Bear Awareness Week
May 20, 2012
May 20-26, 2012, is Washington's Bear Awareness Week. The state's grizzly bears persist in two places, in the North Cascades and in the Selkirks of northeast Washington.
It's Bear Awarness Week in Washington! This young black bear captured on remote camera shows how light in color black bears can be. The tall ears and lack of a shoulder hump broadcast "black bear." Grizzlies have a telltale hump and much smaller ears.
May 20-26, 2012, is Bear Awareness Week. Here in Washington, recognition comes thanks to a proclamation by Governor Chris Gregoire.
Washington's 25,000 black bears are part of many people's experiences growing up and visiting Washington's national forests and parks. Washington grizzly bears are less well known, and few people get to see them, they are so rare.
Washington's grizzly bears persist in two places.
- Around 40 to 60 bears live in the Selkirk Mountains of the Salmo-Priest Wilderness (the only designated wilderness in northeast Washington) in the northeastern corner of the state.
- An estimated less than 20 grizzly bears live in the high meadows and steep valleys of the North Cascades of north-central Washington.
Celebrate Bear Awareness Week. Act now for grizzly bears.
Conservation Northwest chooses to focus on the grizzly bear this awareness week because this valuable keystone species remains so threatened.
Last century, the US Fish and Wildlife Service produced a recovery plan to augment and protect the North Cascades grizzly bears. An environmental impact statement for the recovery process has awaited support and funding since 1997. It needn't gather dust forever, not if we want grizzly bears in our, and our children's, future.