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Re: Investigation Continues Into Fatal Bear Attack

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avatar Investigation Continues Into Fatal Bear Attack
September 02, 2011 01:05PM
Rangers and wildlife biologists continue to their investigation into last week's a fatal bear attack in Yellowstone National Park.

The body of 59-year old John Wallace of Chassell, Michigan was discovered Friday, August 26, along the Mary Mountain Trail. The investigation and autopsy results confirm that Wallace died Thursday, August 25, of traumatic injuries from a grizzly bear attack. Daily reconnaissance flights over the area have resulted in very few bear sightings. The three bear traps previously set out in the area have been moved to different locations, and five additional traps have been deployed in an attempt to capture grizzlies in the area.

Results of DNA tests of hair samples taken from the attack site and from any bears that may be captured in the area will aid the ongoing investigation into the circumstances surrounding this fatal attack. Yellowstone hosts over three million visitors a year, with an average of just one bear caused human injury a year. This is the second fatal bear attack in Yellowstone National Park this year, and only the seventh in the park since it was established in 1872.

Sunny skies with daytime highs in the 60s could result in a large number of visitors to Yellowstone during the Labor Day holiday weekend. With such a favorable forecast, campground and lodging in the park could fill very early in the day. Advance reservations are highly recommended. Visitor should plan to arrive early at campgrounds that do not take reservations. Some visitor services begin to close for the season starting Sunday, September 4. Details are available in the park newspaper handed out at entrance stations, from the staff at visitor centers and information stations in and near the park, or online at http://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/index.htm. All roads to and inside the park are open. There are no construction related delays or closures associated with the Lamar River Bridge project scheduled over the weekend.

The fire danger rating in Yellowstone is currently " High." Visitors are encouraged to be careful with campfires, grills, camp stoves and smoking materials. When actively burning, smoke may be visible from park roadways.

With bison mating season ending, the elk mating season beginning, and bears focused on eating to gain weigh before winter arrives, visitors are encouraged to educate themselves about wildlife safety utilizing the many resources available including the park web site, the newspaper handed out at park entrances, and the signs posted at every trailhead. Visitors are reminded that park regulations require people to stay at least 100 yards away from bears and wolves and at least 25 yards away from all other large animals.

Hikers are encouraged to travel in groups of three or more, make noise on the trail, and carry bear spray. Some trails and backcountry campsites are temporarily closed due to fire or wildlife activity. The latest information on backcountry access is available by contacting Visitor Centers or Backcountry Offices.
avatar Re: Investigation Continues Into Fatal Bear Attack
September 03, 2011 12:22AM
Quote
eeek

Rangers and wildlife biologists continue to their investigation into last week's a fatal bear attack in Yellowstone National Park.

The body of 59-year old John Wallace of Chassell, Michigan was discovered Friday, August 26, along the Mary Mountain Trail. The investigation and autopsy results confirm that Wallace died Thursday, August 25, of traumatic injuries from a grizzly bear attack. Daily reconnaissance flights over the area have resulted in very few bear sightings. The three bear traps previously set out in the area have been moved to different locations, and five additional traps have been deployed in an attempt to capture grizzlies in the area.

Why is the Park Service only using bear traps? Doesn't the Park Service employ any professional skilled wildlife trackers at Yellowstone or hound dogs? I don't think it should have been that hard to track down the grizzly that fatally attacked the hiker if a skilled tracker with some trained hound dogs were sent in soon after the body was discovered. It's not that grizzlies are that elusive of an animal. It shouldn't be that tough to track one down in the Yellowstone wilderness with trained dogs and a professional tracker.

I would much rather have the Park Service use the services of a skilled tracker than set about bear traps that could trap and harm innocent grizzlies and not the one their seeking.
avatar Re: Investigation Continues Into Fatal Bear Attack
September 03, 2011 06:56AM
They don't harm innocently trapped bears. They are subsequently DNA tested to see if they have the correct bear. I doubt the NPS has any spare money to hire trackers with dogs. Besides, the bear traps are already paid for.
avatar Re: Investigation Continues Into Fatal Bear Attack
September 04, 2011 01:03PM
Quote
tomdisco

I doubt the NPS has any spare money to hire trackers with dogs.

