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05/04/2024 06:10AM  
Formalized food storage order for Superior NF.

I read it as no longer a recommendation to hang or use IGBC containers, but now a requirement, at least for the next 2 open water seasons.

https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/superior/notices/?cid=FSEPRD1174552

Detail:

Duluth, MN – April 30, 2024 – The Superior National Forest (SNF) has issued an update to a forest order for the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness requiring that all food, food containers and scented items be safely stored to help prevent bear-human interactions.

Similar orders in previous years have been issued in response to bear-human interactions, the intent of Forest Order 09-09-24-02 is to prevent those interactions from occurring by mandating Bear Aware behaviors in regions known to have significant risk of interactions. For more information and details, please visit Forest Order 09-09-24-02.

Superior National Forest Wildlife Biologist, Cheron Ferland, points out that “once a bear is ‘rewarded’ with human food or garbage, it is likely to become habituated and continue the behavior, which could ultimately lead to the bear being dispatched.”

The restrictions apply to Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness as designated on the attached map between March 1 and November 30, effective April 19, 2024 through April 19, 2026. To reduce the chances of attracting wildlife, attractants should be suspended at least 12 feet above the surface of the ground and 6 feet horizontally from the trunk of a tree or stored in an Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee certified bear resistant container.

Attractants are any items which have a strong odor and may attract bears and other wildlife, such as food, food containers, scented items (such as soap, lip balm, toothpaste) and refuse.

These restrictions apply to all visitors to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, unless they have a written authorization specifically exempting them from this order or they are carrying out their official duties as a member of a rescue or firefighting team. Attractants do not need to be safely stored if they’re in use, such as cooking or preparing food, or kept under close watch.

Click for Forest Order details: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/superior/notices/?cid=FSEPRD1174552

Below are supplemental answers to questions the FS received in advance of this release and the FS responses:

Q. Why was March included in the policy to hang food or use one of the certified food containers?

A. There is significant variation from year to year in seasonal weather transitions. Since bears have been known to come out of hibernation as early as March, the Superior Wilderness and Wildlife Staff set March 1 as the effective date for the order.


Q. How did the Forest Service let the public know about the changes (mandatory to hang or have a certified container)?

A. A number of organizations work with us to administer permits and provide education to permittees annually. We shared this update with them first and followed it with a press release and publication on our website.


Q. What led to include the entire BWCA vs. specific lakes or areas, as has been done in the past?

A. We want visitors to be diligent about properly storing food at all the times and throughout the BWCAW. Putting orders in place and taking them off for short durations of time or for site specific areas can be confusing and may suggest that there’s no need to be careful with food storage in other parts of the wilderness or when there is no food storage order in place.

Wilderness-wide food storage orders have been implemented in the past. However, this is the first time we have committed to having a wilderness-wide order in place for this length of time (up to two years with the potential to extend) as a preventative measure. The primary goal of the food storage order is to prevent bears and other wildlife from becoming habituated. Properly storing food will help prevent bears from associating humans and campsites as a source of food.


Q. Would the Forest Service consider adding hanging poles or other infrastructure at campsites for hanging food, as is done in National Parks, etc. (similar to fire grates at campsites, one at every site)?

A. We cannot install permanent structures within a federally designated wilderness without justification. If it became necessary to prevent damage to the area, that may provide justification, but our first tool is educating our visitors and changing our behaviors to mitigate that risk.


Q. Will there be a learning curve or adjustment period for this policy as the paddling season begins, or should people be prepared for strict enforcement starting now?

A. Our goal initially is to highlight the importance of all of us doing our due diligence to keep wildlife from becoming habituated. Except for gross violations or repeated violation, we intend to issue warnings for the first year of the order. Fortunately, many BWCAW visitors are already practicing good food storage techniques. The concept isn’t new, we’re just approaching it as a season-long prevention effort, rather than reacting to incidents as they occur.
 
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Frenchy
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05/04/2024 06:40AM  
Thank you for the info. We have always hung our food pack.
 
05/04/2024 08:58AM  
Dehydrated foods first, then frozen foods, fresh foods third, eggs fourth, snacks last.
 
05/04/2024 09:59AM  
Interesting.
 
