State legislators meet with locals about grizzly, cougar and deer

Report from Bill Riley


Tonasket, WA - Friday night at 7PM in the Tonasket (20 miles from Canadian Border) Elementary School State Sen Bob Morton and Rep Bob Sump chaired a 2 1/2 hr meeting on cougar,deer, and grizzly bear.

It was a standing room only crowd of 250 surley and mistrusting westerners. These were ranchers, loggers, cattlemen, horsemen, and the women who take care of them. These are people who could scratch a living out of anywhere and are tough as nails.

The complaint about deer is they want more take permits issued. They are being over run with cougars. After a cougar sighting you have to get hounds on the cougars ASAP so they can be treed, 2 or 3 hours later will not work.

The I-5 corridor greenies oppose the use of hounds believing cougars are just like their kitties at home, only bigger. The biggest issue was on grizzly bear re-introduction.There is a Washington RCW that forbids the re-introduction of grizzly bear. So the US environmental organizations are sending money to fund a Canadian release of grizzly bear below Canadian HWY 3, which parallels the US border.

Joe Falkoski, of Bridesville, BC, Canada reported to the group on this environmental activity. Their goal is to establish breeding grizzly populations in the US Cascade Mountains. Historically these bears were found everywhere in Idaho, Montana, Washington, and Oregon. Attendees noted that no one is proposing grizzly bears in the parks of Seattle or Olympia, where the environmentalists live, they want to circumvent state law and impose this danger on residents and tourists in Northern Washington.


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