I'm pretty sure a popular park like Yellowstone (just like Yosemite) runs in the black. I'm sure that Yellowstone National Park could afford to hire a tracker if they don't already have one on their staff. And with the very high price of operating an aircraft (fixed wing or helicopter), I'm positive that hiring a tracker with dogs would have cost far less than the daily reconnaissance flights that the Park Service is now funding to track down the bear.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/04/2011 03:52PM by plawrence.
avatar Re: Investigation Continues Into Fatal Bear Attack
September 04, 2011 09:57PM
Quote
plawrence
Quote
tomdisco

I doubt the NPS has any spare money to hire trackers with dogs.

I'm pretty sure a popular park like Yellowstone (just like Yosemite) runs in the black. I'm sure that Yellowstone National Park could afford to hire a tracker if they don't already have one on their staff. And with the very high price of operating an aircraft (fixed wing or helicopter), I'm positive that hiring a tracker with dogs would have cost far less than the daily reconnaissance flights that the Park Service is now funding to track down the bear.

The NPS actually uses the services of dogs. I'm not sure how compatible they would be in Yellowstone. I wouldn't think that they would be too keen on tracking dogs looking for bears. If it's just one bear they're looking for, then they probably don't want to risk that several bears behavior can be affected by dogs tracking them.

http://www.nps.gov/kidszone/nps_dogs.html
Re: Investigation Continues Into Fatal Bear Attack
September 06, 2011 03:49PM
Even if a innocent bear is trapped, the information that they get by testing it's DNA, weight, length, etc. is used in their studies of bears, their habits and is also used to determine the amount of bears in the area and their territories.


Found this on the internet:

FY2011 budget proposal for the Park Service. Here's what the related "briefing document" had to say about gate revenues at national parks:

"The majority of the revenues return directly to the park where they were collected. ............. In 2010, half of the revenues collected were spent on asset repairs and maintenance, 20 percent on interpretation and visitor services, and ten percent on habitat restoration. The remaining 20 percent of recreation fee revenue was spent on operations and administrative activities such as law enforcement, cost of collecting fees, and visitor reservation services. This program has been very successful in improving the condition of the park assets."

From this document and other things I read is that not all of the fees that a park collects goes back to the park that collected them. Some of it goes to other parks that have low visitation so they can continue to remain open. Of the percentages not listed above in the briefing document some is kept for future projects that do not have complete funding for them to be completed. For example, the Tenaya Lake Plan does not have enough funding to complete the project all at once so Yosemite has to save money until they get enough to finish it. In Grand Canyon NP, they put away money until they had enough to build their transportation system.

While Yosemite and Yellowstone generates a lot of gate revenue because of the number of visitor's they get, this does not mean that they are in the black. While large numbers of visitors mean more gate fees, more visitors mean more repairs, maintenance and park rangers. Think about how the restrooms, picnic areas, etc look after a busy summer day. The majority of the money that the NPS needs to run the parks is from Congress, i.e. us taxpayers. Gate, camping and other visitor generated fees are not enough to keep a park running.
avatar Re: Investigation Continues Into Fatal Bear Attack
September 06, 2011 05:58PM
Quote
parklover

While Yosemite and Yellowstone generates a lot of gate revenue because of the number of visitor's they get, this does not mean that they are in the black. While large numbers of visitors mean more gate fees, more visitors mean more repairs, maintenance and park rangers. Think about how the restrooms, picnic areas, etc look after a busy summer day. The majority of the money that the NPS needs to run the parks is from Congress, i.e. us taxpayers. Gate, camping and other visitor generated fees are not enough to keep a park running.

While I can't say for certain that Yellowstone operates in the black, Yosemite does generate a surplus of funds from its gate receipts (aka the Demonstration Fees). Someone I know who actually takes the time to look at the Yosemite National Park budget informed me a couple of years ago that Yosemite has generated a surplus of funds ever since the $20 entrance fee was instituted.

