SEATTLE (AP) — An effort to return grizzly bears to North Cascades National Park is back in motion after officials announced public comment will be reopened.

The Seattle Times reports former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke surprised wildlife advocates last year when he announced he was a fan of the bear and supported reintroduction to the park. But he stopped work on the plan in August with no plan for resuming it.

On Thursday, the National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that a 90-day extension of the comment period on the draft grizzly bear recovery plan and environmental impact statement begins Friday and closes Oct. 24.

Biologists estimate that fewer than 10 grizzly bears remain in the North Cascades, the most at-risk bear population in North America. The last verified grizzly sighting in Washington's Cascades was in 2011.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Recommended for you