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Re: WEEKLY BEAR ACTIVITY SUMMARY

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avatar WEEKLY BEAR ACTIVITY SUMMARY
August 08, 2008 09:18PM
Yosemite Valley
Bear activity has been fairly high this week. Campground incidents picked up this week with bears getting substantial food from campers who leave food out or unattended or do not remember to close their locker properly. Parking lot incidents have been common this week as well. Most of the vehicles that have been broken into this week have had food inside.

Remember that food debris or trash, gum and air freshener are all examples of attractants that may draw a bear to break into your vehicle.

Backcountry
Glen Aulin and Little Yosemite Valley remain the two backcountry hot spots for bear activity. Please use a canister when backpacking and remember that all food and toiletries for all of the days of your trip must fit into your canister starting on day one of your trip.

White Wolf and Tuolumne

There was one car break-in and two campground incidents this week in White Wolf. Tuolumne Meadows has up to three bears active this week. Most sightings seem to be coming from the campground.

Re: WEEKLY BEAR ACTIVITY SUMMARY
August 09, 2008 05:03PM
We just returned from 4 days in TM. On Tuesday morning there were 2 cars that had been broken into by bears.

1st was car on the dirt road leading to the Glen Aulin trail (very close to Lembert Dome/Dog Lake parking). Bears like CLIF bars too. 2nd car was in the TM Lodge parking lot. Bears also like Doritos. That car looked like the bear had also gone through the back seat to get to the trunk. Both cars lost passenger side windows, and - the cherry on top - received a ticket from the NPS. That's what you call adding insult to injury.

Use the bear boxes.



Post Edited (08-09-08 17:04)
avatar Re: WEEKLY BEAR ACTIVITY SUMMARY
August 09, 2008 06:21PM
I'm currently on the road in the Pacific NW - now in the Seattle area. Kind of amazing the stuff the one can get away with in these areas that you can't do in some parts of the Sierras.

We had bear boxes at Crater Lake, but were allowed to store food in the car. The only thing they required was that any food in the passenger compartment should at least be hidden although trunk storage was preferred.

At Kalaloch Campground on the coastal section of Olympic NP, they have at least four bears in the area, but apparently they avoid people and human encampments; other areas in the middle of the park are known for bears breaking into campsites. There's a bear hunting season and hunting is allowed in areas outside the park where they visit. We were told to put the food where ravens/racoons/etc couldn't get to it, but in plain sight in the front seat was fine.

I realize Yosemite would require a completely different way of thinking.

avatar Re: WEEKLY BEAR ACTIVITY SUMMARY
August 10, 2008 04:55PM
>Backcountry:
>"Please use a canister when backpacking"

Um... HELLO! Please? They are required for ALL of the park this year.
They should not have to say please.
avatar Re: WEEKLY BEAR ACTIVITY SUMMARY
August 11, 2008 12:11AM
bill-e-g wrote:

> >Backcountry:
> >"Please use a canister when backpacking"
>
> Um... HELLO! Please? They are required for ALL of the park
> this year.
> They should not have to say please.

Even in places where they have been required for years, I understand some people just rent the bear canister (to indicate to the permitting ranger that they "have one"winking smiley, leave it behind in their cars, and attempt to bear bag.

I've seen some people leaving garbage with a little food residue outside of their canisters. I've seen garbage that looked like a bear went through it. Lots of junk food wrappers strewn over an entire campsite in the backcountry. I don't know if it was simply left behind, or if an animal went through it first and the backpackers decided not to clean it up.

My BearVault BV400 was never touched. For the most part those bears give up an move on to snatch and grabs.
avatar Re: WEEKLY BEAR ACTIVITY SUMMARY
August 11, 2008 07:03AM
Yes, on second thought... you are right... they should say please USE it.

Obviously they need to start checking that people have bear cannisters
in their packs when they run across them on the trail.
A ranger has only check once that I had a bear canister... and that was
at the trailhead.

Also have heard people blatantly lie in front of me getting a permit...
tsk tsk
avatar Re: WEEKLY BEAR ACTIVITY SUMMARY
August 11, 2008 09:34AM
When I got my permit at Big Oak Flat last Monday the ranger asked me if I had a can and after my positive response she ased me what brand and wrote that on the permit. I suippose a cheater would balk at the brand question. Progress is being made on enforcement.





Old Dude
avatar Re: WEEKLY BEAR ACTIVITY SUMMARY
August 19, 2008 02:04PM
Yosemite Valley

There have been numerous vehicles incidents this week, with 19 cars broken into by bears. These incidents have mostly been occurring in Curry Village, Wilderness Parking Lot, and the Ahwahnee Hotel. Bears have also been active in the Pines Campgrounds and observed in Camp 4 and in the Curry Village tent cabins.

