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Petition to Allow Ursack in Yosemite and SEKI

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Petition to Allow Ursack in Yosemite and SEKI

Postby HiSierra » Mon Feb 23, 2015 8:41 pm

Click Here to Sign Petition to Allow Ursack in SEKI and Yosemite]

Its been approved by the Interagency GRIZZLY BEAR Committee, so the hope is to convince these park managers to allow the Ursack in time for the 2015 hiking season. If you concur, please sign.



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Re: Petition to Allow Ursack in Yosemite and SEKI

Postby markskor » Mon Feb 23, 2015 9:41 pm

If you would have introduced his petition being neutral - minus the blatant pro-ursack undertones - just asking that Yosemite honestly re-open/revisit the issue of using an Ursack vs. using a can in places where food storage is required, and then asking me to sign it, I might have, (if only to put an end to this damn foolishness.) However, (IMHO), given enough time, the Ursack never has/ never will work effectively against a determined bear, invites future bear/human interaction, and should not be sanctioned anywhere Sierra, much less Yosemite. As the petition reads now, it sounds like if you signed, you would be agreeing with a biased pro position. This would not be my intention, thus, not signed.

Additionally, I have sent my own letters to Yosemite, imploring the "powers that be" not to allow Ursacks as a sanctioned food storage device inside the park. I hope others here do the same.
sent to : yose_superintendent@nps.gov
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Re: The necessity of a bear canister

Postby ciclista » Mon Feb 23, 2015 10:43 pm

I saw the request to sign the Ursack petition because I'm in the FB group for the JMT. My first thought was, what am I going to do with a week's worth of food after a bear has clawed, grabbed, and chewed on the soft package containing the food?

Some years ago a bear borrowed my wife's pack before she'd had a chance to put her food into the group's canister while setting up camp. The bear took all of her food, except the coffee. So there you go.
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Re: Petition to Allow Ursack in Yosemite and SEKI

Postby HiSierra » Tue Feb 24, 2015 7:08 am

It should be no surprise that a petition would be biased since they are intended to create a specific outcome. As an owner of Ursacks and Bear Vaults, I happen to be in favor of the specific outcome expressed in this petition. I would very much like the choice of using my Ursacks in Yosemite and SEKI, as I do legally in Inyo NF and elsewhere in the Sierra.
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Re: The necessity of a bear canister

Postby HiSierra » Tue Feb 24, 2015 7:26 am

Just getting the word out there for those in favor. Those opposed might want to start a petition as well.

The strong opinions about this issue are well documented. I appreciate the quality moderation here on HST that keeps it civil.
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Petition to Allow Ursack in Yosemite and SEKI

Postby HiSierra » Tue Feb 24, 2015 5:49 pm

This thread was moved off the Backpacking forum and then merged with a Gear thread with an opposing opinion called, "The necessity of using a bear canister." I can understand moving it to the Gear forum, but merging it like this seems a bit of an over reaction. Just saying.

Yosemite reported dozens of wilderness human-bear incidents last year with bear resistant canister requirements in place. In fact, those bear incidents were used as part of the justification for the new exit permit over Donahue Pass. So its a fact that the current regulations are not a complete and perfect solution either.

So what would the effect be of allowing the new model Ursack, certified by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee, in Yosemite and SEKI? Would the total number of human-bear incidents go up or down? Would humans be less vigilant than they are now with a canister requirement? Would more people use an Ursack rather than a stuff sack? We can all speculate till the glaciers melt, but there's really only one way to find out - a fair trial with a scientific assessment of the data relative the current baseline condition. Given the emotional baggage with this issue, that outcome is highly unlikely. All it will take is one well-publicized incident for those opposed to say, "I told you so." Never mind the other 35 bear canister incidents.

So fear not one petition. The odds of this bear resistant solution getting a fair test are quite slim, in my humble opinion.
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Re: Petition to Allow Ursack in Yosemite and SEKI

Postby HiSierra » Tue Feb 24, 2015 5:50 pm

I reposted the above message thinking it might be allowed since I did not include the link to the petition. Let's see what happens.
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Re: Petition to Allow Ursack in Yosemite and SEKI

Postby ERIC » Tue Feb 24, 2015 6:31 pm

HiSierra wrote:This thread was moved off the Backpacking forum and then merged with a Gear thread with an opposing opinion called, "The necessity of using a bear canister." I can understand moving it to the Gear forum, but merging it like this seems a bit of an over reaction. Just saying.


Wow. Really? I was polite and thought we were having a nice PM discussion this morning about my reasons for moving it how I did. Thought I was even being open to moderation suggestions. Despite that, for some unknown reason, you've decided to take it upon yourself to post this publicly. Seems a bit of an overreaction - just sayin'.
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Re: Petition to Allow Ursack in Yosemite and SEKI

Postby ERIC » Tue Feb 24, 2015 6:38 pm

HiSierra wrote:I reposted the above message thinking it might be allowed since I did not include the link to the petition. Let's see what happens.


Umm, you could have just asked me? Didn't delete any posts or your link in the other thread, BTW.

EDIT: I've merged all related threads. A bit of a mess, but IMO less messy than the three or four individual threads on the same or similar subject.
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Re: The necessity of a bear canister

Postby HiSierra » Tue Feb 24, 2015 9:59 pm

Sorry Eric for starting a new thread. I didn't think that would be a big deal as long as it was here in the Gear forum.

In reading the recent posts on this topic I see some people thinking this is about Grizzly bears, perhaps confused because the Ursack was certified by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee. The Ursack was tested on Grizzly bears, but we only have Black bears here in California. I think most people realize that, but yet the discussion gets sidetracked.

Everyone should realize there is no perfect solution to managing the human-food-bear challenge, including the current policy. I'm personally skeptical about how well people will tie off the Ursack, and I share some of the other legitimate concerns. But on the other hand I see people not being able to fit all their food in a rented bear canister, or not using them at all because they're too heavy or won't fit in their pack. Ursacks would improve compliance for some of these situations, but the end result is uncertain. I also see Ursacks working just fine in other jurisdictions, but then again the bear problem is particularly difficult in Yosemite and SEKI.

There are many ways to test these out first with control groups and backcountry Rangers. There are aluminum liners that can be required and they can also be counterbalanced. In any case, the policy on this can be modified or completely reversed in a day, its not carved in granite. Just give it a fair chance without all the emotion.
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