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Petition to Allow Ursack in Yosemite and SEKI

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Re: The necessity of a bear canister

Postby ERIC » Sat Feb 21, 2015 9:02 am

Steve_C wrote:Obviously the guy's opinions about the new Ursacks are worthless because he camps in Rainier with a heavy tent and camp chair.


LOL!! I'm sorry, I'm missing the part where I said his opinions are worthless. All I said is that I thought his primary argument was odd. Perhaps it is you who thinks my opinion doesn't matter lol. I'll add that his approach to making his case (basically misleading promotional spamming) on the HST FB page wasn't helpful. Lots of emotion on both sides and I doubt he swayed any opinions.
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Re: The necessity of a bear canister

Postby Hobbes » Sat Feb 21, 2015 10:45 am

The primary question I have seems to remain unanswered: Why are black bears given such a high priority? Why must present (evolved) black bear behavior negatively impact our back country conduct?

The point is, there is a larger issue at play: with the eradication of the true king of the California jungle - the Grizzly bear - the black bear moved in to fill its niche. As we know, black bears are primarily foragers, but while the brown bear still ruled, both black bear numbers and behavior were kept in check.

Removing the real apex predator and installing an imposter hasn't been good for humans or (black) bears. They behave with impunity because there no longer exists any sanction; not from us, but from brown bears. And their numbers and range have grown to encompass areas that may not have previously existed.

Since man removed the California brown bear, isn't it our responsibility to at least rectify that action by attempting to achieve some semblance of balance? Why are black bears exalted, given preferential treatment and afforded special protections?

Are they really critical to Sierra species diversity, habitat restoration and eco-systems redundancy? Or are we attracted to them because we associate anthropomorphic qualities (ie cute & cuddly), while the yellow-legged frog is a slimy reptile and its rehabilitation could impact our "recreational" activities? (And I say this as an avid fishermen.)
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Re: The necessity of a bear canister

Postby rlown » Sat Feb 21, 2015 11:03 am

The CBD is working it for the Griz reintroduction: http://www.takepart.com/article/2014/06 ... california

And the MYLF was part of the black bears diet as well:
https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FileHandler.ashx ... ntID=40357


Predators - Historically, MYLF were very abundant across much of their native range, and as
such were an important prey item for a diversity of predators. Native vertebrate predators known
to prey on MYLF adults, juveniles, and tadpoles include three species of garter snakes; western
terrestrial garter snake (Thamnophis elegans); common garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis);
Sierra garter snake (Thamnophis couchii); several bird species (Brewer’s blackbird (Euphagus
cyanocephalus); Clark’s nutcracker (Nucifraga columbiana); common raven (Corvus corax); and
at least two mammals (black bear (Ursus americanus); coyote (Canis latrans)) (Knapp 2005;
Mathews et al. 2002; Feldman and Wilkinson 2000; Jennings et al. 1992).
Cannibalism by adults on juveniles and tadpoles has also been observed occasionally (Heller
1960). Some species of large aquatic invertebrates are known to prey on MYLF tadpoles and
juveniles, including several species of predacious diving beetles (Family Dytiscidae) and
dragonflies and damselflies (Suborder Anisoptera and Zygoptera, respectively) (Feldman and
Wilkinson 2000). Predation on eggs is thought to be relatively rare. However, Sierra newts
(Taricha sierrae) are known to prey on R. sierrae egg masses, and cannibalism of eggs by
MYLF tadpoles may be a common occurrence in some habitats (Vredenburg 2000).


I'm not disagreeing with any of your points, Hobbes. But if Griz were to return, I'd still bring a can.

Russ
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Re: The necessity of a bear canister

Postby markskor » Sat Feb 21, 2015 11:32 am

ERIC wrote:...his approach to making his case (basically misleading promotional spamming) on the HST FB page wasn't helpful.

Agreed, if he would have introduced his petition being neutral - minus the blatant pro-ursack undertones - just asking that Yosemite re-open/revisit the legality of using a sack vs. using a can, where legal, and then asking me to sign it, then I might have. As the petition reads now, it sounds like if you signed, you would be agreeing with his biased position. This would not be my intention, thus, not signed.

However, Yosemite, SEKI, Whitney, etc, being transparent and informative, should openly publish somewhere/ make it crystal clear, whatever the current rules/ changes are regarding Ursacks and rectify some of the murkiness - "where the Ursack is/ is not legal" beliefs held by many, concerning this season Sierra. BTW, This should include/ clearly explain any "exemptions" (and why?) made for the PCT/JMT crowd.
As of now confusing.
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Re: The necessity of a bear canister

Postby oldranger » Sat Feb 21, 2015 4:25 pm

As I understood the situation in SEKI as of a couple of years ago, wherever the Ursack was legal you still had to counterbalance it. So I could see no advantage to the Ursack. In other words as the regs read back then, to the best of my memory, where legal canisters were not required counterbalancing was the only acceptable alternative which meant you could use an ursack but still had to counterbalance.

