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Laguna Meadows/West sites unavailable

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Offline Don H

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Laguna Meadows/West sites unavailable
« on: October 13, 2016, 10:39:29 AM »
El Campo's showing all Laguna sites to be Unavailable through the end of October.  Anybody know what's up?
"Rugged isolation in a Jeep with the top down, doors off, sweaty, dusty, listening to your flavor of tunes, immersed in the most beautiful and beguiling desert mountains in all of the Southwest, the Sierra Quemada. Nothing short of spiritual cleansing. " D. Locke

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Offline Jim

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Re: Laguna Meadows/West sites unavailable
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2016, 09:41:57 AM »
From the BBNP Facebook page:

TRAIL CLOSURE: Big Bend National Park is temporarily closing the popular Lost Mine Trail area due to increased bear activity. The Laguna Meadows backpacking campsites have also been closed. All other trails and campsites remain open. The closures will continue until further notice.  The Chisos Mountains is home to a healthy Mexican Black Bear population, and good rains have resulted in localities with abundant pine and oak nut production. Bears feed heavily during the fall in order to prepare for their winter denning period and these closures will help keep our bears healthy and wild. Thank you for your cooperation and support!

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Offline Flash

  • Mountain Lion
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Re: Laguna Meadows/West sites unavailable
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2016, 10:07:49 AM »

... Saw a ranger on Laguna Meadows Trail with a rifle. He said he was "managing the bears".  Apparently they've been somewhat of a nuisance in that area...


Interesting contrast to the previous post.  :eusa_think: Managing a park such as BIBE must be a crazy balancing act at times...  :eusa_eh:

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Offline elhombre

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Re: Laguna Meadows/West sites unavailable
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2016, 10:35:42 AM »
This is the main reason we stopped filling out those stupid "Wildlife Sighting report" slips of paper at the Basin ranger station.  So now we have falcon closures, and bear closures.

"Hey Ranger Betty?"
"Yes, Ranger Bob?"
"Looks like there has been a big increase in jovial visitors coming in and tell us about their incredible experiences of seeing bears on their hikes"
"Oh no Ranger Bob, what will we do?"
"Well, Betty, that means there is only one thing we can do, SHUT IT DOWN!"

If they want people to get out and learn to appreciate nature, what message are they actually conveying by announcing that because nature is happening, all people must stay away.  So a fat bear eating acorns is something that should be avoided.

 "Thank you for your cooperation and support!"
First Russian Collusion, then Mueller, then Obstruction, then illegal payment to Stormy Daniels, then tax returns. Now no formal vote on impeachment for a 30 min. phone call to Ukraine

No crime. No evidence, just more secret investigations

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Offline venchka

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Re: Laguna Meadows/West sites unavailable
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2016, 02:39:01 PM »
For the time being at least there are still places where a person can wander freely and responsible for their own safety.
Wayne


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Wayne
“Leave me alone. I know what I'm doing. K. R.”

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Offline badknees

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Re: Laguna Meadows/West sites unavailable
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2016, 03:49:55 PM »
From the BBNP Facebook page:

TRAIL CLOSURE: Big Bend National Park is temporarily closing the popular Lost Mine Trail area due to increased bear activity. The Laguna Meadows backpacking campsites have also been closed. All other trails and campsites remain open. The closures will continue until further notice.  The Chisos Mountains is home to a healthy Mexican Black Bear population, and good rains have resulted in localities with abundant pine and oak nut production. Bears feed heavily during the fall in order to prepare for their winter denning period and these closures will help keep our bears healthy and wild. Thank you for your cooperation and support!
Not all those who wander are lost.
– J.R.R. Tolkien

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http://mirrormagic.com

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Offline alexhughes10769

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Re: Laguna Meadows/West sites unavailable
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2016, 02:13:46 PM »
I really hope it's open when I go back in November! That's one of my favorite hikes. I would love to see some bears, too.


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Offline kc5ujf

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Re: Laguna Meadows/West sites unavailable
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2016, 06:16:55 PM »
We climbed casa grande on friday, and we didn't see any bear.  When we got back down to the lost mine parking lot, the rangers were there putting up barricades to prevent parking.


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Offline jake.the.snake

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Re: Laguna Meadows/West sites unavailable
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2016, 04:05:59 PM »

This is the main reason we stopped filling out those stupid "Wildlife Sighting report" slips of paper at the Basin ranger station.  So now we have falcon closures, and bear closures.

"Hey Ranger Betty?"
"Yes, Ranger Bob?"
"Looks like there has been a big increase in jovial visitors coming in and tell us about their incredible experiences of seeing bears on their hikes"
"Oh no Ranger Bob, what will we do?"
"Well, Betty, that means there is only one thing we can do, SHUT IT DOWN!"

If they want people to get out and learn to appreciate nature, what message are they actually conveying by announcing that because nature is happening, all people must stay away.  So a fat bear eating acorns is something that should be avoided.

 "Thank you for your cooperation and support!"

It only takes one idiot trying to get a great picture or just trying to get to close for them to have to relocate or worse put a bear down. That bear could have 2-3 cubs that need relocation. Which would be moving in the opposite direction of where we want the bear population to head. Imagine we let them and the peregrine falcons thrive so come spring there will be twice as many of these spectacular animals to be seen and appreciated, during times that are not so crucial to their residency to the park.


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"We don't follow no crowd, it follows us."

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Offline Jim

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  • Visiting BBNP since 1975
Re: Laguna Meadows/West sites unavailable
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2016, 11:12:50 AM »
It appears on the backcountry calendar that those already closed Chisos sites as well as the Lower Juniper and Blue Creek zones have had their closures extended through the end of the year.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2016, 11:37:26 AM by Jim »

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Offline badknees

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Re: Laguna Meadows/West sites unavailable
« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2016, 11:39:59 AM »

This is the main reason we stopped filling out those stupid "Wildlife Sighting report" slips of paper at the Basin ranger station.  So now we have falcon closures, and bear closures.