05/04/2024 10:05AM  
I use an Ursack, so all good but man, I'd hate to go to jail for an improper food hang:-)
 
Minnesotian
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05/04/2024 01:39PM  

So if I am understanding this correctly, if you use a blue barrel, you better hoist that thing up into the sky 12' and 6' away from any tree trunk, huh? Well, I can safely say that will piss off some people.
 
05/04/2024 02:11PM  
I found another similar article. Looks like this has gone official, no matter how people feel about the effectiveness of their own current method. Time for many to adjust I guess.

Paddle and Portage article
 
OMGitsKa
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05/04/2024 02:18PM  
I sleep with one eye open so my food will always be "under on-site visual observance"
 
05/04/2024 03:08PM  
That’s a lot of money, a quick way to make your trip a spendy one.
Tony
 
05/04/2024 03:35PM  
Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee certified bear resistant container don't have to be hung. Ursack is certified so I'm good as well
 
airmorse
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05/04/2024 03:37PM  
So not to stir the pot, just a question.

What do solo paddlers do when portaging. I double portage and will leave the pack with food at one end while taking the canoe and my other pack to the other end of the portage.
 
pastorjsackett
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05/04/2024 04:22PM  
I can hear Cliff Jacobson already weighing in.....
 
HowardSprague
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05/04/2024 04:23PM  
Red Herring Garcia Barrel. I'll keep my coffee & adult beverages in it with a Cliff Bar.
 
05/04/2024 04:33PM  
airmorse: "So not to stir the pot, just a question.


What do solo paddlers do when portaging. I double portage and will leave the pack with food at one end while taking the canoe and my other pack to the other end of the portage. "

Well the letter of the law would mean you would have to carry your food with you at all times or hang at the end of the portage, but I don't see any scenario where a ranger would come by and actually fine you for leaving a pack unattended at the end of a portage trail. They would literally be writing tickets all day long.
 
05/04/2024 04:51PM  
I'm not necessarily against this kind regulation, but $5000 and/or 6 months in jail is an absolutely ridiculous overreach.
 
CoachWalleye74
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05/04/2024 05:40PM  
Some of the clowns involved buy stock in ursack?
 
05/04/2024 05:44PM  
Last time this came around I bought some big ursacks to use inside my barrel on long trips. They aren't color coded like my usual organizers, but they work.

Waiting for my USFS check!
 
05/04/2024 06:05PM  
Minnesotian: "
So if I am understanding this correctly, if you use a blue barrel, you better hoist that thing up into the sky 12' and 6' away from any tree trunk, huh? Well, I can safely say that will piss off some people. "


I think the Forest Service will need to plant a bunch of really fast growing trees that are full of limbs because I have camped in many campsites that have no trees with limbs the correct height and strong enough to hold my food pack at 6' away from the tree.
 
billconner
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05/04/2024 06:15PM  
Wonder if it will help Quetico use.

I am glad the bears agreed to stay in the BWCAW and not wander into the non BWCAW areas of the SNF.

 
05/04/2024 06:29PM  
I sent an email to the forest supervisor’s office regarding the solo canoeing/double portaging question, which is a legitimate concern. I’ll report back here if I receive an answer.
 
tumblehome
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05/04/2024 06:53PM  
bobbernumber3: "Dehydrated foods first, then frozen foods, fresh foods third, eggs fourth, snacks last."


I do tortillas first. They lay flat on the bottom But I agree with the rest.

And to make a lot of people disagree with me. I’ve been on way more than probably 75 trips. I’ve never had a bear issue with my food. Then again, I don’t camp on the bear food highway lakes and I don’t hang my pack. I do, however, tie it to my tent pole with a bell on it just in case.
Tom
 
05/04/2024 07:42PM  
So, you don't hang your food, and you can get a $5,000 fine AND/or 6 months in a Federal prison, likely as a convicted felon, so you may not ever be able to enter Canada again so that a bear doesn't eat your camper food.

One the other hand, you can paddle a canoe, not wear a PFD, fall overboard, have Search and Rescue risk their lives to save you, and not pay a dime or face imprisonment from the Feds?

Not trying to stir the pot, but some priorities seem misplaced. Personally, I use the "Chuck & Duck" method of getting a bear rope that is tied to a rock up over a 12' high branch. My experience has shown it is more likely that I will smack my head with the chucking rock than I will have a bear in my campsite.

