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Re: [pct-l] more on bears

>From: CMountainDave@aol.com
>1. At this time, you have the following options in regards to bears: A. be a 
>criminal and sleep with your food. B. Be a criminal and hang your food from a 
>tree (the practice is illegal in several national parks in California. C. 

Sorry MounntainDave, you have just committed the fallacy of
questionable premise. You should always site your evidence before
making such a statement. Hanging food is not illegal in any National
Park in California that I know about. If I am wrong please correct
me. There are areas "within" a park, particularly Kings
Canyon/Sequoia, where bear proof cannisters are required or strongly
encouraged at several of the trailheads.

Yosemite's policy for 2001 will be: canisters will be required above
9,600 ft. unless food storage lockers are being used
(http://www.nps.gov/yose/bears.htm). Last year Kings Canyon/Sequoia's
regulation was: all food must be stored in bear proof boxes where
provided (obvious the interpretation is vague because the attempt is
to persuade the majority of trail hikers to follow the regulation).
There is nothing regarding the legalities of hanging your food. With
what evidence I gave you above you could conclude that due to
Yosemite's new canister regulation that one wouldn't hang their food
since they were carrying a canister, but there's nothing that says I
couldn't hang a canister.

Now the enforcement of the regulations is up to the discretion of the
ranger. If you were applying for a permit at a trailhead you may be
asked to either show your canister or merely state that you are indeed
carrying a canister (I believe the latter will not be good enough if
the regulation is to be enforced). Back country rangers tend to be a
little more liberal regarding the interpretation of any canister
regulation. 1) You could be entering the Park from a National Forrest
which has no regulations. 2) You could be a weekend worrier peak
bagger or cross country enthusiast camping above timberline. 3) Or You
could be hiking through very early in the season. Most PCTers pass
through early in the season so it would be a stern ranger who would
slap them with a fine. As for the weekend/week trail hikers expect the
worst or at least a lecture. It's human carelessness that kills the
bear; the bear is merely attempting to survive in its meager
habitat. Can't argue with that.

I stop my trail hikes in June and begin them again in late
September. Between that time I do peak bags and high altitude
camping. I've never been hassled by a ranger with regards to camping
without a canister; even when I've honestly told them that I pull one
out for the ranger at the trailhead, but emptied it once I
started. Again I should probably qualify this: I only do this when I
plan on being 10,000 ft. or higher and I'm not hiking on a trail. My
worst food raiders are marmots who I find far more troublesome than
bears. I can attest that the Ursack works well against marmots.

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To:            Dave Encisco <dencisco@eos.arc.nasa.gov>, pct-l@edina.hack.net