Officials have pored over 6,500 digital photos from 47 remote-controlled cameras, tested 900 bear hair samples from 191 hair snags, and identified 218 individual black bears. But there's still no sign of the North Cascades' only confirmed grizzly ... except for a set of photographs taken by a hiker last fall, including the one above. To be fair, the studies so far have only covered 9 percent of the bear's likely habitat. Studies continuing this year and in 2012 promise to cover 25 to 30 percent of the 9,500-square mile study area.
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In the Pacific Northwest, the environment is personal - it's where we live, work and play. Oregon Public Broadcasting's Ecotrope will bring you news and insight on the region’s environmental issues. Site curator Cassandra Profita is an award-winning reporter with degrees in journalism and environmental studies.