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PostMon Sep 24, 2018 10:53 am 
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Please keep this topic within the boundaries of stewardship. Feel free to link alternative discussions below in this wiki post but do NOT spam this topic with such discussion or invite requests.  Such posts will be deleted.

Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/Washington/comments/9erxip/sam_sayers_still_missing_in_washington/
2nd Reddit Thread: https://www.reddit.com/r/SeattleWA/comments/9hc0em/missing_hiker_on_vesper_peak_chaos_in_the_cascades/
Teton Gravity:  https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php/321860
Facebook:  Official page and alternative facebook group no longer public

New Facebook study group created by Steve Monchak on 10/8  The Truth of the Sam Sayers Case
https://www.facebook.com/groups/698480987181194/ (no longer public on 11/8/18, reappeared as a closed group 12/7/18)


Wiki summmary last edited by Windstorm on Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:00 pm (this post can be edited by any member)
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Malachai Constant
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PostMon Oct 08, 2018 4:32 pm 
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Yosemite is not that bad now, most of the incidents of bears breaking into cars are from more than 10 years ago, they were truly a problem now. The improvement has occurred by the strict requirement of canisters and prohibition of leaving ANY food in cars. Now if your can is broken into and there is evidence you left food there you are subject to a big fine likewise if you overnight without a canister. The bear is relocated or destroyed. The park loans canisters for free or a nominal fee. The folks at Vesper should be subject to similar rules I am afraid the innocent who abide by the rules will bear the cost.

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"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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KnotSurreal
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PostMon Oct 08, 2018 5:19 pm 
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It seems many people up here don't realize what it's like in the Sierra. For example, a few years ago we took the slow "high mountain route" down to visit my Grandma in Oakhurst, CA. At a campground somewhere south of Tahoe a mama black bear broke into my car. She had a cub with her and was probably showing junior how it was done.

When we got to Oakhurst, which is 13 miles from the South Gate of Yosemite, I took my car into a few of body shops for estimates. The very first thing they all asked was "What did you leave in your car?". Unfortunately "that" was an empty clear plastic Dasani waterbottle I'd missed in a backseat cup holder.

I did not replace my driver's door in Oakhurst due to time constraints, thinking that I'd take care of it when I got home. The door didn't close, the window wouldn't roll up and the wind whistle was bad at freeway speed making it an unpleasant trip north.

So, back home in Seattle, I took my car into 3 body shops to get estimates for my insurance company and not one of them had any idea what had caused the damage.  They all thought that my car had been broken into because I'd left an electronic device in it.  When I told them that a bear had caused the damage they were absolutely incredulous!

I hope that all of us who enjoy the Cascade, both the experienced and the novice, only have to worry about humans breaking into cars and not food conditioned bears. We don't want to create a problem to which there is no solution.

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"The world is big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark." ~ John Muir
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Malachai Constant
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PostMon Oct 08, 2018 5:48 pm 
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I have been hiking in the High Sierra since the late 70’s to this Summer and have never had a problem with bears although I have seen many. Things were bad a few years ago because people were stupid and trained the bears. Only incident I have heard from a real person two years ago was a couple guys who had a bear take off with a pack left on the ground outside a tent at Rosalie Lake which had some candy in a pocket. Some bears near Yosemite valley were raiding packs left at half dome also. The bears were killed.

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"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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KnotSurreal
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PostMon Oct 08, 2018 6:04 pm 
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I just don't think we need to invite that problem into our own backyard.  If we can be proactive and prevent the food conditioning of black bears to begin with, we won't have to deal with the consequences of having done so.

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"The world is big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark." ~ John Muir
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thunderhead
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PostMon Oct 08, 2018 8:45 pm 
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Sierra black bears dont strike me as much of a problem.  Ya, there are a lot more black bears there but...  first off they are black bears and present a very reduced threat compared with other more predatory species.  Second ive had just one bear "issue" in my many trips there, a minor food theft, that was completely my fault(unsecured food due to laziness).  At no point have i sensed the slightest hint of aggression from any sierra bear, or any black bear anywhere for that matter.

A little but of spilled food from these clowns, in the high terrain where winter storms are about to nuke everything, is going to have a quite small chance of creating a problem bear.
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Ski
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PostMon Oct 08, 2018 10:14 pm 
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KnotSurreal, thank you very much for your input on the bear issue. I am in full agreement with you about few people here in the northwest being aware of the problems in California or the severity of damage caused to automobiles.
At the risk of going off track a little bit here, for anyone who is curious I would suggest you run several Google searches on "bear incidents" / "bear break-ins" for California State Parks (not Yosemite) where you should be able to find verbatim incident reports.

Anne Elk: bears will remove doors from automobiles. They will rip out the seats. They will remove dashboards. All they need is a whiff of what smells like food, and if they can get purchase on any door opening crevice with their claws, they will get into the vehicle.

