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Contact: Elly Boerke, Environmental Protection Specialist, 360-854-7328
Sedro Woolley, WA –The National Park Service (NPS) is seeking public comments on a proposal to restore the fisher (Pekania pennanti) to Mount Rainier and North Cascades National Parks.The recently completed Fisher Restoration Plan/Environmental Assessment for Mount Rainier National Park and North Cascades National Park Service Complex (Fisher EA) proposes the reintroduction of 80 fishers into the southwestern Cascades, including Mount Rainier National Park, over the course of two years.Similar efforts in the northwestern Cascades, including North Cascades National Park Complex, would follow a successful release to the south.
The fisher is a medium-sized carnivore in the weasel family that is native to the north and south Cascades of Washington State. Considered absent from Washington by the mid-1990s, Washington State formally listed the fisher as endangered in 1998. Since the fisher is not expected to return to the Cascades on its own, Washington State has determined that fisher reintroduction is necessary in both the southwestern and northwestern Cascades to restore this species to its historical range in the state.Fishers would likely be brought in from central British Columbia and monitoring would follow each reintroduction effort for at least three years.The NPS is seeking public review and comment on the Fisher EA through October 15, 2014. To see the full plan and provide comments, go to www.parkplanning.nps.gov/RestoreFisher. Limited physical copies are also available at several public libraries throughout the region including Bellingham, Burlington, Mount Vernon, Seattle, Tacoma, Puyallup, Enumclaw, Buckley, Eatonville, Chelan, East Wenatchee, and Yakima Valley and by request at firstname.lastname@example.org.
During the comment period, you may also submit comments through the regular mail or by hand delivery directly to: Superintendent's Office, ATTN: Fisher EA, North Cascades National Park Service Complex, 810 State Route 20, Sedro-Woolley, WA 98284.
All comments on the Fisher EA are welcome, particularly those that assess the adequacy of the document in disclosing and evaluating the effects on the environment. These comments are most useful if they are as specific as possible and do the following:
- Discuss a particular plan element or alternativeIdentify incomplete or incorrect information
- Offer reasons why a particular alternative or plan element would or would not work
- Offer a reasonable, new plan element or completely new alternative that could help accomplish the stated goals
- Point out discrepancies between legal mandates and proposals
- Highlight deficiencies in the analysis of environmental consequences
- Provide information on how you use the park and how particular proposals in the planning document would affect that use.
The NPS and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife will be holding public open houses to provide an opportunity for the public to learn more about the Fisher EA and provide verbal or written comments. Details on the location, date, and time of these meetings is available on the project website at: www.parkplanning.nps.gov/RestoreFisher.