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NPS/NFS Pilot Program To Reintroduce Grizzlies To The Sierra

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Re: NPS/NFS Pilot Program To Reintroduce Grizzlies To The Sierra

Postby Wandering Daisy » Mon Feb 18, 2013 6:22 pm

I vote NO. Grizzlies have migrated, on thier own, into the Wind River Mountains, due to the Yellowstone fire in the early 1990's. Last year, a trail I wanted to use was closed. I had to carry bear spray. The stress of backpacking in grizzly country is pretty high for solo backpackers. One problem in the Wind Rivers is that the grizzlies have had a negative impact on trying to grow the mountain sheep population. Compared to the Sierra, the Wind Rivers are lightly used. Put grizzlies back in the Sierra and there are likely to be big problems. Grizzly bear-human incompatibility is an issue - and the FS will reduce permits if there is conflict. Expect to see closed zones. The climate is changing too. Hungry grizzlies could wander down into civilized areas and cause problems. There are plenty of places in Alaska and Canada that are really remote and more suitable for grizzlies.



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Re: NPS/NFS Pilot Program To Reintroduce Grizzlies To The Sierra

Postby oldranger » Mon Feb 18, 2013 6:32 pm

Russ,

There is a little more to the stats than I listed. Something to the effect as I recall that survivors who use guns are also more likely to be injured than survivors who use bear spray. Then there is the issue if you use a gun whether successful or not you have probably signed the death warrant of the bear. If you use the spray you actually train the bear that it is not nice to charge people. Mama bears, not being particulary stupid might even teach their youngins that bad things happen to bears that bother people. Actually the NPS spends a good deal of effort to teach bears that encounters with people are not good. But a dead bear is a dead bear. Of course you know that when a bear comes around the corner that you can draw your weapon and drop that bear before it gets to you.

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Re: NPS/NFS Pilot Program To Reintroduce Grizzlies To The Sierra

Postby rlown » Mon Feb 18, 2013 6:36 pm

understood. and to each their own. Not like you're generally allowed to carry in a national park.
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Re: NPS/NFS Pilot Program To Reintroduce Grizzlies To The Sierra

Postby RoguePhotonic » Mon Feb 18, 2013 6:37 pm

I think that bear spray scares bears more whether they get hit or not. A big strange cloud spraying wildly through the air must be an alien sight. More strange then a loud bang.
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Re: NPS/NFS Pilot Program To Reintroduce Grizzlies To The Sierra

Postby maverick » Mon Feb 18, 2013 7:09 pm

Rlown wrote:
strange statement to make, Mav. what other context could it have had if I posted it here?


True, but it is the "History" section, and no where in that thread did anyone talk about
the kind of effects the re-introducing grizzlies would have on their backpacking habits
which is what this thread about.
For example you hike with a dog, would this still be the case? Would any of your fishing
habits change? What about your after sunset habits, or cooking habits?
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Re: NPS/NFS Pilot Program To Reintroduce Grizzlies To The Sierra

Postby Rockchucker » Mon Feb 18, 2013 7:58 pm

Wandering Daisy wrote:I vote NO. Grizzlies have migrated, on thier own, into the Wind River Mountains, due to the Yellowstone fire in the early 1990's. Last year, a trail I wanted to use was closed. I had to carry bear spray. The stress of backpacking in grizzly country is pretty high for solo backpackers. One problem in the Wind Rivers is that the grizzlies have had a negative impact on trying to grow the mountain sheep population. Compared to the Sierra, the Wind Rivers are lightly used. Put grizzlies back in the Sierra and there are likely to be big problems. Grizzly bear-human incompatibility is an issue - and the FS will reduce permits if there is conflict. Expect to see closed zones. The climate is changing too. Hungry grizzlies could wander down into civilized areas and cause problems. There are plenty of places in Alaska and Canada that are really remote and more suitable for grizzlies.

