Learn more: Our partner forum is hosting a webinar with local bear experts on March 3, 2017 from 10:30-noon (PST) to share information on grizzly bears in this transboundary landscape including timely recovery, monitoring, and conservation efforts in British Columbia and Washington. Click here for more information and to register.
Grizzly bears once had the widest distribution of any bears in the world, including throughout Cascadia. But due to large scale habitat loss and related human conflict and decades of persecution, grizzly numbers and range have been reduced by 98% in the continental US. This iconic species is culturally and ecologically significant, particularly to indigenous communities in the Cascades and throughout western US and Canada.
Grizzly bears feed on a wide variety of plants and animals, and rely on large intact interconnected habitats. Because of their large home ranges and wide variety of habitat needs, grizzly bears are considered an excellent umbrella species, the conservation of which benefits a large number of other species; and an indicator of habitat quality and a range of ecosystem benefits, like clean water.
British Columbia has an estimated half of Canada’s grizzlies, but their range continues to contract in most of southern BC due to ongoing habitat fragmentation and associated human conflict. Washington’s North Cascades and BC’s Manning Provincial Park offer high quality habitat, but likely have fewer than 10 individual grizzly bears remaining. Cooperative recovery planning and related actions are needed on both sides of the Washington-BC border in recognition of adjacent habitats and the security needs of grizzly bears.
The Great Northern Landscape Conservation Cooperative recognizes grizzly bears as a conservation target in its Strategic Conservation Framework. Due to the importance of the species to our landscape and the high risk to Cascadia’s remaining bears our Partner Forum has selected grizzly bears as a priority conservation issue that we foster coordination, conservation planning, and information synthesis on throughout our network on.
For more information on Cascadia grizzly bears, habitat management, and recovery related efforts:
- BC’s Ministry of Environment – Grizzly Bear Managmement
- Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee – North Cascades Subcommittee
- US Fish and Wildlife Service webpage on the North Cascades Ecosystem and webpage on grizzly bears
- St’at’imc Government Services – St’alhaem (Grizzly bear) Recovery Project
- Video: Grizzly bears of the Pitt River (in the Cascadia landscape)
- Video: Time for the grizzly? (A video exploring restoration of grizzly bears in the North Cascades Recovery Zone, pulling examples from other landscapes.)
- Coast to Cascades Grizzly Bear Initiative
- US Forest Service fact sheet on how the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest land management plan revision would interact with grizzly bears habitat management.
- Maps of grizzly bear management units in Cascadia: Grizzly bear population units in British Columbia (pdf) and North Cascades Grizzly Bear Recovery Zone in Washington (pdf).
Latest grizzly bear related news from Cascadia:
- November 19, 2015: Why returning grizzly bears to the North Cascades is the right thing to do (Seattle Times)
- September 8, 2015: Grizzly bear sighting near Whistler gives hope for recovery of species in southwest B.C. (Vancouver Sun)
- Through March 26, 2015: Submit scoping comments on North Cascades Ecosystem Grizzly Bear Recovery Environmental Impact Statement. Learn more and comment by clicking here.
- February 16, 2015: Grizzly bears in North Cascades? Feds seek input on restoration (Seattle Times). Press release was sent by National Park Service on the initiation of public engagement through a series of informational open houses on February 13, 2015.
- January 15, 2015: Okanogan Nation Alliance declaration that Grizzly Bear (kiʔlaw naʔ) in the OkanaganTerritory, At Risk and Deemed Protected by the Okanagan Nation (pdf)
- August 21, 2014: Grizzly Bear Restoration Review Process to get Underway this Fall