"In the wilds of Washington state’s North Cascades — a vast expanse of glacier-capped peaks, rugged valleys and ancient forests — grizzly bears once thrived.
It’s been more than 25 years since one has been definitively spotted there, according to the National Park Service. But that could change with a new federal process, to begin Tuesday, that will examine whether to reintroduce grizzlies to the 9,800-square-mile ecosystem.
The effort comes two years after the Trump administration stopped a previous attempt to bring the endangered species back to the Cascades, an about-face that scuttled a half-decade of federal planning.
“This is an opportunity to make progress for wild places, to restore the last missing piece of the North Cascades,” said Graham Taylor, Northwest program manager for the nonprofit National Parks Conservation Association. “We came so close last time. I hope that we can really get it done this time.”"