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Re: The necessity of a bear canister

Postby Wandering Daisy » Sat Feb 21, 2015 7:04 pm

If grizzlies returned to the Sierra, you would have to carry more than just the bear can. Add 12-oz bear spray. I hike in grizzly country in Wyoming and the black bears still go after your food. Bear cans are not required, just recommended. The only place where I have had a bear roll around my bear can was in Wyoming. And I have never yet had to use my bear spray (thank goodness). I would just as soon grizzlies were kept out of the Sierra.

Bear cans are a pain (literally) in the back. They make your pack stiff as a board. So it is not just the weight. And packs that fit us small people will not fit a bear can horizontally, so it goes in vertically, taking up most of the pack volume too. I hate bear cans, but agree that they are needed. The volume and rigidity of the can is actually more of a problem than the weight alone. I think we need to accept the reality of bear cans and get down to better designs. Lets have a pack that is designed around the concept of hauling a bear can. Surely with all the technology out there, why cannot someone figure out a better barrier to bears. In Wyoming, groups use the electric fences. This set-up weighs about 5 pounds but in a group of 6 people, that is less than everyone carrying a bear can. I would like someone to invent a bear repellent - just wipe it on yourself and your stuff, and magically bears stay away!
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Re: The necessity of a bear canister

Postby oldranger » Sat Feb 21, 2015 10:01 pm

Daisy

I think it is a little ironic that with the proper county permits you can legally carry a gun I Yosemite but you can't legally carry bear spray! So if griz were reintroduced you would be s.o.l.

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Re: The necessity of a bear canister

Postby freestone » Sun Feb 22, 2015 7:36 am

The CBD is working it for the Griz reintroduction


What a joke. The California Grizzly was a subspecies that probably hung out around the coastal and lowland rivers gorging themselves on the massive salmon and Steelhead runs that California once had, but no more. The petition is laughable.

On topic, I follow the regulations of the areas I visit. If a can is not required, I no longer carry one.
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Re: The necessity of a bear canister

Postby Hobbes » Sun Feb 22, 2015 5:05 pm

rlown wrote:But if Griz were to return, I'd still bring a can.


Russ, if Griz were to return, we'd have to carry rifles - just like they do in Denali. Now, that would be a conundrum: a 2lb canister vs a 10lb firearm. :eek:

Still, the larger point is, when wolf & lion populations are diminished, the secondary predator/foragers - namely coyotes & hyenas - fill the vacated niches. But, unlike the regal (anthropomorphic warning) apex predators, secondary foragers, which previously operated on the margins, tend to go hog wild with their new found opportunities. No longer are they constantly harassed, worried and chased out of territory, nor are their young routinely killed if found.

The situation with black bears is somewhat similar, but unlike the Sierra, we don't see suburbanites or Masai kowtowing to the newly crowned pretender "kings". Could you imagine the park service sending out rangers to bother black bears, periodically kill their cubs, and instill some fear by acting in the Grizzly's stead? Nope, much easier, and a way, way more publicly appealing to impose additional rules on one of the most domesticated species on earth.
Last edited by Hobbes on Sun Feb 22, 2015 5:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The necessity of a bear canister

Postby rlown » Sun Feb 22, 2015 5:10 pm

I'm not saying bringing Griz back is a good idea. I just know CDFW will have to defend itself legally at taxpayer expense.

And a 4" .44 weighs a LOT less than a rifle. :) Only as a last resort.
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Re: The necessity of a bear canister

Postby Fly Guy Dave » Sun Feb 22, 2015 5:53 pm

When I was on a sea kayak trip along Seymour Canal, paralleling Admiralty Island in Alaska, there were plenty of grizzly bears around (we saw almost two dozen in a week and a half), the rangers at Pack Creek told us that all we had to do was hang our food high in the trees, as the grizzlies were too big and fat to climb up, so no bear cans were necessary. Grizzlies back in the Sierra? A can of bear spray weighs a lot less than a bear can! ;)
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Re: The necessity of a bear canister

Postby rlown » Sun Feb 22, 2015 6:01 pm

Fly Guy Dave wrote:When I was on a sea kayak trip along Seymour Canal, paralleling Admiralty Island in Alaska, there were plenty of grizzly bears around (we saw almost two dozen in a week and a half), the rangers at Pack Creek told us that all we had to do was hang our food high in the trees, as the grizzlies were too big and fat to climb up, so no bear cans were necessary. Grizzlies back in the Sierra? A can of bear spray weighs a lot less than a bear can! ;)


I'm not going to sit there all night with a can of spray. The can lets you sleep and the bear says, "um, ok. next camp."

I'm done with this thread. Make you own call. Good luck.
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