Hikers can bear grizzlies

  • Endangered species drawing

    Robert Shetterly

Restoring grizzly bears to Washington's North Cascades and Idaho's Selway-Bitterroot ecosystems won't interfere with hunters, hikers or horseback riders, says a conservation group in Bellingham, Wash. The group, Greater Ecosystem Alliance, examined closures of trails and campgrounds caused by grizzlies in 11 national forests and two national parks. All had little effect on recreation. Blocked trails were few and limited in area, and they did not prevent visitors from using the vast majority of the forests and parks, a report by the Alliance says. In Montana's Flathead National Forest, which has more grizzly bears than any other forest in the lower 48, the Forest Service has closed only one campground in the past 10 years to avoid bear-human confrontations, the report notes. Copies of the 10-page Grizzly Bear Recovery Impacts on Recreation within Grizzly Bear Recovery Zones are available for $3 from the Greater Ecosystem Alliance, Suite 316, 1155 N. State St., Bellingham, WA 98225 (206/671-9950).

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