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kiliki
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PostTue Sep 01, 2020 10:10 am 
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Randito wrote:
markweth wrote:
This sounds more like you just harassed a bear rather than did anything worth being thanked for or warranting a self-aggrandizing forum post about.

Granted I wasn't on the scene at this "situation", but it sounds like the bear wasn't aggressive or interested at all in the hikers or you.

Rather than carefully making your way around the bear without disturbing it or enjoying the chance to see a bear in its natural habitat and waiting for it to move on of its own accord (both of which have always been recommended to be by NPS rangers when seeing a bear on a trail -- it was only when a bear was in camp or otherwise threatening people that I have been told to yell or otherwise intimidate the bear), you saw fit to harass wildlife so you could continue your run. I think your values and priorities are pretty clear.

Sound like RockNClimd followed the advice of the humane society




That advice is very specifically about hazing a bear away from your garbage/house, as it says in big bold letters on top of that web page. It's not for hiking.

What to do about black bears

Bear troubles in your neighborhood? Bird feeders and unsecured pet food, garbage and grills may be bringing them to your back door.


https://www.humanesociety.org/resources/what-do-about-black-bears

Bears have a very limited time to find enough food and gain enough weight to survive the winter. Hazing a bear who is eating and minding its own business off a trail because it's in your way is incredibly arrogant. What's the point of being in a national park if wildlife are just going to be in your way? Why not just run somewhere else?

That is a perfect example of why people can get so frustrated with trail runners. Get out of my way is so often the MO. Not always, there are considerate runners of course.
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neek
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PostTue Sep 01, 2020 10:15 am 
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kiliki wrote:
Bears have a very limited time to find enough food and gain enough weight to survive the winter. Hazing a bear who is eating and minding its own business off a trail because it's in your way is incredibly arrogant. What's the point of being in a national park if wildlife are just going to be in your way? Why not just run somewhere else?

Could the argument be made that it's better for the bear's long term survival prospects to teach it to fear humans, even if that burns a few extra calories?  I'm not saying this is the case or that it's black & white, just asking.  Yes it's off topic but frankly this is more interesting and relevant than discussing the merits of trail running.
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kiliki
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PostTue Sep 01, 2020 10:23 am 
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neek wrote:
kiliki wrote:
Bears have a very limited time to find enough food and gain enough weight to survive the winter. Hazing a bear who is eating and minding its own business off a trail because it's in your way is incredibly arrogant. What's the point of being in a national park if wildlife are just going to be in your way? Why not just run somewhere else?

Could the argument be made that it's better for the bear's long term survival prospects to teach it to fear humans, even if that burns a few extra calories?  I'm not saying this is the case or that it's black & white, just asking.  Yes it's off topic but frankly this is more interesting and relevant than discussing the merits of trail running.

If the bear were in your backyard and you were debating whether to disturb it, the answer would be yes. When you are in a national park, in the bear's home, you should default to what the park says to do. Grand Teton asks you to clap your hands and call out to avoid startling bears, to give them space, to respect their presence. It does not ask humans to haze bears off a trail, even if they are "in the way".

Other parks with different bear populations have different strategies. At Katmai, which is so famous for its large population of coastal brown bears, you always cede the trail by stepping off, and you NEVER yell at a bear. You talk in a normal tone, stay aware of your surroundings, and always give bears the right of way. They have about 5 months to get fat enough to survive the other 7. This is life of death for them. It's a hike or run for us.
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neek
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PostTue Sep 01, 2020 10:33 am 
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Makes sense; thanks.
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Jake Robinson
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PostTue Sep 01, 2020 10:35 am 
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I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the epidemic of trail running bears. I startled a bear earlier this year on the Big Beaver Trail and it went flying up the trail at probably 30mph. Much too fast to appreciate the scenery. When will they ever learn to just take it slow once in a while and appreciate their surroundings?
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Cyclopath
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PostTue Sep 01, 2020 11:53 am 
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markweth wrote:
you saw fit to harass wildlife so you could continue your run. I think your values and priorities are pretty clear.

kiliki wrote:
They have about 5 months to get fat enough to survive the other 7. This is life of death for them. It's a hike or run for us.

