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Re: Journalist looking to interview campers with bear stories from Yosemite Valley

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Journalist looking to interview campers with bear stories from Yosemite Valley
September 08, 2014 03:08PM
Hi everyone,

I cover resources and environmental issues for the San Jose Mercury News, and have written about Yosemite for the past 20 years as part of that assignment. I'm working on a story this week about bear issues in Yosemite Valley -- in particular the park's success in recent years in reducing the number of interactions between black bears and humans.

I'm interested in talking with folks who have camped in the valley over the years and seen bears. It could be bears that visited your campsite, bears that damaged a neighboring camp group's vehicle, people who behaved well around bears, or people who didn't. I'm also interested in folks who may have noticed changes in the way that the park deals with bear issues, and your thoughts about that.

If you'd like to share your story, please email me at progers@mercurynews.com or call me at 408-920-5045.

Thanks very much,
Paul

Paul Rogers
San Jose Mercury News
Resources and Environment Writer
Re: Journalist looking to interview campers with bear stories from Yosemite Valley
September 08, 2014 03:48PM
Quote
PaulRogers
I cover resources and environmental issues for the San Jose Mercury News, and have written about Yosemite for the past 20 years as part of that assignment. I'm working on a story this week about bear issues in Yosemite Valley -- in particular the park's success in recent years in reducing the number of interactions between black bears and humans.

A ranger in Kings Canyon perhaps put it best: there are no bear "issues" (problems) in these parks. Rather, there are people issues--specifically, people not storing their food properly.

And I don't think reducing the number of human - bear interactions is any measure of success. I've enjoyed many encounters where I was doing my thing (walking along, eating dinner out of a bag...) and the bears were doing theirs (excavating logs or overturning rocks to get grubs, lazily enjoying wild blueberries...)--why would I want fewer such interactions?
Howdy,

Thanks for your thoughts. You make good points. I probably should have used the word "bear incidents" rather than "bear issues" in my first post. The National Park Service defines "bear incidents" as "when a bear causes a monetary loss to a person." That includes property damage, taking food, or in rare cases, injuring a person.

http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/bearfacts.htm

The park service claims a 71 percent reduction in "bear incidents" since 1998 in Yosemite.

Best,
paul
avatar Re: Journalist looking to interview campers with bear stories from Yosemite Valley
September 09, 2014 12:44AM
Quote
PaulRogers

The park service claims a 71 percent reduction in "bear incidents" since 1998 in Yosemite.

Best,
paul


That's believable. NPS has done a good and extensive job in educating visitors about keeping their food and scented items secured and not storing them in their vehicles. It appears that most visitors have gotten the message.

But for fun, if you are still interviewing Yosemite rangers for this story, you should ask them why the black bears in Yosemite do not ransack the outdoor candy and soft drink vending machines that are located around the Yosemite Lodge, especially the ones located next to the bike rental facility by the swimming pool which are clearly visible from the Yosemite Lodge parking lot.

Somehow the bears are smart enough to break into the trunks of cars that contain food, but are oblivious to the candy bars being displayed in a nearby vending machine. Go figure.

.
Great question about the candy machines! I'll ask them.
I cannot give perspective on camping in the Valley. But if you are interested in higher elevations like White Wolf, I could provide some input and stories.
Re: Journalist looking to interview campers with bear stories from Yosemite Valley
September 09, 2014 02:05PM
Here is a link where I gave a story a few years ago - There are some other Bear stories there too

http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,59653,59825#msg-59825
Great story! Thanks. Can you email me a phone number where I could give you a quick call to talk about it?

progers@mercurynews.com

Best,
paul
Re: Journalist looking to interview campers with bear stories from Yosemite Valley
September 09, 2014 02:29PM
Hello Paul - Nothing more to add - except to clarify that I was holding on to the trash bag with my hands directly in front of me and I was guarding it very carefully, it was not just sitting out - the time period from when I took out the trash from the bear locker to when the bear came was probably less than a minute - all happened very fast.
I was hoping to interview people for the story, to get some real life examples and quotes.

If you are able to shoot me an email at progers@mercurynews.com I'd probably need about 10 minutes of your time on the phone.

Thanks!
paul
Re: Journalist looking to interview campers with bear stories from Yosemite Valley
September 14, 2014 12:52PM
Paul Rogers' article is available now. Good article, Paul!


Conflicts with Yosemite bears fall dramatically as people, bears learn new lessons

One of the pictures from the article:

avatar Re: Journalist looking to interview campers with bear stories from Yosemite Valley
September 15, 2014 04:07PM
Looks Bearproof to me.

(smells like it too)

tongue sticking out smiley



Chick-on is looking at you!
Thanks Steve! And I appreciate the help from folks on this board who contacted me. I learned a lot!

Best,
paul
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