Big Bend Chat

The Big Bend Chat Archives => Big Bend National Park Q&A => Topic started by: Al on October 18, 2006, 08:56:42 PM

Title: The increase in bear activity in Big Bend
Post by: Al on October 18, 2006, 08:56:42 PM
Admin Note: Split from this topic (http://www.bigbendchat.com/portal/forum/index.php?topic=2096.0) regarding the increase in bear sightings and activity in the park.

I may be a lone voice but I think the bears may become a problem.  

As a Boy Scout we went to Philmont and did a 10 day hike.  One night we were sitting around the campfire and a black bear came charging down from the woods straight at us.  We started yelling and screaming and he/she turned around and headed back up the hill.  We didn't have bear boxes but did hang our food at night.  Heard plenty of stories about bears slashing tents going after toothpaste, etc.  I have nothing against bears but given the back country aspect of Big Bend I can see a lot of potential for conflict: trail closures, close encounters and such . . . it could become problematic.

Time will tell.

OK guys.  Tear into me.

Al
Title: Not IF but WHEN
Post by: okiehiker on October 18, 2006, 09:05:00 PM
Bears will become a problem, because we are already a problem.

There is no way to prevent people from leaving their trash for bears and also to keep the idiots from intentionally feeding them.  They WILL become too accustomed to human activity and encroachment and become a danger to people, thus endandering themselves.  It is only a question of how soon.

The best way to prevent it will be to remove as much development as is practical from the Basin.  If that is possible at all, it will engender quite a spirited debate.  I love having the bears and lions in the park.  I have mixed emotions about the impact on exisitng use at places like the Basin.

This should be a VERY interesting discussion.
Title: The increase in bear activity in Big Bend
Post by: Casa Grande on October 19, 2006, 06:36:38 AM
Quote from: "Al"
I may be a lone voice but I think the bears may become a problem.


You are half correct, but the problem is us, not them, as OKIE says.  It's only a matter of time before it's a real problem.
Title: The increase in bear activity in Big Bend
Post by: SA Bill on October 19, 2006, 07:21:27 AM
Joe:
Thanks for the clarification. Yes, they had shaggy hair on the throat area.

All: I was thinking the same thing as far as the bear situation when the couple down the way were talking to me. I'm sure they didn't appreciate the impact that bears going through the Basin camp ground might have. I mean, I was sitting in a chair reading and the Momma was no more than 10' away from me before I knew it. When (probably already happening) people start feeding them, we've got big trouble. I'm afraid the bears will ultimately be the losers.

Side story: Ranger Sams (?) told us that with the deer, he can pick up a pebble and toss it off to the the side when the deer are around and they will go over to see what it is because so often people are tossing things out for them to eat. They're already conditioned to humans = food.
   Bill
Title: The increase in bear activity in Big Bend
Post by: Casa Grande on October 19, 2006, 08:06:20 AM
Quote from: "SA Bill"
When (probably already happening) people start feeding them, we've got big trouble.


I'm going on record here to say that if you feed a bear in it's natural environment ANYWHERE, you deserve to be eaten. Unfortunately, it's probably going to be the next guy camping in your spot that will get eaten, not the idiot that fed him.  Sorry, I digressed... I have now split the topic.[/color]
Title: The increase in bear activity in Big Bend
Post by: BigBendHiker on October 19, 2006, 08:13:21 AM
Quote from: "David Locke"
Quote from: "SA Bill"
When (probably already happening) people start feeding them, we've got big trouble.


I'm going on record here to say that if you feed a bear in it's natural environment ANYWHERE, you deserve to be eaten. Unfortunately, it's probably going to be the next guy camping in your spot that will get eaten, not the idiot that fed him.  Sorry, I digressed... I have now split the topic.[/color]



Yep...your comments are right on.
Title: The increase in bear activity in Big Bend
Post by: Roy on October 19, 2006, 02:43:43 PM
And then there's this kind of problem.

http://msnbc.msn.com/id/15333684/

(http://msnbcmedia.msn.com/j/msnbc/Components/Photos/061019/061019_bears_hmed_3p.hmedium.jpg)
Image added by Moderator.
Title: The increase in bear activity in Big Bend
Post by: homerboy2u on October 19, 2006, 06:05:26 PM
People.just take this in mind: When you are in the park...you have NO rights over the wildlife. The wildlife, whom ever it may be, has ALL the rights over you.

  I truly hope this doesn?t turn out to be a problem....in Maderas, this is a none issue.

 If you should see a trail closure or an area being set off, it is for the benefit of the bears,lions,havelinas,deer.

  We are ALL their guests..Regards.

Homero
Title: The increase in bear activity in Big Bend
Post by: Undertaker on October 19, 2006, 07:08:05 PM
Excellent post Hummero, you are indeed correct, we are only at the top of the food chain in a grocery store, in the WILD (Key Word), we are part of the food chain. :lol:  :lol:

When in anyones home you are expected to respect their home, so when I am in the Bears home I respect it. 8)  8)
Title: The increase in bear activity in Big Bend
Post by: Al on October 19, 2006, 08:40:51 PM
A very well put post, Homero.  