Of course, any excess funds left over after the yearly operating expenses are taken care of goes right back into the park in the form of capital improvement and restoration projects that Yosemite, like most National Parks, have a long list they would like to complete. If you haven't noticed, there's been a bit of construction boom inside of Yosemite National Park in recent years. This is only possible because Yosemite's yearly revenues exceed their day-to-day operating expenses.

The Tenaya Lake restoration and tour bus accommodation project wouldn't even be on the table if Yosemite had been operating in the red in recent years. These types of projects are only now possible because Yosemite has a healthy revenue stream (unlike many other National Parks in the U.S.).



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/07/2011 09:17AM by plawrence.
avatar Re: Investigation Continues Into Fatal Bear Attack
September 07, 2011 05:43PM
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plawrence
The Tenaya Lake restoration

Isn't being paid for by NPS.
avatar Re: Investigation Continues Into Fatal Bear Attack
September 07, 2011 08:23PM
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plawrence
While I can't say for certain that Yellowstone operates in the black, Yosemite does generate a surplus of funds from its gate receipts (aka the Demonstration Fees). Someone I know who actually takes the time to look at the Yosemite National Park budget informed me a couple of years ago that Yosemite has generated a surplus of funds ever since the $20 entrance fee was instituted.
I can't remember the exact percentage, so lets say 20%, of those gate fees go to other parks that do not have the revenue that Yosemite or Yellowstone does. We may bring in a lot of money, but we share it too. Also, Yosemite gets a huge chunk of money from the electricity produced at Hetch Hetchy. That may be unique among national parks.

Quote

Of course, any excess funds left over after the yearly operating expenses are taken care of goes right back into the park in the form of capital improvement and restoration projects that Yosemite, like most National Parks, have a long list they would like to complete. If you haven't noticed, there's been a bit of construction boom inside of Yosemite National Park in recent years. This is only possible because Yosemite's yearly revenues exceed their day-to-day operating expenses.
A lot of those projects are using up the last of the "Recovery Funds" from the long ago flood. Those funds have gotten to the "use it or loose it" point.

Quote

The Tenaya Lake restoration and tour bus accommodation project wouldn't even be on the table if Yosemite had been operating in the red in recent years. These types of projects are only now possible because Yosemite has a healthy revenue stream (unlike many other National Parks in the U.S.).
We also have the Yosemite Conservancy that pays for millions of dollars worth of projects per year.
avatar Re: Investigation Continues Into Fatal Bear Attack
September 07, 2011 09:03PM
Quote
Dave
Quote
plawrence
While I can't say for certain that Yellowstone operates in the black, Yosemite does generate a surplus of funds from its gate receipts (aka the Demonstration Fees). Someone I know who actually takes the time to look at the Yosemite National Park budget informed me a couple of years ago that Yosemite has generated a surplus of funds ever since the $20 entrance fee was instituted.
I can't remember the exact percentage, so lets say 20%, of those gate fees go to other parks that do not have the revenue that Yosemite or Yellowstone does. We may bring in a lot of money, but we share it too. Also, Yosemite gets a huge chunk of money from the electricity produced at Hetch Hetchy. That may be unique among national parks.

Quote

Of course, any excess funds left over after the yearly operating expenses are taken care of goes right back into the park in the form of capital improvement and restoration projects that Yosemite, like most National Parks, have a long list they would like to complete. If you haven't noticed, there's been a bit of construction boom inside of Yosemite National Park in recent years. This is only possible because Yosemite's yearly revenues exceed their day-to-day operating expenses.
A lot of those projects are using up the last of the "Recovery Funds" from the long ago flood. Those funds have gotten to the "use it or loose it" point.

Quote

The Tenaya Lake restoration and tour bus accommodation project wouldn't even be on the table if Yosemite had been operating in the red in recent years. These types of projects are only now possible because Yosemite has a healthy revenue stream (unlike many other National Parks in the U.S.).
We also have the Yosemite Conservancy that pays for millions of dollars worth of projects per year.

Get Yosemite license plates and give the park a few extra bucks a year. The plate money goes totally to the park.



Old Dude
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