White Wolf and Tuolumne Meadows

Bear activity continues in White Wolf and Tuolumne Meadows. If you live in Tuolumne, please remember that you need to secure windows and doors when you are not home. If you are in a tent cabin please keep all food and attractants in your bear lockers or your latched refrigerator.

Re: WEEKLY BEAR ACTIVITY SUMMARY
August 19, 2008 03:37PM
Just returned from a visit to Glacier/Yellowstone/Grand Tetons.

They treat bears, even Black Bears, differently there.

Of course in Yosemite, you are supposed to scare the bear away from your food.

GTNP rangers recommend that, when confronted with a bear, to act "non-bear-like".

This means doing the "bear dance". The lady ranger demonstrated it. It's very silly, but basically you wave your arms and talk in a non-threatening voice. The goal is to convince the bear that you are not their prey and not a threat.

They treat their bears (even the black ones) with a lot more respect.

One reason for this is probably the fact that the black bears in GTNP are much larger than those in YNP.

Then there's the bear spray. No, it's not supposed to make the bears look pretty. It's a rather large can of pepper spray that will (I am told) make a very large cloud of pepper vapor to a range of 30 feet away. It's pepper spray on steroids. smiling smiley

Supposedly this stuff is not legal in California. I have not been able to verify or clarify this. Is it illegal to *possess*, or illegal to *use* on bears?

I was not able to find the citation.

Use of pepper spray is controversial there, as to whether it is needed or effective. I got different responses from various rangers. My conclusion was that it was smart to carry it for the backcountry.

Bear canisters are relatively new up there, too.

I think that it's very interesting that they have such different philosophies about the bears.

avatar Re: WEEKLY BEAR ACTIVITY SUMMARY
August 19, 2008 05:44PM
RobE wrote:

> Then there's the bear spray. No, it's not supposed to make the
> bears look pretty. It's a rather large can of pepper spray
> that will (I am told) make a very large cloud of pepper vapor
> to a range of 30 feet away. It's pepper spray on steroids. smiling smiley

Yep - sold in practically every gift shop and legal to carry in GT or Yellowstone.

> Supposedly this stuff is not legal in California. I have not
> been able to verify or clarify this. Is it illegal to
> *possess*, or illegal to *use* on bears?
>
> I was not able to find the citation.

We went over this last year and earlier this year. It's legal to carry it in GT and Yellowstone because their superintendents have declared an exception to the NPS weapons law for bear spray.

http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?f=1&i=1932&t=1887
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?f=1&i=4040&t=4017

It's legal to carry in California. I've seen it sold, but you have to ask for it. It would have to be registered as a pesticide (the technical term is "economic poison"winking smiley by some state agency and would be illegal to use against people (even though it's just a large can of pepper spray). There's actually a 2.5 oz limit to the size of pepper spray (or any personal defense teargas) for personal defense in California. Either is considered a weapon by the NPS, and Yosemite's superintendent hasn't declared an exception.

You'll probably be able to carry it on private land or Forest Service or BLM lands in California. I believe it would be against regs in California state parks.

> Use of pepper spray is controversial there, as to whether it is
> needed or effective. I got different responses from various
> rangers. My conclusion was that it was smart to carry it for
> the backcountry.
>
> Bear canisters are relatively new up there, too.

Yellowstone doesn't yet recommend them. Backcountry campers have to use designated backcountry campsites and they supposedly have poles. Grand Teton now requires bear canisters for backpackers. Kind of interesting how such close parks with similar bear activity have such different mechanisms for dealing with bears.

> I think that it's very interesting that they have such
> different philosophies about the bears.

I just got back from my trip, which included Crater Lake NP, Olympic NP, and Mt Rainier NP. They don't have the serious bear problems we see in Yosemite. When I mentioned "Yosemite bear" everyone's eyes lit up because they'd heard about them and were probably glad they didn't have to deal with them. At Crater Lake (bear lockers were available at the Mazama Campground) we were at the least supposed to cover any visible coolers or food with blankets. In Washington were were told we just had to keep stuff in our car - just to keep animals from getting our food. One ranger said they were thinking of setting up bear lockers in each campsite, but there were budget concerns. In Olympic/Mt Rainier there were some community bear boxes for those arriving by motorcycle, bicycle, or foot. They were empty, and one at the Kalaloch Campground in Olympic NP wouldn't even close.

I would have liked to have a bear box at my campsite, if only because it got tedious stuffing our cooler/etc in our car and taking it back out. Bear boxes are much bigger than Honda Civic trunks.
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