Seems to me that the Feds are trying to solve a non-existent problem of a few bears having a bad attitude. It's not like there are a bunch of grizzly bears around there.

Tom
 
05/04/2024 08:17PM  
 
bottomtothetap
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05/04/2024 11:09PM  
I have two trips booked for this year but then ends my BWCA trip career.

Just not worth risk of a $5K fine and 6 months in jail if it's deemed I hung my food too close to the ground or too close to the tree. It's been awesome but this just sucked most of the fun right out of it.
 
Jackfish
Moderator
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05/05/2024 12:49AM  
Well that’s one way to get fewer people to go into the BW. Can you imagine rangers coming into camp, checking your permit, then pulling out their trusty tape measure?

Sorry, your pack is hung only 11’ high and 5’6” from the trunk. Here’s a $5,000 ticket.

Yes, my questions are just as ludicrous as the regulations.
 
05/05/2024 04:50AM  
quark2222: "So, you don't hang your food, and you can get a $5,000 fine AND/or 6 months in a Federal prison, likely as a convicted felon, so you may not ever be able to enter Canada again so that a bear doesn't eat your camper food.


One the other hand, you can paddle a canoe, not wear a PFD, fall overboard, have Search and Rescue risk their lives to save you, and not pay a dime or face imprisonment from the Feds?


Not trying to stir the pot, but some priorities seem misplaced. Personally, I use the "Chuck & Duck" method of getting a bear rope that is tied to a rock up over a 12' high branch. My experience has shown it is more likely that I will smack my head with the chucking rock than I will have a bear in my campsite.


Seems to me that the Feds are trying to solve a non-existent problem of a few bears having a bad attitude. It's not like there are a bunch of grizzly bears around there.


Tom"


It just won't do to hang your pack from a 12' high branch, the bottom of the pack needs to be 12 feet off the ground. That means you probably need a 15' high or higher branch to hang it from.
Good luck finding a campsite with that limb.
 
tumblehome
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05/05/2024 06:23AM  
This order affects the entire boundary of the BWCA.
 
05/05/2024 06:34AM  
Still time to ask for a moderation of terms, you have to ask some who go to the BWCA and are naive in food storage brought this upon the rest of us. Lots of campers out there so called tin horns.
 
airmorse
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05/05/2024 06:52AM  
Pinetree: "Still time to ask for a moderation of terms, you have to ask some whom go to the BWCA and are naive in food storage brought this Apon the rest of us. Lot of campers out there so called tin horns."


Yup what Pinetree said.

I expect additional rules and hefty fines because of the survival man shelters being built too.
 
05/05/2024 07:57AM  
I don’t believe the strict enforcement of this rule will happen, hopefully they educate wrong-doers first. I’d be curious to see the data regarding the number of citations annually issued by the FS, because my bias is that they rarely enforce the rules with citations. Though, enforcement might not be their primary focus. Anecdotally, I feel like I used to see more Rangers in the early 2000s. I made five trips last year and didn’t see any. The last FS Ranger I can remember seeing was in 2007.
 
Savage Voyageur
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05/05/2024 08:58AM  
Two felons talking one day, what are you in for? Robbery, drugs, murder? No I was caught with my Mountain House, beef jerky and Nature Valley granola bars only 6 feet off the ground.

Then there is the $5000.00 fine. Good grief if you were caught killing and poaching bear the fine would be way less.

I’m not saying nothing needs to done, but talk about going overboard! This law needs a serious rewrite.
 
CoachWalleye74
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05/05/2024 11:27AM  
There's no way this stands as currently stated, is there? Completely unenforceable. I say that...but I've seen lots of crazy lately!
 
bottomtothetap
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05/05/2024 12:06PM  
CoachWalleye74: "There's no way this stands as currently stated, is there? Completely unenforceable. I say that...but I've seen lots of crazy lately!"


I do have hope in the words "until rescinded", and a rescension or revision happening when the short-sightedness of this edict becomes evident regarding enforcability, practicality and effectiveness toward solving the real problem, which is the wildlife being harmed because of campers being careless with their food and keeping a messy campsite.

