By Mandi Donohue
Last Tuesday night, creatures from all over the wilderness made the trip to Goat Wall to discuss the reintroduction of grizzlies into the North Cascades. For many, it was a highly charged evening as opinions and feathers flew in what one gray wolf called “an embarrassing night full of misinformation and ego.”
Bob Waldy, a local bald eagle, was in charge of overseeing the meeting. “As a Federal Species of Concern, I take my position seriously. Unfortunately, there was no mitigation as every animal was out for himself,” he said.
Animals journeyed hundreds of miles to attend the meeting, where many found seats by the fire, some perched in the treetops and some less-enthused about the wildlife kingdom in general found a spot in the back. Over 40 species of animals were represented at the meeting, from river otters to pocket gophers.
After a few questions and opinions offered by local ground squirrels and rodents, the evening took a turn when Gretta Tailer got up to speak and demanded answers. “As a Columbian White Tail Deer, my species are federally endangered. Where’s our hubbub? Where’s our reintroduction?”
Many feel that special resources are being devoted to grizzlies when other animals are just as worthy of attention. There is also a collective group of animals operating under the assumption that due to the size and nature of grizzlies, they garnish all of the resources and have become used to a lifestyle of handouts.
Pam Grady, a local cougar, was quick to denounce Tailer’s idea, stating that they have been taken off the endangered list in Oregon and citing facts on their thriving populations nationwide. “Wah, wah, wah … You were over-hunted once. Get over it! Did anyone ask how hard that was on us?”
Not everyone felt the same as Grady, however. The gray wolves, used to their own attention in Washington state, could relate. Harry Papadakis is a gray wolf that has taken part in many studies for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. “I know we have privilege. I can understand the anger. I guess I’m more surprised where that anger comes from. I mean, not a single salmon was represented here tonight because they weren’t invited. I’m here for them,” he said.
One Canadian grizzly was able to make the journey and left unfazed: “I can’t help it if they want to reintroduce us, eh? I mean, it’s new land. I’m just going to say no? Go, Montreal!”
By the end of the evening it was decided that a Wildlife Council would form and take a vote. It will be weeks before there are any answers and emotions mellow. By press time, no one from Black Bears Matter was available for comment.