With fewer than ten grizzlies in the Cascades of Washington, the population won't recover without the addition of a small number of bears from established grizzly populations to help start the long road to recovery–a road that will take our bears a century to travel.
Grizzly bears in the lower-48 were federally listed under the Endangered Species Act as threatened and in need of recovery in 1975. Today grizzly bears live in the continental US in only five areas: One of those is the North Cascades.
In 1997, the US Fish and Wildlife Service established a recovery plan for North Cascades grizzlies, which dictated the addition of a small number of bears from a more robust population into the North Cascades. The plan has yet to be implemented.
Real recovery won't happen without citizens convincing government that extinction is not an option.
What people want: healthy bear population
Independent polls show public support for grizzly bear recovery in the North Cascades that transcends geographic and demographic lines. In a 2005 poll, 79% of people living in or near the northwest portion of the North Cascades recovery zone who were polled stated strong support for grizzly bear recovery. People have brought these bears to the brink of extinction. People have the power to bring them back.
Government biologists have found that the North Cascades ecosystem has sufficient quantity and quality of habitat to support a self-sustaining population of grizzly bears. Given their dangerously low numbers and very slow reproductive rate, (second only to the musk ox among North American land mammals), full recovery could take up to a century.
Leaders for grizzly bear recovery
As a regional leader in grizzly bear recovery, Conservation Northwest since 1989 has worked in BC and Washington to recover grizzly bears.:
- Protecting grizzly bears across borders, combining forces with Canada and bear advocates in British Columbia, critical connecting habitat and protecting at-risk grizzly bear populations. Connected habitat is particularly important to wide-roaming wildlife, including the endangered grizzly bear.
- Educating and advocating for grizzly bear conservation
- Fielding volunteers to conduct field work and remote camera study of grizzlies in the North Cascades
- Supporting the Endangered Species Act as a safety net for endangered bears