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num1mc

Grizzlies to eat hippies and other unwanted

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Remember, a grizzly's only gonna kill you if

 

a) it's guarding its cubs

 

b) it's guarding its kill

 

or

 

c) it's just looking for something to do

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Every other danger is more real, but one bad experience with a bear has resulted in a horrible phobia that simply doesn't come into play here in PNW because there are so very few of them. I'm not a fan of ridding them off, but here where they aren't preveleant and haven't been for many years (if ever) it seems against nature to bring them back in - especially when they are doing well at other areas. Let's face it, the Wyoming and Canadian bears are in not in any danger of loosing population anymore - why attempt to establish a population that was not ever largely established and that was not lost due to human encroachment.

 

My late father saw several over the years up at Buck Creek Pass, up to about 1954. There was a healthy population here, and it was completely lost due to human encroachment, unlike what is claimed here without basis in fact.

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:pagetop: [video:youtube]

 

Really?...that's all you got? Two guys in the woods on bikes rambling? Waste of YouTube HD space if you ask me.

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I can't make out if that's Chirp or Curtveld crying in the back ground?

 

[video:youtube]

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Time for a shave buddy, we are ALL moving forward. Whats holding you back?

 

Bolts?

 

 

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Every other danger is more real, but one bad experience with a bear has resulted in a horrible phobia that simply doesn't come into play here in PNW because there are so very few of them. I'm not a fan of ridding them off, but here where they aren't preveleant and haven't been for many years (if ever) it seems against nature to bring them back in - especially when they are doing well at other areas. Let's face it, the Wyoming and Canadian bears are in not in any danger of loosing population anymore - why attempt to establish a population that was not ever largely established and that was not lost due to human encroachment.

 

My late father saw several over the years up at Buck Creek Pass, up to about 1954. There was a healthy population here, and it was completely lost due to human encroachment, unlike what is claimed here without basis in fact.

 

I saw a presentation recently at a wildlife conference that looked at the energetics for the griz in the North Cascades vs. the greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

 

Basically the pretty convincing conclusion was that the North Cascades can support some griz, but not anywhere near the densities found where they are doing well because of the habitat and prey abundance. The thoughts are that griz was never a high density species in the Cascades and never will be - but that the population could be bumped up a bit with some assistance. That's the non-technical thumbnail sketch I got from the presentation.

 

From the USFWS perspective, they look at the Cascades as a way to increase this Distinct Population Segment as another step in Endangered Species Act Recovery. Given, however, that USFWS is the stepchild of all federal natural resource agencies and has very little funding to spare, I'd say give this and the politics - an introduction program is a long shot.

 

 

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Having climbed and hiked some near Yellowstone you just become accustomed to being careful with your food, carrying a can of bear spray on the approach and be intentional to make some noise so you don't surprise them. That's probably more important than the bear spray as it seems that most bear attacks are the result of a surprise interaction. Mountain Lions are much scarier to me than Grizzlies, they are a lot harder to see coming.

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Hey, I don't know much about groups wanting to introduce Grizzly back into the North Cascades but I do lament the loss of wildlife in the woods. They make it real.

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Whatcomboy nails it, IMO. I don't think Griz will be leaving us entirely any time soon, but I think Leopold summed up species extinction perfectly in one my favorite passages:

 

"Some day, perhaps in the very process of our benefactions, perhaps in the fullness of geological time, the last crane will trumpet his farewell and spiral skyward from the great marsh. High out of the clouds will fall the sound of hunting horns, the baying of the phantom pack, the tinkle of little bells, and then a silence never to be broken, unless perchance in some far pasture of the Milky Way."

 

 

 

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Some years back, before I had taken any trips in grizzly habitat, I wondered how I would feel if grizzlies were to become reestablished in the Cascades. Wolves I was fine with, but I decided I didn't like the thought of grizzlies. I have since taken backcountry trips in western Montana and Alaska and I enjoyed the vibe I got from being in their presence. "Real" is a good way to describe it.

 

I don't think it is unlike the feeling of "realness" in climbing brought on by exposure, commitment, remoteness, etc... except that the hazards are not posed by large mammals. It's all part of the wilderness package though. There's always the roadside crags if the mountains get too wild.

 

 

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I'm always curious when the discussion turns to reintroducing large predators how many people have had a bad experience (charged, mauled, stalked, etc.) with a brown bear/griz/cougar. Seems like perspectives often change after you or a companion have had a close call, esp. one involving serious injuries. Or, maybe others have a different experience?

