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[pct-l] JMT permits

bjensen4@juno.com (Birgitte Jensen) wrote:
>canisters cost a bit less than the Garcias (which can be rented lots of
>places), but hold less stuff. They're not bear-tested at all, and Lone
>Pine was livid about the implied endorsement.

Then (gomberg@wcf.com) Dave Gomberg says
>Use a bear can (see:  http://www.wcf.com/bearcan.html  )

which is a web page with details on a homemade bear canister in which he
says "Send me a picture of your bear can with an SASE and I will send you a
copy of the ranger letter that says it's bear-resistant."

(Perhaps Ms Jensen should report Mr Gomberg to the Inyo NF?)

Which brings up the topic of what makes a bear canister legal in the eyes
of the Inyo National Forest?
I did some cursory research and it appears that the Inyo National Forest
has no published standards for what makes a legal bear canister, just an
arbitrary statement that "only Garcias are acceptable."

I have a feeling that any ticket issued for not having a bear canister
could be fought successfully by the following way (this method has had
considerable success fighting California's motorcycle helmet law):

Courthouse dialog:
Hiker: "Your honor, this cloth stuff sack is a bear canister and meets all
the USFS requirements."
Ranger "Your honor, it is not legally acceptable to the Inyo National Forest."
Hiker: "Your honor, it is the government's responsibility to prove that it
is not acceptable. I demand that the ranger produce the documentation
demonstrating that it is not."
<since there is no standard>
Ranger: "Uhh, your honor, I left it in my office...."
Hiker: "Your honor, the government has not proven it's case. I am innocent
until the government can prove otherwise. You must dismiss the charges
against me."

OTOH, if a bear DOES get your food and a ranger finds out, you are SOL with
or without a bear canister, though the InyoNF probably won't persecute
(errr, prosecute) if you have a Garcia. The regulation that this whole
thing is base on says that it is a crime to let a bear get your food. The
bear canister mandate is an interpretation by the Inyo NF. The press
release said: "a new forest order has been signed into effect which by
default requires the use of bear resistant canisters." notice the words "by
default." Nowhere does the order explicity require a bear canister, just
"proper food storage." See http://www.sierrawilderness.com/forest_order.html

The Inyo NF headquarters and all the outdoor organizations near Bishop are
a rather incestuous lot and full of small town politics (how else do the
pack outfits get exempted from wilderness permit trailhead quotas?) A hiker
who violates the mandates or decrees of the Inyo Forest probably has the
same chances of winning in a Bishop court as a person of color did of
winning in a small town court in Mississippi in the 50's. OHOH often you
can request a change of location for your trial from Bishop to Fresno.

I am not a lawyer, so don't count on anything in this message. Unfortunatly
a Forest Supervisor can make any regulation he wants in his forest that
will be rabidly enforced no matter how unconstitutional or illegal it is,
even if an appellate court throws it out a couple of years later (Right -
Craig Giffen?!).

Flames will be deleted without being read.......

This whole legal thing (first zip stoves now this) is getting tiresome. I
hike because I want to get away from this crap. I vote that this discussion
be shifted to rec.backcountry.............

Brick Robbins

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