Public Announcement – Bryce Canyon Backcountry Shutdown
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May 28, 2014 at 11:45 pm #1317338Ted EBPL Member
@mtn_nutLocale: Morrison, CO
As of last Thursday, Bryce canyon has shut down a majority of its backcountry south of the right fork of swamp canyon. I was told it was shut down because of an incident where someone who was sleeping with food in their tent was "attacked" when a black bear swiped at her tent, scratching her.
Bryce Canyon's response was to completely shut down the trails and backcountry campsites on the south side of the park to all overnight AND day use, and from my understanding they are trying to track down and relocate the bear(s).
I personally do not agree with the parks actions in this case. How does shutting down the trails, especially for day use, help anything?!?! Requiring people to carry bear spray and bear canisters and requiring them to read/watch a presentation on proper bear country etiquette and making sure that people are informed that they are entering the bears "home" are ways to help prevent incidents, but there will be incidents no matter what we do as long as people are in bear territory. Again, shutting down the backcountry DOES NOT FIX ANYTHING!!!
If this happened in somewhere where bears are part of the parks culture (yosemite…) there would have been public uproar. On top of that, it took them till today to put up a park alert on their website, and there has been no official news releases or any news articles covering this.May 29, 2014 at 10:06 am #2106913Mobile CalculatorSpectator
…May 29, 2014 at 10:37 am #2106928HkNewmanBPL Member
@hknewmanLocale: Western US
making sure that people are informed that they are entering the bears "home" are ways to help prevent incidents, but there will be incidents no matter what we do as long as people are in bear territory. Again, shutting down the backcountry DOES NOT FIX ANYTHING!!!
The NPS is probably trying to play it safe to find out if the bear is habituated or nor. Remember UT was where the FS was found liable for a kid getting mauled by a bear while at a campsite a few years back and had to pay damages. The administrative response (government, corporate) to lawsuits is to emplace barriers to ensure it doesn't happen again … or they don't get blamed if something occurs.
Add I usually have an alternative destination or 2 planned 200 -300 miles away simply due to fires, weather fronts, etc… anyways circa Backpacker mags original "Get Out More" edition about 10 years ago or so. With the American West's constant Red Flag warnings (wind driven wildfire danger for those who don't live here), gotta have alternatives picked out in any case.May 29, 2014 at 11:18 am #2106945Ted EBPL Member
@mtn_nutLocale: Morrison, CO
I had an alternate destination that i had in mind, but i would have wasted most of the day driving back. i ended up backpacking and hiking the portions that were open, and then going on to an alternate, but it still remains that shutting it down does not help anything.
looks like the park alerts are still up, so i would call before attempting to go. That is if their phone lines are working again. They were down all weekend last weekend, so there was no way to get through.
FYI, the incident happened at Riggs Springs.
"Backcountry Campsite Closures –
Due to bear activity at select campsites in Bryce Canyon's backcountry, multiple backcountry campsites have been closed until further notice: Sheep Creek, Swamp Canyon, Natural Bridge, Iron Spring, Corral Hollow, Riggs Spring and Yovimpa Pass.
Bristlecone Loop Trail Closure –
Due to recent bear activity, the Bristlecone Loop Trail is closed until further notice."
even though its not on the park alerts, the under the rim trail from right fork of swamp canyon south is closed, along with the connector trails.
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