The Chelan County Board of Commissioners will be in attendance at a meeting in North Bend tomorrow (May 9) regarding the reintroduction of grizzly bears to the North Cascades.

The event is being spearheaded by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee, which supports the delisting and conservation of grizzly bear populations and habitats in the western United States.

Chelan County Commissioner Tiffany Gering says the group has been active in the possibility of reintroducing the grizzly bear to Washington State for several decades.

"This committee has been in existence for over twenty years and really is focused on the reintegration of grizzly bears and what that will look like for the people in our state. We feel, the commissioners that is, that we've been pretty clear that we are not in favor of that happening, but at least this will be a chance for us to participate in how that reintroduction is going to occur."

Chelan County has received a wealth of feedback from numerous public forums on the subject, much of which has been in opposition to reintroducing the animals.

Gering says it appears that despite the concerns, grizzly bears are likely to be reintroduced to certain areas in Chelan County at some point in the future.

"We did meet with the National Park Service and they told us it's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when grizzly bears will be brought back to our county. It does seem that the environmental impact study that the National Park Service is conducting will be done later this summer. Then we will really know what the plan moving forward is."

Officials from Okanogan and Skagit Counties will also be in attendance at the meeting, which will take place at the Snoqualmie Ranger District headquarters, 902 SE North Bend Way, Building 1.

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