"Hey Ranger Betty?"
"Yes, Ranger Bob?"
"Looks like there has been a big increase in jovial visitors coming in and tell us about their incredible experiences of seeing bears on their hikes"
"Oh no Ranger Bob, what will we do?"
"Well, Betty, that means there is only one thing we can do, SHUT IT DOWN!"

If they want people to get out and learn to appreciate nature, what message are they actually conveying by announcing that because nature is happening, all people must stay away.  So a fat bear eating acorns is something that should be avoided.

 "Thank you for your cooperation and support!"

Imagine we let them and the peregrine falcons thrive so come spring there will be twice as many of these spectacular animals .......


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Actually it doesn't work that way. The maximum population size that the environment can sustain indefinitely is constrained by food, habitat and water. The Chisos is probably maxxed out on bears right now. One dry year and the population will fall to sustainable levels at the prevailing environmental conditions. Human stresses (encroachment) also plays a role, but doesn't appear to be significant with respect to the Chisos bear population. Bears adapt readily to human presence.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2016, 11:46:47 AM by badknees »
Not all those who wander are lost.
– J.R.R. Tolkien

Through the Mirror
http://mirrormagic.com

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Offline jake.the.snake

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Re: Laguna Meadows/West sites unavailable
« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2016, 11:57:07 AM »
Yeah, you're right. Didn't mean the population will actually double, but there is still a chance their population can increase, and even if they don't stay in the park and just return when the food is abundant it is still a positive for the bear population and the park. If they let the trail stay open and a bear attack occurs then they will kill that bear. It's better to let a dry season naturally be the reason for the bear population decrease, rather than people killing and relocating bears, unnaturally. If we are interfering with the nesting of the Falcons there are other places they could decide to move to and nest.  Gist of the whole thing is to keep the park as natural as possible. It sucks it being closed to us, but for the Bears to thrive now and not be interfered with will be better for them in the short and long run.


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"We don't follow no crowd, it follows us."

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Offline badknees

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Re: Laguna Meadows/West sites unavailable
« Reply #12 on: November 24, 2016, 12:06:51 PM »
Yeah, you're right. Didn't mean the population will actually double, but there is still a chance their population can increase, and even if they don't stay in the park and just return when the food is abundant it is still a positive for the bear population and the park. If they let the trail stay open and a bear attack occurs then they will kill that bear. It's better to let a dry season naturally be the reason for the bear population decrease, rather than people killing and relocating bears, unnaturally. If we are interfering with the nesting of the Falcons there are other places they could decide to move to and nest.  Gist of the whole thing is to keep the park as natural as possible. It sucks it being closed to us, but for the Bears to thrive now and not be interfered with will be better for them in the short and long run.


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Point taken...

The Peregrine closing is antiquated and unnecessary though. The reason why Peregrine populations plummeted, was DDT effects on eggshell thickness, causing egg collapse and hatching failure. The Peregrine is a highly adaptable and aggressive species that nests in close proximity to urban disturbance.

This article may be of interest and it highlights the resurgence of the peregrine - Post DDT

http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0159054

This phenomenon is occurring all over the US and Europe.

By the way PLOS (the Public Library of Science) is a great resource of peer reviewed publications

https://www.plos.org/publications
« Last Edit: November 24, 2016, 12:13:27 PM by badknees »
Not all those who wander are lost.
– J.R.R. Tolkien

Through the Mirror
http://mirrormagic.com

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Offline jake.the.snake

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  • "No can hold us down, no one will take our crown."
Re: Laguna Meadows/West sites unavailable
« Reply #13 on: November 24, 2016, 12:51:45 PM »
Yeah, you're right. Didn't mean the population will actually double, but there is still a chance their population can increase, and even if they don't stay in the park and just return when the food is abundant it is still a positive for the bear population and the park. If they let the trail stay open and a bear attack occurs then they will kill that bear. It's better to let a dry season naturally be the reason for the bear population decrease, rather than people killing and relocating bears, unnaturally. If we are interfering with the nesting of the Falcons there are other places they could decide to move to and nest.  Gist of the whole thing is to keep the park as natural as possible. It sucks it being closed to us, but for the Bears to thrive now and not be interfered with will be better for them in the short and long run.


Sent from my iPhone using Big Bend Chat

Point taken...

The Peregrine closing is antiquated and unnecessary though. The reason why Peregrine populations plummeted, was DDT effects on eggshell thickness, causing egg collapse and hatching failure. The Peregrine is a highly adaptable and aggressive species that nests in close proximity to urban disturbance.

This article may be of interest and it highlights the resurgence of the peregrine - Post DDT

http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0159054

This phenomenon is occurring all over the US and Europe.

By the way PLOS (the Public Library of Science) is a great resource of peer reviewed publications

https://www.plos.org/publications
Cool articles! Thanks!


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"We don't follow no crowd, it follows us."

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Offline Amandaverve

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Re: Laguna Meadows/West sites unavailable
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2016, 01:37:42 PM »
It appears on the backcountry calendar that those already closed Chisos sites as well as the Lower Juniper and Blue Creek zones have had their closures extended through the end of the year.

Jim, I'm new to the forum and really appreciate all of the information.  Can you please share the link of the backcountry calendar?  I'm planning our first visit to stay in BBNP from 12/20-1/2.  I'm really looking forward to the visit, but fairly disappointed about the rim closures.  I'm still hopeful that they will reopen before we leave the park.

Thanks again,
Amanda

 


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