The Syilx Okanagan Nation is applauding the U.S. government’s plan to restore kiɁlawnaɁ (grizzly bear) populations to the North Cascade mountains in Washington State.
A statement from the Sylix Nation acknowledged the work of the U.S. Department of Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service, and National Park Service to launch a public review outlining the options for restoration.
“Only within the last 150 years have kiɁlawnaɁ been absent from the North Cascades landscape, a result of persecution and overhunting by settlers,” said Chief Clarence Louie, Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA) tribal chairman.
“The kiɁlawnaɁ is a part of who we are, our nation has worked tirelessly to restore salmon, and now we continue the journey to bring kiɁlawnaɁ home to the North Cascades,”
In 2014, the Syilx Nation declared kiɁlawnaɁ protected across its territory, which includes portions of Wash. State, and the B.C. Interior, and mandated the ONA to take action to restore and protect endangered populations.
ONA has since led those efforts in partnership with other First Nations and several B.C. ministries.
In 2022, the Syilx Nation called on the U.S. government to relaunch the recovery planning efforts in the American portion of the North Cascades.
“The announcement of the environmental impact statement review process in the U.S. marks an important moment in time for recovery efforts on both sides of the border,” said Jordan Coble, Syilx Nation natural resources chair.
“We look forward to continued work with our many B.C. and U.S. partners to restore and protect grizzly bears in the North Cascades.”