That would be a good thing, less people= better back country, IMHO.
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Re: NPS/NFS Pilot Program To Reintroduce Grizzlies To The Sierra

Postby dave54 » Mon Feb 18, 2013 8:27 pm

Here is my post on the same topic from 5/2012. I still stand by my first answer.

The normal habitat for a black bear includes conifer forest. The preferred habitat for a grizzly is not high elevation conifer forest. It is the foothills and valleys. You can release them atop the crest and they will be in peoples backyards within days. Unless you are willing the first release to be in Griffith Park, Golden Gate Park, or the American River Parkway you have no right to demand Sierra residents accept them. Same as wolves.We have trouble enough now with black bears. Adding a more difficult problem to the existing problem is not a good idea. No matter how romantic the notion, we must accept the grizzly is not coming back.
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Re: NPS/NFS Pilot Program To Reintroduce Grizzlies To The Sierra

Postby Wandering Daisy » Mon Feb 18, 2013 10:00 pm

Rockchucker --you take YOUR access for granted. How can you be sure that "less people" does not mean YOU? How can you be sure that the closed areas are not exactly where you would like to go? Reduce the permits allowed by half and you may sing a different tune. I have gone for 8 days in the Sierra without seeing anyone. There really are not too many people in the remote sections of the Sierra. But we have to walk through the more crowded trails to get to where we want to go and these lower elevation access points are where the restrictions would likely apply.

Two areas where there are grizzlies and people (Canadian Rockies National Parks and Glacier National Park USA) there are LOTS of rules and regulations, restricted camping to established campsites, etc. that are in place, partly due to the grizzlies. I can imagine rules that would say you were no longer allowed to solo backpack because it would be deemed too dangerous.

Have YOU hiked in grizzly country? I have and I really do not like it. If Mr. Griz happens to wander on down this way on his own, so be it, but I am not for us trapping him where he is and putting him smack in the Sierra. Black bears may go after your food. Grizzlies are predators - it is really different.
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Re: NPS/NFS Pilot Program To Reintroduce Grizzlies To The Sierra

Postby freestone » Mon Feb 18, 2013 10:26 pm

The California Grizzly is extinct and can not come back, or be "reintroduced". A Montana Grizzley can not morph into a California Grizzly. I have been fascinated by this creature for quite some time. He is a symbol on the state flag, and two UCs refer to a bear as the team mascot, yet the last one was shot near Fresno in the 1920's nor are there any documented deaths attributed to him. I have read one account of the Ursus californicus, and it was not a vicious unpredictable creature, but one that was in tune to the plentiful salmon and steelhead runs, in the foothills and valleys before large scale damming took place. That story was more lore than history but makes sense. so maybe he was not really a High Sierra dweller at all since large parts of the Sierra were fishless. I have not read Muir accounts in awhile, but do not recall him mentioning the Grizzly either, only the sheep and Native Americans.
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Re: NPS/NFS Pilot Program To Reintroduce Grizzlies To The Sierra

Postby maverick » Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:01 am

Folks, this was not meant to be about whether they should be re-introduced or not,
which is why the I used the word fiction, but about the impact and changes
such a move would dictate on your daily hiking/fishing habits.
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Re: NPS/NFS Pilot Program To Reintroduce Grizzlies To The Sierra

Postby oldranger » Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:39 am

Freestone,

I am too lazy to confirm my memory but a I recall Muir did mention something about griz and the sheep herders.

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Re: NPS/NFS Pilot Program To Reintroduce Grizzlies To The Sierra

Postby paul » Tue Feb 19, 2013 3:58 pm

Dave54 has it right. The California Grizzly's former habitat was not the mountains but the valleys, where they feasted on salmon and other delicacies. The Black bears, being smaller and no match for a griz, were relegated to the mountains. So to reintroduce the California Grizzly in an ecologically correct way you would drop them off in the San Joaquin or Sacramento Valley somewhere. Which, come to think of it, might be the only thing that could get the state government to actually take some action - although not likely a sensible action. Of course, a griz could certainly survive in the mountains, but that is not the California Grizzly's former home.
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