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Anyone hear about new food storage rules on the Sierra NF?

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Anyone hear about new food storage rules on the Sierra NF?

Postby Markr » Mon Aug 31, 2009 12:29 pm

My wilderness ranger friend told me that the Sierra NF now require sthat backpackers either use a bear can or set up a counter balanced hang.

This is new for this year. Having packed on the Sierra for decades I was dubious. Sure enough, it isn't based on any actual incidents. It's probably just beauracrats making themselves feel useful.

Anyway, you are warned. The High Station folks never mentioned it to me when I picked up my permit. Though we were pretty distracted swapping FS stories. They probably just forgot.



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Re: Anyone hear about new food storage rules on the Sierra NF?

Postby MoonscapeInspector » Mon Aug 31, 2009 8:39 pm

It seems like every year the rangers try to stiff arm the bear can in all areas, regardless of the actual rules, so I would make sure there is actual proof. This year when I picked up the permit on my trip I had to press the ranger at Bishop to admit that where I was going, the bear can wasn't actually required. She didn't want to admit it. Then she checked off the "will put food in bear cannister" box anyway, without my noticing! I'm sure this has been discussed on this forum, but they really don't seem to have a clear policy. They say you have to either hang it, or can it, but of course above the treeline you can't hang it, yet still the rules don't technically require you to then carry a bear can. I spoke to one ranger who became visibly agitated when I pointed this out, and I think she was frustrated that a clear cut ruling on the issue didn't exist. But maybe that has finally changed.
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Re: Anyone hear about new food storage rules on the Sierra NF?

Postby AlmostThere » Tue Sep 01, 2009 6:35 am

I think the rangers are tired of people who try to hang bear bags and leave miles of neon rope in the trees. I'm tired of it, too - I've found them in the trees on the way to Half Dome, in my pictures.

[-X

I don't even tell people in the hiking group they can hang their food anymore. I tell them where to rent a can. Leave No #$%@ Trace! The hordes of people who can't pick a good tree, can't throw, can't counterbalance, can't get the bags high enough and can't seem to "get it" outnumber those of us who actually take the bears and the wilderness into consideration.
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Re: Anyone hear about new food storage rules on the Sierra NF?

Postby markskor » Tue Sep 01, 2009 7:21 am

Rationalize all you want - "I know how to hang...never lost anything...perfect branch, etc", (I once thought the same...used all the same excuses too...this is getting old.) The writing is on the wall people.
:soapbox:

The Can will soon be mandatory in all the Sierra. Nothing else works effectively 100% of the time besides a bear can, (or bear boxes, which are not always feasible.) It is their house up there and we are obliged to protect the bear by using same.

The sooner you accept this fact, ...well, you should know the rest by now.
Mountainman who swims with trout
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Re: Anyone hear about new food storage rules on the Sierra NF?

Postby Markr » Tue Sep 01, 2009 8:38 am

My source for this info is a close friend who also happens to be the lead wilderness ranger for the forest.

I always figured they would end up requiring cans but the fact that they are not having bear problems and they still make this requirement bugs me. And they are not having problems according to my friend.

Having worked for the FS and private I know how beauracrats, government and private, seem to need to create rules. I think it makes them feel that their job is justified, or they just need to put something in a report. It is worse in government, probably because there is no "bottom line" to measure results against. Tha and they have to deal with the entire public. You can't fire the idiots and jerks who insist on visiting your forest and screwing things up, then suing you.
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Re: Anyone hear about new food storage rules on the Sierra NF?

Postby quentinc » Tue Sep 01, 2009 12:06 pm

Markr wrote:My wilderness ranger friend told me that the Sierra NF now require sthat backpackers either use a bear can or set up a counter balanced hang.


Mark, what is new about that? I thought that was always the rule.

As for above tree line, a good "class 3" rock always works. For those of us who can't fit more than 4 days of food in a bear can....
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Re: Anyone hear about new food storage rules on the Sierra NF?

Postby Markr » Wed Sep 02, 2009 9:54 am

Nope, this is a new rule for the Sierra NF. The requirement is for a can or a counter-balanced hang only.
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Re: Anyone hear about new food storage rules on the Sierra NF?

Postby ndwoods » Sun Sep 06, 2009 10:37 pm

Ah doesn't surprise me, was bound to happen. I gave up hanging anyway a few years ago and went to a bearicade. I had a bear spend 3 hrs one night near Vogelsang climbing up and down our tree breaking off every single branch on the dang tree until finally she got the branch off with our food. That poor tree was decimated!:)
dee
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