Skagit Democrats: Native Wildlife Welcome in the North Cascades

Resolution in Opposition to Skagit County’s Contract with the American Stewards of Liberty for Advice on the Reintroduction of Grizzly Bears to the North Cascades

Whereas the Skagit County Board of Commissioners has contracted with the American Stewards of Liberty (ASL) as consultants for advice on the reintroduction of grizzly bears to the North Cascades; (1) and

Whereas the mission of ASL is to transfer control of federal lands to local control; (1) and

Whereas a critical part of ASL’s work is to delist species which are protected under the Endangered Species Act when the listing impedes development and other uses of private lands; (1) and

Whereas granting control of federal lands to local jurisdictions can lead to privatization; (8) and

Whereas privatization of federal lands can, and likely will, lead to disregard for stewardship of the land and its wild species; and (8)

Whereas grizzly bears are considered an important part of the British Columbia landscape; (3) and

Whereas grizzly bears play an important role in maintaining healthy ecosystems: (3) and

Whereas the government of British Columbia states that viewing and hunting of grizzly bears are important economic components of its tourism and recreation industries; (3) and

Whereas the state of Montana department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks envisions a future with a secure, recovered grizzly bear population in the Northern Continental Divide area; (4) and

Whereas landowners along the Blackfoot River in Montana have formed the Blackfoot Challenge, a grassroots watershed group, to gather community support for conservation and sharing resources through public and private partnerships; (5) and

Whereas the Blackfoot Challenge has implemented a host of on-the-ground projects that have significantly reduced conflicts with grizzly bears; (5) and

Whereas the risk of bear attack can be managed through individual responsibility and communication with groups and individuals entering bear habitat for work or recreation; (6) and

Whereas Skagit County has committed to pay ASL no more than $5,000 (an additional $5,000 to be paid by Chelan County) for advice regarding grizzly bear restoration to the North Cascades; and (2)

Whereas ASL by its actions demonstrates its opposition to the Endangered Species Act and federal control of public lands,

Whereas a former president of American Stewards of Liberty, Fred Kelly Grant, helped organize the march on Burns, Oregon, during the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge Standoff; (7) and

Whereas Fred Kelly Grant “shows rural America how to beat environmentalists”; and (7)

Whereas the mission and goals of the American Stewards of Liberty are not compatible with the values of Skagit County citizens who value our environment and the wildlife with whom we share it; and

Whereas the North Cascades can experience the same outcomes as British Columbia and Montana,

Therefore, be it resolved that the Skagit County Democratic Party urges the Board of Commissioners of Skagit County to immediately terminate the contract with American Stewards of Liberty and sever all relationship with that organization.

Be it further resolved that Skagit County Democratic Party urges the three Skagit County Commissioners to rely only upon the advice of respected and acknowledged scientists specializing in bear biology regarding the restoration of grizzlies to the North Cascades.



  2. Skagit Valley Herald, June 7, 2017
  8. Skagit Valley Herald, June 7, 2017