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Locals Explode At Biden Officials Over Plans To Release Grizzly Bears

via PBS NewsHour
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The Biden administration has proposed to release grizzly bears in a federally-managed forest area in northern Washington, leading to strong opposition from local residents and lawmakers.

The plan, which aims to establish a population of roughly 200 bears over the next few decades, faced criticism during a public comment session, with concerns raised about safety, crop destruction, and likely conflicts with humans.

While left-wing eco groups support the proposal, local residents, including farmers and hunters, vehemently oppose it, citing concerns about the impact on their livelihoods and safety.

“As a farmer, I worry not only about the bears destroying my crops, but for the safety and well-being of myself, my family, and my on-farm hands,” Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) said. “It is clear you all know that grizzlies can and probably will move out of the zone in which you drop them in, yet rather than letting common sense prevail, are continuing to push forward with this dangerous plan.”

“So tell me, what is the agency’s plan for dealing with crop loss and livestock depredation that is inevitable from the introduction of these predators? What is the timeline for issuing lethal permits? And how much will citizens have to lose before they can defend themselves from this predator in their backyard?” he added.

The federal agencies have been accused of failing to address these concerns and engage meaningfully with the affected communities.

“There’s not the habitat up there for the grizzly bear. There never has been and there never will be,” one resident pressed. “So, you’re going to put grizzly bears there, what are they going to do? They’re going to get right out in the winter. They’re going to go right down in Mazama and they’re going to go down in the rest of the area because they’re not going to stay up there. So, I’m opposed to it completely.”

“If you’re not willing to accept responsibility for what goes down in this county from the actions that you take, you have no business taking those actions,” another resident stated.

“Nobody needs grizzlies, nobody needs wolves,” another resident said. “And the thing we need even less than that is the Department of Fish and Wildlife. These guys know nothing about fish, they don’t care about wildlife. All they want to do is ruin the most important people, which is farmers and ranchers who grow our food. There’s no reason for these people, there’s no reason for grizzly bears.”

“If any grizzly bear comes around my place, I’m shooting it,” he added.

“We have previously provided extensive comments opposing grizzly bear reintroduction into our local communities,” the commissioners of Chelan County, Washington wrote. “We continue to oppose grizzly bear reintroduction given the likely negative impacts to public safety, economic development, recreation opportunities and the overall livelihood of our rural communities.”

“The federal agencies leading this effort have generally failed to address these concerns and have failed to engage in any meaningful way Chelan County and other neighboring counties in the proposed grizzly bear restoration area,” they added.

The reintroduction plans, dating back to the Obama administration, were initially halted during the Trump administration but have resurfaced under Biden’s leadership following litigation from environmental groups.

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