On February 28, 2008 Governor Christine Gregoire proclaimed May 12-18, 2008, as ‘Bear Awareness Week’ in Washington State, and urged all citizens to join in this special observance.
The proclamation stressed the following points:
• Washington’s wildlife and wild places are a core part of life in this beautiful state;
• Washington’s forests and coastlines harbor one of the largest populations of black bears in the United States, and Washington is one of only five lower 48 states that is still wild enough to harbor a small number of grizzly bears, a federally-protected threatened species, both in the North Cascades and Selkirk Mountains;
• It is in the public interest to understand the ecology, behavior, and conservation of bears, and there is an ongoing need for widespread education and outreach concerning their welfare to enable peaceful coexistence with people who live or spend time in bear country;
• The Grizzly Bear Outreach Project, in partnership with multiple government and non-government organizations, is committed to providing accurate information about bears through innovative programs that engage the public;
• There are many ecological, economic, and spiritual benefits to promoting bears as a desirable part of our state’s natural heritage;
• The people of Washington State take great pride in their state’s wildlife legacy that is internationally significant.
Special events to celebrate Bear Awareness Week and provide educational opportunities about the bears of Washington are being planned. Stay tuned to this BLOG for further details.
photo credit: Wayne Lynch