Friends of Big Bend National Park
Big Bend Conservancy

Over-estimating your experience or under-estimating the terrain in a place like Big Bend can result in serious injury or death. Use the information and advice found here wisely. Climb/Hike/Camp/Drive at your own risk.

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Bear 'Splanation

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Offline AggieOO

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Re: Bear 'Splanation
« Reply #90 on: November 23, 2016, 10:04:10 AM »

I didn't report him so maybe the campsites and trails will open sooner.

 :You_Rock_Emoticon:

I'm headed back in a few weeks and want to go up Casa Grande to the spot where my wife and I got engaged.  I need Lost Mine open  ;D

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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: Bear 'Splanation
« Reply #91 on: November 23, 2016, 10:27:13 AM »

I didn't report him so maybe the campsites and trails will open sooner.

 :You_Rock_Emoticon:

I'm headed back in a few weeks and want to go up Casa Grande to the spot where my wife and I got engaged.  I need Lost Mine open  ;D

I hear ya. My wife and I got married deep in the backcountry of the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. The wedding party had to ford two flooding creeks and make their way through a herd of bison in fog and rain, and then camp overnight. These days we say nobody came to our wedding that didn't really, REALLY love us.  Most of all my long-suffering wife.  Here's hoping the trails open for true love.
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Offline RichardM

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Re: Bear 'Splanation
« Reply #92 on: December 07, 2016, 02:43:21 PM »
Update on bear closures as of noon on Wednesday, December 7:
As bear activity begins to decline along with bear and people interactions, park management has decided to open the Lost Mine Trail and some of the previously closed backcountry campsites and zones on a trial basis.
Along with the Lost Mine Trail being open, the following backcountry camping will be reopened: Laguna Meadows, Laguna West, and Juniper and Blue Creek camping zones. The following will remain closed due to recent bear activity: Toll Mountain, Boot Canyon 1-4, Colima 1-3, Juniper Canyon 1, and Southwest Rim 2 campsites.
As we continue to assess bear activity in the park we will modify closures accordingly, to keep people safe and bears healthy and wild. Remember: do not harass, approach, or feed wildlife. Do not linger near bears- give them the space they need to protect their young, travel safely, and eat wild food. We thank everyone for continuing to share this park with our unique wildlife!

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Offline presidio

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Re: Bear 'Splanation
« Reply #93 on: December 27, 2016, 01:55:16 PM »
2 days ago I was told by park personnel that their reason was due to the fact they had 25 reports of bear encounters and the decision was made to close the areas. They have also decided to extend the closures until possibly the end of November.

Hopefully, the reports are more reliable than UFO sightings. There's probably a lot of taking these things at face value without any actual corroboration.
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<  presidio  >
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Wendell (Garret Dillahunt): It's a mess, ain't it, sheriff?
Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones): If it ain't, it'll do till the mess gets here.
--No Country for Old Men (2007)

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Offline presidio

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Re: Bear 'Splanation
« Reply #94 on: December 27, 2016, 02:00:11 PM »

Most of us here on BBC have learned through our experiences that the rangers in BB are in a national park of their own.  Many workers get hostile when presented with facts that question their knowledge of the park.  We've learned they should not be engaged when getting a permit.  They lie about spring reports.  They have closed the entire Domiquez camping  zone when illegals were busting out windows at Dominquez trail parking lot in response to the NPS confiscating Mexican's horses.  They have closed Glenn Springs, Juniper canyon and Pine canyon campsites because one yahoo had his stuff rifled through by a bear at Glenn Springs#2 when he left his food out a few years back ( at least this closure was due to a bear interacting with humans, and not acorns).   The bottom line question:  how is the public suppose to make our Thanksgiving plans for a park visit when they say the Chisos MAY remain closed to backpacking over the holidays?

So many things have been documented here over the years that only occur in this National park that demonstrate an unexplainable culture of it's own when compared to other national parks.  Looks like we did it to ourselves again by communicating with the management.