How do you feel about (swarms of) hikers picking berry bushes clean wherever there's a trail nearby?

Lot of wildlife dies of starvation, it's the second most common cause of death for mice, after predation, and berries are an important part of their diet this time of year.  Creatures as diverse as bears and birds use berries for survival.  And there are dozens to hundreds of hikers on every trail eating all this wild food they could have got at the grocery store.

I've never heard a hiker say it's anything but wonderful to compete with wildlife for food, which is what we're doing.
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RumiDude
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PostTue Sep 01, 2020 12:22 pm 
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Cyclopath wrote:
markweth wrote:
you saw fit to harass wildlife so you could continue your run. I think your values and priorities are pretty clear.

kiliki wrote:
They have about 5 months to get fat enough to survive the other 7. This is life of death for them. It's a hike or run for us.

How do you feel about (swarms of) hikers picking berry bushes clean wherever there's a trail nearby?

Lot of wildlife dies of starvation, it's the second most common cause of death for mice, after predation, and berries are an important part of their diet this time of year.  Creatures as diverse as bears and birds use berries for survival.  And there are dozens to hundreds of hikers on every trail eating all this wild food they could have got at the grocery store.

I've never heard a hiker say it's anything but wonderful to compete with wildlife for food, which is what we're doing.

I think you are missing the point about harassing wildlife. We can debate the ethics of picking wild berries if you want, but these two are not the same.

It's funny we get mad if someone were to shoo us off the trail yet we think it is OK to do that to wildlife. Many animals use trails to travel on. The footprints and observation bear this out. It's best to allow wildlife to live with minimum stress from humans including yeilding to them on the trail and not approaching them.

Rumi

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markweth
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PostTue Sep 01, 2020 12:31 pm 
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Cyclopath wrote:
markweth wrote:
you saw fit to harass wildlife so you could continue your run. I think your values and priorities are pretty clear.

kiliki wrote:
They have about 5 months to get fat enough to survive the other 7. This is life of death for them. It's a hike or run for us.

How do you feel about (swarms of) hikers picking berry bushes clean wherever there's a trail nearby?

Lot of wildlife dies of starvation, it's the second most common cause of death for mice, after predation, and berries are an important part of their diet this time of year.  Creatures as diverse as bears and birds use berries for survival.  And there are dozens to hundreds of hikers on every trail eating all this wild food they could have got at the grocery store.

I've never heard a hiker say it's anything but wonderful to compete with wildlife for food, which is what we're doing.

I don't think it is appropriate for hikers to pick berry bushes clean, but I think that is a huckleberries to hamburgers comparison to make given the issue being discussed. I suppose I feel similarly to hikers picking berry bushes clean as I do to trail runners harassing wildlife to continue their run -- I don't like it.

How do you feel about trail runners harassing wildlife to not disrupt their exercise? Please answer as clearly as I did your question and don't deflect, if you don't mind.
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Randito
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PostTue Sep 01, 2020 1:47 pm 
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kiliki wrote:
Other parks with different bear populations have different strategies. At Katmai, which is so famous for its large population of coastal brown bears, you always cede the trail by stepping off, and you NEVER yell at a bear. You talk in a normal tone, stay aware of your surroundings, and always give bears the right of way. They have about 5 months to get fat enough to survive the other 7. This is life of death for them. It's a hike or run for us.

In this case it's not really a difference in PARK policy as it it a difference in the SPECIES of bear.    Black bears and Brown (or Grizzly) Bears behave quite differently and require different beahvior by the humans to decrease the chances of an attack.

Also in terms of conservatiion -- the concern for the survival of the black bear scared off by RockNClimb is a bit of hyperventaltion -- Black Bear are considered a species "Of Least Concern" -- I mean in both Washington and Wyoming, hunting of black bears is permitted -- heck in Wyoming using bait for bear hunting is permitted.   No hunting is permitted in the park of course, but there is no issue with bears on the edge of survival in either Washington or Wyoming.
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Cyclopath
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PostTue Sep 01, 2020 2:04 pm 
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RumiDude wrote:
We can debate the ethics of picking wild berries if you want, but these two are not the same.