 

Though I don't support predator eradication efforts, I can understand why they were often hunted to local extinction.

 

 

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I don't understand the big picture when it comes to Grizzly Bear eradication efforts of the 19th and 20th centuries, but I do know that wolf eradication during the same period had (and continues to have) a disastrous effect on ecosystems. If grizzlies were always rare here, then it's probably not something worth getting too excited about as any transplants will probably migrate to more favorable ranges in short order--or not propagate too rapidly.

 

Other than my beloved Wild Country Quasar tent that was destroyed by a griz in Wrangell-St Elias in 1999, my encounters with grizzly bears have been nil. (I was not in the tent at the time, and there was no food in the tent. Just a pissed-off, bad day bear I guess.)

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Wanting to keep bears out of the north cascades is a little like chipping holds. Unable to handle the climb as he finds it, the chipper dumbs it down to make it personally accessible, and in doing so ruins the experience for climbers who might have enjoyed and succeeded on the natural route. This is true of the climbs and also of the approach environment, where weather, dodgy scrambles, glaciers and wildlife are all part of the cascades experience. Anyone who prefers a bearless climbing environment has plenty of tamed crags to choose from, and even lots of peaks that will remain grizzly-free even if their numbers are boosted. So please don't ruin it for those of us who prefer our mountains to be as wild as they want to be. More bears. More wild. More real.

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Wanting to keep bears out of the north cascades is a little like chipping holds. Unable to handle the climb as he finds it, the chipper dumbs it down to make it personally accessible, and in doing so ruins the experience for climbers who might have enjoyed and succeeded on the natural route. This is true of the climbs and also of the approach environment, where weather, dodgy scrambles, glaciers and wildlife are all part of the cascades experience. Anyone who prefers a bearless climbing environment has plenty of tamed crags to choose from, and even lots of peaks that will remain grizzly-free even if their numbers are boosted. So please don't ruin it for those of us who prefer our mountains to be as wild as they want to be. More bears. More wild. More real.

 

Your post is complete hyperbole. There is nothing anywhere about keeping brown and griz out of the Cascades.

 

Bringing up hold chipping on this thread is a little like talking about your cars paint job.

Edited by num1mc

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I see what you're getting at Jason, but I wonder what people would say if we were talking about climbing rather than about bad wildlife experiences. How many climbers stop climbing after living through a serious accident or the death of a friend? If caught in an avalanche in the backcountry, would a skier be wishing a helicopter could have bombed the slope prior to skiing it? Would a botched river ford have a drowning backpacker wishing the forest service had put a bridge in to make the crossing safer?

 

To me these are all hazards that are part of the same wilderness package, and I wouldn't want to do much to make the wilderness a safer place, other than develop my own skills and judgement and bring appropriate gear. FWIW, I've been charged by a habituated black bear and surprised a grizzly at an uncomfortable distance. Neither of those incidences made me want to stop getting out into the mountains, but they did cause me to reflect on my behavior and think differently about the risk.

 

I'm not necessarily pro-reintroduction yet, I haven't looked at the science of it, the recovery plan, feasibility etc... I'm more responding to feelings of general animosity or anxiety regarding grizzlies, which I am not assigning to any particular member.

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This is kind of like arguing religion....

 

But, I'm certainly with Pete on this. IMO we have more productive ways to spend money in less controversial areas. Road and trail maintenance immediately comes to mind. Knowing the feds, I sense a lot of money is going to get spent on scoping grizzly reintroduction into the North Cascades with very little to show for it.

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Let's spend money on correcting a hairbrained introduction of non native goats into the Olympics before we spend a bunch of money reintroducing griz to North Cascades. I think it's a nice notion but there are many, many things that should take priority.

Edited by Kit

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I can't say I disagree with you guys on that one. Although I would welcome the bad bruins back, part of me thinks that with the wild land we have and a source population just across the border, we would have already seen a naturally reintroduced population making its way down south if there was enough habitat to go around. If it's really true that the lower watersheds were the better habitats, I question how many grizzlies we could actually support in the north cascades.

 

Mountain ranges are tough places to live. If you read the Lewis and Clark journals or other documents from before the west was conquered, you find out that grizzly bears seemed to be more abundant in the high plains and the slopes of the Rockies, rather than in the mountains themselves.

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