How many times have you awoken in the middle of the night and thought to yourself, “What the world needs now…is more grizzly bears.” You’ll be relieved to know that you’re not alone—many people at Western Wildlife Outreach are working hard right now to reintroduce grizzly bears to the North Cascades. Two of those people, Lorna and Darrell Smith, will share their stories.
Western Wildlife Outreach began in 2002 as the “Grizzly Bear Outreach Project,” a science-based community education project. Their work expanded to include the Selkirk Ecosystem of northeastern Washington and northwestern Idaho. These two areas were identified by scientists working to implement the Endangered Species Act as having the best chance for recovering grizzly bear populations in Washington. Today, Western Wildlife Outreach has expanded its focus to include maintaining healthy populations of other large carnivores—namely black bears, cougars, and gray wolves—throughout Washington State and the Northwest. They provide information about ecology, animal behavior, safety during any human-animal interactions, and recovery under the Endangered Species Act. They help the people understand these elusive creatures while partnering with government agencies, non-government organizations, and the public to create wildlife-safe communities.
Learn more about your “local” grizzly bears at the next Volcano Views and Brews, happening from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, April 18, at Loowit Brewing in downtown Vancouver. There’s a $5 suggested donation to offset costs, and beer and nibbles will be available to purchase. Loowit is located at 507 Columbia St. You can also hear the same presentation on Thursday, April 20, at the Hop N’ Grape in Longview. Volcano Views and Brews is a monthly lecture series hosted by the Mount St. Helens Institute. Click here to learn more.