"Thank you for your cooperation and support!"

Don't take umbrage. The NPS only is protecting THEIR park from YOU!

You have to read between the lines: "The National Park Service preserves unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the National Park System for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations (of NPS employees)."
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<  presidio  >
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Wendell (Garret Dillahunt): It's a mess, ain't it, sheriff?
Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones): If it ain't, it'll do till the mess gets here.
--No Country for Old Men (2007)

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Offline cholie smith

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Re: Bear 'Splanation
« Reply #95 on: February 04, 2017, 07:20:32 AM »
As I expected, they continue to keep the Chisos campsites closed due to "bear activity" ......and now they have the peregrine falcon closure. Basically, they have closed the Chisos to overnight campers for 6 months , so far.

I used to camp in the Chisos  2 to 3 times a year during this period, every year for many years and have encountered bears numerous times. I don't understand this and I'm afraid the park biologist's objective is to make this an annual closure just as they have for the peregrine falcon.

The original explanation I received in November of 2016 was that due to rains there was a great quantity of food. I question that a well fed bear is more dangerous than the hungry bears I encountered in prior years? 

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Offline badknees

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Re: Bear 'Splanation
« Reply #96 on: February 04, 2017, 07:46:12 AM »
As I expected, they continue to keep the Chisos campsites closed due to "bear activity" ......and now they have the peregrine falcon closure. Basically, they have closed the Chisos to overnight campers for 6 months , so far.

I used to camp in the Chisos  2 to 3 times a year during this period, every year for many years and have encountered bears numerous times. I don't understand this and I'm afraid the park biologist's objective is to make this an annual closure just as they have for the peregrine falcon.

The original explanation I received in November of 2016 was that due to rains there was a great quantity of food. I question that a well fed bear is more dangerous than the hungry bears I encountered in prior years?

From the daily report------

"Backpacking campsites are now open in Boot Canyon, Colima, Juniper Canyon #1 and Southwest Rim #2 that
were closed due to bear activity."

The annual Peregrine closure has been in effect since 1985 and I wouldn't doubt that the bear closure could also become an annual event
Not all those who wander are lost.
J.R.R. Tolkien

Through the Mirror
http://mirrormagic.com

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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: Bear 'Splanation
« Reply #97 on: February 04, 2017, 02:06:26 PM »
As I expected, they continue to keep the Chisos campsites closed due to "bear activity" ......and now they have the peregrine falcon closure. Basically, they have closed the Chisos to overnight campers for 6 months , so far.

I used to camp in the Chisos  2 to 3 times a year during this period, every year for many years and have encountered bears numerous times. I don't understand this and I'm afraid the park biologist's objective is to make this an annual closure just as they have for the peregrine falcon.

The original explanation I received in November of 2016 was that due to rains there was a great quantity of food. I question that a well fed bear is more dangerous than the hungry bears I encountered in prior years?

From the daily report------

"Backpacking campsites are now open in Boot Canyon, Colima, Juniper Canyon #1 and Southwest Rim #2 that
were closed due to bear activity."

The annual Peregrine closure has been in effect since 1985 and I wouldn't doubt that the bear closure could also become an annual event

I didn't get that feeling when I talked to rangers or the park biologist recently. But, frankly, none of us really knows what the next few seasons will hold. If the atypically wet years continue, increases in bear population will, as well. In that case, new protocols will probably be developed. Predictions as to what those might be are largely guesswork at this point. My guess is no better than any other. But it will be real interesting to revisit this question each year. We may come to understand intimately the  old Chinese curse, "may you have an interesting year."
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Offline dprather

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Re: Bear 'Splanation
« Reply #98 on: February 04, 2017, 10:41:38 PM »
When I spoke with the biologist, I got the distinct sense that the bear population in the Chisos at this time is just about maxed out
Leave "quit" at the car.  Embrace the trail as your friend.  Expect to enjoy yourself, and to be amazed.