In the Maderas it probably is a none issue.  At least in the early to mid '90's the bear in the del Carmens were afraid of man.  We saw scat but never a bear.

Al
Title: Re: Not IF but WHEN
Post by: Roy on October 20, 2006, 09:15:45 AM
Quote from: "okiehiker"

The best way to prevent it will be to remove as much development as is practical from the Basin.  If that is possible at all, it will engender quite a spirited debate.


So let's debate :)

I've thought about this some.  Remove the hotel/motel units;  leave the stone cabins (maybe for some type of day use), visitors center, campground as is;  restaurant and store??    Leave parking lot for hikers to access trail heads.  Build new lodge at PJ.  Would cast $$$, and they'd have to rework the water supply.
Title: Re: Not IF but WHEN
Post by: RichardM on October 20, 2006, 09:31:39 AM
Quote from: "Roy"
Quote from: "okiehiker"

The best way to prevent it will be to remove as much development as is practical from the Basin.  If that is possible at all, it will engender quite a spirited debate.

So let's debate :)

I've thought about this some.  Remove the hotel/motel units;  leave the stone cabins (maybe for some type of day use), visitors center, campground as is;  restaurant and store??    Leave parking lot for hikers to access trail heads.  Build new lodge at PJ.  Would cast $$$, and they'd have to rework the water supply.

Start with the info here (http://www.bigbendchat.com/portal/forum/index.php?topic=911.0).  Just about anything's possible with enough money.  :?
Title: The increase in bear activity in Big Bend
Post by: Bobcat on October 20, 2006, 10:01:47 AM
Guess what; I'm going to reserve the right to smack a mosquito if it's in the process of sucking valuable blood from my healthy body!
Title: The increase in bear activity in Big Bend
Post by: Roy on October 20, 2006, 10:52:57 AM
Ants?
Title: Campground
Post by: Goldilocks on October 20, 2006, 01:16:36 PM
Roy, why leave the campground as is?  Seems to me that is where the bears are gaining access to a lot of trash, leftover food, etc.
Title: The increase in bear activity in Big Bend
Post by: Roy on October 20, 2006, 01:46:27 PM
True, GL, but I'm trying not to alienate too many people right away.  You're going to have at least some attractants in the Basin unless you just shut it down completely;  leaving the camp ground gains support from those who like to camp there.   And, if you get rid of the store and restaurant, I think it would be utilized less.  Maybe use it only as a staging area for people who want to hike the high country;  run the trail heads there instead of the current locations.  
BTW, I know a lot of folks on this board like to camp there but I'm not one of them.  I've camped there exactly once;  it's crowded, busy, and the sites are small.  The setting, however, is spectacular.
Title: The increase in bear activity in Big Bend
Post by: Bobcat on October 20, 2006, 01:51:19 PM
Quote from: "Roy"
Ants?


Ants. No no no. Not ants. Roy's referring to the Red Ant Incident of 2004 that I reported on the old page.  I was stung severely between my toes by a single red ant in the south of the Park.  And when I attempted to pet the cute little thing, I accidentally broke one of its legs. So, I did what I thought was right and immediately built an adobe ant hospital/rehab center in the Tuff Canyon area.  It was approximately the size of a die(one dice).  I'm not going to get into how I trained the staff and other details that would make this story too long.  But, when I reported all this, questions were asked.   I was asked about my credentials for treating arthropods. And, of course, the question of the legality of building the hospital/rehab center in the Park was discussed thoroughly.  Well, in the end, we decided that the center needed be destroyed and that the next hiker in that area would simply step on it(after properly evacuating the structure, of course). I really felt badly about the final outcome.
Title: The increase in bear activity in Big Bend
Post by: Desert Rat on October 20, 2006, 07:11:44 PM
RichardM said:

"Start with the info here. Just about anything's possible with enough money. "



Am I the only one amazed at what Richard can pull out the hat at a moments notice.  Sometimes I think he has memorized every thread posted on this board.

There are some truly incredible people in this group!
Title: true
Post by: Goldilocks on October 20, 2006, 08:15:04 PM
Roy, usiing the campground as a staging area is a good one.  I was just wondering why you didn't include it on your original list.  It is by far more crowded than the Cottonwood campground, probably because of the cooler temps and the views.  I must say I am glad it's open, or else where would David and Sarah gotten married? :D
Title: The increase in bear activity in Big Bend
Post by: Al on October 20, 2006, 08:36:23 PM
I don't see the Basin campground being abandoned or the campsites reduced significantly due to bears because there will be little difference.  

It won't matter if the number of campsites are reduced since there will still be people camping out and there will be de bears.  As long as the campgrounds are there it should remain pretty much as it is.  What the hell.

I've never camped in the basin; it has a poor people to remoteness ratio considering the drive out there.  We have always gone to Rio Grande Village when arriving late because we know we can get a campsite because the Basin tends to fill up first.  

The next day we get our permits and head to the more remote areas of the park.

There have to be other solutions to the problem that don't totally detract from the "Basin" experience.   Just don't ask me what these solutions are . . .

Al
Title: The increase in bear activity in Big Bend
Post by: Roy on October 20, 2006, 10:06:02 PM
How many bear encounters have there been in the Basin itself?