***March 13, 2017***
Comment Period Extended on Proposed Alternatives for North Cascades Grizzly Restoration
Public comment period open through April 28, 2017
The National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will extend the public comment period regarding the proposed alternatives for the restoration of grizzly bears to the North Cascades Ecosystem by 45 days, through April 28, 2017. The agencies received several requests for an extension to the comment period from members of the public and local elected officials.
The goal of the public comment period is to gather comments regarding the draft EIS; public comments received on the draft EIS will be evaluated and considered in the identification of the preferred alternative, which will be published in the Final EIS.
Actions proposed on National Forest System lands under the draft EIS are subject to the USDA Forest Service's pre-decisional objection process. This comment period constitutes the opportunity to establish eligibility to object to the Forest Service's draft decision under the regulations at 36 CFR 218. For more information on this process, visit: https://www.fs.fed.us/emc/applit/includes/20160531Final218ObjectionBrochure.pdf
The National Park Service (NPS) and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) are pleased to announce the availability of the Draft Grizzly Bear Restoration Plan/Environmental Impact Statement (draft EIS) for the North Cascades Ecosystem.
Early in this process, we asked for your input on our stated goals for the plan, and the issues which could arise through its implementation. Using the feedback we received during that initial public scoping effort, and input from an interagency planning team, we developed a range of restoration alternatives and analyzed the potential impacts of those alternatives. All of this information is now presented for your review in the draft EIS.
To view the draft EIS and submit comments, click the "Open for Comment" link. Additional background and supplementary information about the Draft EIS can be found by going to the "Document List" section of the website. Short videos about grizzly bear biology, the draft EIS and bear safety can be accessed in the "Links" section of the website.
During the public comment period, we will be hosting a series of open house and virtual public meetings. Visit the "Meeting Notices" section of the website for dates, times and locations of these meetings.
The goal of the public review period is to gather comments from individuals, groups, and agencies regarding the draft EIS' adequacy in addressing the purpose, need, and objectives, range of alternatives considered, environmental issues of concern and the sufficiency of the environmental impact analysis. Your comments will assist the FWS and NPS in revising and finalizing the EIS.
Thank you for your support and interest in this important issue.
Karen Taylor-Goodrich, Superintendent, North Cascades National Park Service Complex
Eric Rickerson, State Supervisor, Washington Fish and Wildlife Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Denise Shultz, National Park Service (360) 854-7302
Ann Froschauer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (360) 753-4370