In support of the ongoing effort by the National Park Service to develop an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to discuss potential environmental impacts of restoring a self-sustaining grizzly bear population to the US portion of the North Cascades Ecosystem, a new report has been released summarizing climate change implications for grizzly bears in the North Cascades Ecosystem.
Grizzly bears are a long-time priority issue for the Cascadia Partner Forum to foster coordination and collaboration around, while they are also a conservation target of the Great Northern Landscape Conservation Cooperative. This report provides important information for land and resource managers to consider as they manage not only the species but their habitat and food sources today and into a change future in this landscape.
The report finds that while grizzly bears are recognized as habitat generalists who will be “relatively insensitive to climate change” that “projected increases in growing season length, winter and spring water surplus, summer water deficit, wildfire, and decreases in snow pack will likely to lead to substantial vegetation changes by the end of the century. These changes are in turn likely to affect grizzly bear foraging and denning behaviors, and thus could influence their population dynamics through time.”