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Offline Jimbow

  • Black Bear
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Re: Bear 'Splanation
« Reply #99 on: February 04, 2017, 11:15:17 PM »
I'm wondering what areas they are capable of surviving. Open desert?

Sent from my SM-G925T using Big Bend Chat mobile app

Everything is in walking distance if you have enough time.

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Offline presidio

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Re: Bear 'Splanation
« Reply #100 on: February 04, 2017, 11:29:49 PM »
As I expected, they continue to keep the Chisos campsites closed due to "bear activity" ......and now they have the peregrine falcon closure. Basically, they have closed the Chisos to overnight campers for 6 months , so far.

I used to camp in the Chisos  2 to 3 times a year during this period, every year for many years and have encountered bears numerous times. I don't understand this and I'm afraid the park biologist's objective is to make this an annual closure just as they have for the peregrine falcon.

The original explanation I received in November of 2016 was that due to rains there was a great quantity of food. I question that a well fed bear is more dangerous than the hungry bears I encountered in prior years?

A well-fed bear wants nothing to do with humans. There might be more activity with more food, and more bears might be seen, but that does not equal increased hazard. It's only in NPS areas where things are closed because they are deemed a teensy bit unsafe for the public. Everywhere else, you use the land on your (and nature's) terms, without somebody in a funny hat telling what you can and cannot do.
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<  presidio  >
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Wendell (Garret Dillahunt): It's a mess, ain't it, sheriff?
Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones): If it ain't, it'll do till the mess gets here.
--No Country for Old Men (2007)

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Offline presidio

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Re: Bear 'Splanation
« Reply #101 on: February 04, 2017, 11:39:03 PM »
I'm wondering what areas they are capable of surviving. Open desert?

Sent from my SM-G925T using Big Bend Chat mobile app

Sure, they can survive the open desert. They had to cross a lot of it to get to the Chisos. For years bears never were seen there. Then, there were occasional sightings and everyone got all atwitter there were bears!!! in the park. If other parks with serious bear populations and grizzlies knee jerked the way Big Bend does, you'd never be able to use them.

Glacier and Yellowstone have occasional grizzly closures but they don't seem to last long. If it wasn't for the overwhelming need to protect the Disneyland aura that being in a park is a safe ride (keep arms and hands inside the car and do not stand up while ride is in motion), you'd be able to go there just like you can to other public lands adjacent to those parks and be responsible for yourself.

Besides, here is the perfect opportunity to carry one of those useless bear jars the NPS requires, under conditions that might almost rise to the level of wanting one, but you can't go there because you might see a bear. Oh my!
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<  presidio  >
_____________
Wendell (Garret Dillahunt): It's a mess, ain't it, sheriff?
Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones): If it ain't, it'll do till the mess gets here.
--No Country for Old Men (2007)

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Offline Jimbow

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Re: Bear 'Splanation
« Reply #102 on: February 05, 2017, 12:05:21 AM »
I know they can cross the desert,  I'm wondering about year round never leave survival. It always seems to barren.

Sent from my SM-G925T using Big Bend Chat mobile app

Everything is in walking distance if you have enough time.

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Offline presidio

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Re: Bear 'Splanation
« Reply #103 on: February 05, 2017, 01:19:54 AM »
I know they can cross the desert,  I'm wondering about year round never leave survival. It always seems to barren.

Sent from my SM-G925T using Big Bend Chat mobile app

Being omnivorous they probably spend some time down low. If the park does any tracking they don't seem to publicize the data.

The only info is here: https://www.nps.gov/bibe/learn/nature/bears.htm

According to that page, "Some bears, especially males and non-breeding females may live in the low desert year-round, where they can locate food and water in arroyos, around desert springs, or along the Rio Grande."
_____________
<  presidio  >
_____________
Wendell (Garret Dillahunt): It's a mess, ain't it, sheriff?
Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones): If it ain't, it'll do till the mess gets here.
--No Country for Old Men (2007)

 


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