grizzly bears

About 16 pregnant ewes lounge beneath a lone tree on a ranch in north-central Washington's Methow Valley. They stand up, shaking snow from their heavy wool as Kate Haven and I walk closer.

Her two sheepdogs notice us from about a football field away. They recognize Haven, but not me — prompting them to start barking out of a sense of duty to protect their flock.

AP Photo/Jim Urquhart

Reintroducing grizzly bears to Washington’s North Cascades has been hotly debated for decades. Now, the federal government has put forth a draft of several plans to recover the population. People can voice their concerns or support at a series of public meetings that start today.

KENT MILLER / NATIONAL PARK SERVICE - TINYURL.COM/JK42YOH

Grizzly bears have been listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act since 1975. In Washington, they are considered endangered. Last week, federal officials unveiled their draft plan to reintroduce grizzlies in North Central Washington.

Yellowstone National Park

Would you like to see more grizzly bears in Washington’s North Cascades? That’s what the federal government is asking during informational meetings across the state. A plan is in the works to consider adding more grizzlies to Washington’s dwindling population.

Okanogan is a small town nestled in the foothills of Washington’s North Cascade mountains. It’s surrounded by rangeland, apple orchards, and hiking trails. Ranches and homesteads butt up to the Okanogan National Forest and other public lands.

Courtney Flatt / EarthFix

Washington State University’s mascot is the cougar, but the university is also home to the nation’s only captive grizzly bear research center. Correspondent Tom Banse reports a new study involving those bears yields insights into possible therapies for human obesity and diabetes.