Of course they're entirely different questions but if you're honest with yourself, all the reasons that would bring you to the conclusion that you shouldn't harass wildlife will also convince you that we shouldn't eat their food, we don't need it and they do.  Those same reasons - wildlife had a right to exist, to stay wild, to have the natural habitat it needs to thrive - should also make you feel like we shouldn't be doing things that result in habitat loss, to the extent that's possible.  I asked because I was curious how much consistency there is.
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Anne Elk
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PostTue Sep 01, 2020 2:06 pm 
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One thing for sure: this discussion/debate was well worth it just for the NWHikers Bingo post a few pages back.  lol.gif  up.gif

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Cyclopath
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PostTue Sep 01, 2020 2:30 pm 
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markweth wrote:
How do you feel about trail runners harassing wildlife to not disrupt their exercise? Please answer as clearly as I did your question and don't deflect, if you don't mind.

Of course nobody should harass anything that's capable of experiencing fear.  Nor should people kill wildlife for sport.  I'm a strict vegetarian for these kinds of reasons.

Of course hikers harass wildlife too, probably more often because there are more of them and they spend more time on trails.  And especially because they camp in the wilderness.  Wild animals mostly seem frightened by our presence.  I bet lighting a camp up, talking to friends through the night, and having a fire probably cause the local fauna more stress than what rocknclimb did.  When I camped in Spider Meadow I heard marmots whistle all night long.  That's their alarm call.  Nobody was harassing them, they were alarmed by our presence even in our tents.
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markweth
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PostTue Sep 01, 2020 2:47 pm 
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Cyclopath wrote:
markweth wrote:
How do you feel about trail runners harassing wildlife to not disrupt their exercise? Please answer as clearly as I did your question and don't deflect, if you don't mind.

Of course nobody should harass anything that's capable of experiencing fear.  Nor should people kill wildlife for sport.  I'm a strict vegetarian for these kinds of reasons.

Of course hikers harass wildlife too, probably more often because there are more of them and they spend more time on trails.  And especially because they camp in the wilderness.  Wild animals mostly seem frightened by our presence.  I bet lighting a camp up, talking to friends through the night, and having a fire probably cause the local fauna more stress than what rocknclimb did.  When I camped in Spider Meadow I heard marmots whistle all night long.  That's their alarm call.  Nobody was harassing them, they were alarmed by our presence even in our tents.

Well, then I guess we should all stay home.

Or, maybe just not go out of our way to harass wildlife and accept that our mere presence will indeed have impacts and do our best not to add unnecessary impacts? And perhaps call out bad behavior when we see it? Those sound pretty good to me.

Edited to add: Your "whataboutism" in this discussion is really fascinating. We are talking about the specific behavior of one person and you saw fit to deflect to berry picking and vague bad behaviors of hikers to distract from the wildlife harassment of the trail runner who posted here. What's next, talking about how we shouldn't care about any of our actions because there are hunters that kill wildlife so what does it matter if I leave behind food and habituate animals? Or since there are anglers who eat trout at high mountain lakes that I should feel OK about washing my dishes in the lake?
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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostTue Sep 01, 2020 4:12 pm 
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Not buying it Cyclopath.  I've had deer, goats, marmots etc. wander right thru my camp numerous times, sometimes only a few feet away.  Many animals are not even slightly alarmed by human presence.
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RumiDude
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PostTue Sep 01, 2020 4:19 pm 
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Cyclopath wrote:
I asked because I was curious how much consistency there is.

Short answer: "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." Ralph Waldo Emerson

The longer answer is simply that one has a larger effect than the other. Yes, it's a matter of degree. The absolute best thing for all the wildlife would be that humans never go to the wilderness. But since we do enter the backcountry, the best thing to do is to concentrate on behaviors which have greater effect and not worry about things which effects are miniscule. If it got to the point that berry picking becomes a real detriment to wildlife, then we would need to reconsider our berry picking. We do know harassing wildlife puts stress on them and changes their behavior.

Rumi

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