This was one of the primary issues I raised with Peter Forbes (USFS) and Jean Fike (DNR) several weeks ago.
If those one-gallon zip-locks are still strewn all over that area, there still exists the possibility that a bear may (or may have already) found one, in which case there is a problem.
Hopefully those Clif bars and the other food items they stuffed into those bags will all be eaten by the snafflehounds (or retrieved by Dares, Carr & Co.) and there won't be any issues with the bears.

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Anne Elk
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PostMon Oct 08, 2018 11:54 pm 
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Ski -  The online photos I googled showed all those things - quite amazing.  In retrospect I wonder how we ever got away without incident during backcountry hikes in the Canadian Rockies during my student days. Like cooking pork chops the first night out on the Tumbling Glacier trail in Yoho Park. Worst thing that ever happened to me in Canada was a gang of whiskey-jacks that got into the food bag I hung from a tree up at Lake O'Hara. Pecked right into the cheese stash.

One thing I wonder about the situation in California - it sounds like even if you have your food in a bear cannister, if it's in your car, you're still at risk.  Are there special food storage lockers in the campgrounds?

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"There are yahoos out there.  It’s why we can’t have nice things."  - Tom Mahood
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Ski
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PostTue Oct 09, 2018 12:06 am 
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Anne Elk wrote:
Are there special food storage lockers in the campgrounds?

Yes. Steel boxes bolted down onto concrete pads. Same as the ones they installed at the July Creek Campground on the North Shore Road at Olympic National Park (and countless other campgrounds.)

Anne Elk wrote:
"...even if you have your food in a bear canister..."

One of the observations made in one of the reports I read from California State Parks was that there seemed to be a great number of vehicles broken into by bears that did not in fact have food in them, but only the smell of food because they were owned by the parents of young children who spilled food all over the floors of the back seats.

Once bears made the connection that ice chest = food, vehicles were broken into which contained empty ice chests. The bears were able to identify ice chests looking through the windows of vehicles.

Sorry this is getting way off track, but it underscores the problem of bears getting into human food and the potential consequences. In addition to food stuffs being pilfered, and vehicles broken into, in virtually every case where the bear makes the connection between humans and food source, the bear dies.

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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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Anne Elk
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PostTue Oct 09, 2018 3:41 am 
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Ski -  One of the reasons I'm somewhat ignorant about the skill level of modern Yogi Bears is that some years ago I stopped paying attention to tons of stuff related to wildlife - including certain National Geo programs, PBS Nature, etc. Too depressing. No matter the wildlife topic, part of the story was always a downer about how the animal(s) were under threat ...drowning, starving polar bears, elephant/rhino poaching, PCB levels in orcas, extinction due to ecosystem loss, etc.  So, for the most part, I tune it out.

But to bring the topic back 'round to Vesper - it would be useful to know what, if anything is known about bear activity in the Stillaguamish valley.

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"There are yahoos out there.  It’s why we can’t have nice things."  - Tom Mahood
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Brian Curtis
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PostTue Oct 09, 2018 6:16 am 
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I had my car broken into by a bear in Idaho. It also slashed tires while climbing onto the hood. Every surface in the interior was trashed. We had a bear attempt to break into a vehicle in BC. And a friend sent me a photo of a car that had been trashed by a bear at the Middle Fork trailhead. That particular car had been used as a Dominos delivery vehicle. So it can happen anywhere.

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treeswarper
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PostTue Oct 09, 2018 6:44 am 
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If their search dogs are of the right frame of mind, that might be why there were no bear incidents, if bears were in the area.

I lived in an area with problem bears.  I was asked what kind of "gun" did I have and advised to go get some bear load for it ASAP.  I did, but found out that my Golden Retriever was a bear chasing dog and she kept them away from the neighborhood.  She was a very fast runner and also didn't chase forever--just out of the neighborhood.  When we moved, the bears came back.

My Used Dog was not fast and only chased one bear briefly at galoompa Loompa speed.  She went in the brush, he came back at that point.  Her cubs went up a tree.  I leashed the Used Dog and we walked back up the hill and waited a bit.  Then started back down.  All bears were gone.

Dogs come in handy and yes, I know that sometimes the bear will chase a dog.  Where we have bear hunting season out away from neighborhoods with easy pickings, the bears tend to stay shy of people.  I have usually just caught the sight of bear rear ends moving away from me while I was stumbling around in the woods.

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protectkidz
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PostWed Oct 10, 2018 9:14 am 
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re: stewardship on Vesper Peak and the surrounding areas, the group has now assembled signs on wooden stakes that are asking hunters to be on the lookout for Sam and her belongings.
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pula58
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PostWed Oct 10, 2018 12:41 pm 
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Are the signs along the trail, or at trailhead, or....please describe. Thanks
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Schenk
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PostWed Oct 10, 2018 12:51 pm 
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Once the official SAR activity ceased, I began to wonder: Do the remaining people, based on their impacting activity up there, need a Special Use permit at this point?

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Nature exists with a stark indifference to humans' situation.
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philfort
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PostWed Oct 10, 2018 1:07 pm 
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Their "advanced base camp" plans were approved by the forest service, and they got an extension on the 14-day continuous maximum stay.
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