Read, laugh, sign (and help repopulate American grizzly bears).
A popular comic is rousing thousands of dollars and motivating its readers to support grizzly bears in Washington state.
The trademark googly-eye illustrations of Matthew Inman’s “The Oatmeal” are a social media and internet phenomenon. Millions read the cartoon strips, which often draw from Inman’s real-life exploits.
A recent comic called upon readers to do more than just laugh along. In it, Inman, a Seattle native, asks readers to support a campaign urging the National Park Service (NPS) to repopulate grizzly bears in the North Cascades.
The Oatmeal: Grizzly Bear Petition
In January, the NPS released a draft plan with multiple prospective measures to address the perilously low number of grizzlies in the North Cascades ecosystem (NCE). This area comprises North Cascades National Park near the Canadian border.
The NPS estimates fewer than 10 grizzly bears live in the NCE, an unsustainable population. Four courses of action are proposed, with a goal of creating a population of 200 bears.
Inman directs his readers to support an alternative that looks to release five to seven bears over a few years. The goal is to populate the area with 25 bears total.
To accomplish this, he partnered with two non-profits and donated $25,000 to back the campaign. What he’s asking now is for public support.
That’s where the bear comic comes in. Inman notes it takes about 50,000 public comments to get on the Department of the Interior’s radar.
The campaign is generating buzz. While it’s unclear how many comments the NPS has received, it announced this week the extension of a public comment period (from March 14 to April 28).
Check out The Oatmeal and the NPS proposal summary for info or to add your voice.