In dozens of trips to the BWCA I have never had an issue with bears. Lucky me? I'm sure that is part of it but I think it mostly stems from being mindful of how we use and store our food. Our campsite is kept clean. We minimize odors by having everything (including the garbage) in a sealed container. We plan for little-to-no leftovers. Food is never brought into the tent. Etc., etc.--these things have all been previously discussed extensively on this forum. Sometimes we hang, sometimes we've stashed, but have always excercized our best situational judgement to create the most reasonable level of resistance against bears and other wildlife (NO method is bear or animal "proof" including following the latest Forest Service order to its exact letter).

My interaction with the rangers has been that they are mostly reasonable and pleasant people whose biggest goals are that you and others have a safe and enjoyable trip and that the resource is preserved as best possible. As Minnesotian also suggested, one would think that they'd be the same way in regards to this order and not focused on issuing citations or enforcing the strictest letter of the law ("let me search that pack to make sure there's no improperly stored lip balm!") However, I'm not going to count on that as I have also run across the exceptions who were individuals that were really feeling their authority and almost seemed dissapointed that they were not catching us doing anything "wrong".

For my trips I've already planned for this year, I will do a bear hang best I can--which at most campsites won't likely meet the new order's specifics--or I may bite the bullet on a "grizzly certified" container (anyone rent them?) to attempt to meet this order. But as earlier posted, unless this changes, I'm then done with the BWCA. Not willing to at best continue going and have this poorly thought-out heavy handedness reduce a lot of the fun or at worst further risk this level of a fine or imprisonment for not having met the order to a particular ranger's satisfaction.

As Jackfish suggested, this is one way to reduce visitors to the BWCA. If this stands, I'll be among those that no longer go.
 
Minnesotian
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05/05/2024 01:02PM  
YaMarVa: "I don’t believe the strict enforcement of this rule will happen, hopefully they educate wrong-doers first."


Agreed. The 5 years and $5000 fine is the sentancing guidline top limit. If someone were to reach this level of punishment, they would have to be doing some real egregious crap like smearing peanut butter on other people's tents, gutting fish in camp and leaving everything there, and overall being a real jerk when/if caught by the rangers.

I think this is going to be a similar rule to the "no alcohol" rules in MN State Parks. It is there to make sure people are motivated to secure their food, keeping a tidy site, and not creating problem bears. If rangers catch someones food not hung correctly, I see them warning/advising them to do better, rather than extreme punishment. But, that assumption is based on the ranger authority being reasonable and not on a power trip.
 
05/05/2024 01:21PM  
This Order will be effective on April 19th, 2024, and shall remain in effect until April 19th, 2026, or until rescinded, whichever occurs first.

I think it will be modified, but maybe at the same time it acts as Shock Treatment telling campers to clean up their act.

been lucky 58 years BWCA camping-zero bear problems or any in camp.
Yes, I had Pine Marten come into camp and steal a fish.

The problem area lakes are usually the same lakes. Like Ensign and Vera. Repeat bears that were trained by campers using that area. Be interesting to breakdown by experience and years of campers and amount of bear problems.
The less a area is used by campers, usually less bear that have been trained.
 
airmorse
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05/05/2024 02:11PM  
Just curious as to how many bears have had to be euthanized because they had become habitual camp robbers.
 
05/05/2024 02:58PM  
Sawbill's website has some good questions and answers about the new regulation. Interesting read about not leaving a food pack at the end of a portage when you are double portaging. Here is the link:

Sawbill News

Tom
 
Wispaddler
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05/05/2024 03:16PM  
I’m thinking you would have to cover the entirety of several campsites with enormous amounts of unwrapped food on the ground to even approach max penalty.Not unusual for regulations to feature gigundo penalties for max offenders. That being said,
I’m a blue barrel user stashing in the bush. Not crazy about this! Seems like just another example of USFS having to add rules to deal with the increased bwca visitors volume plus the poor camping practices by many which are bad for campers and bad for the bears. I am guessing USFS would much prefer to simply depend on people to do a decent job with food by offering them basic voluntary guidelines as they have done for decades, but at some point they have to act on the level of issues they’ve been seeing.
 
OMGitsKa
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05/05/2024 04:58PM  
Minnesotian:
I think this is going to be a similar rule to the "no alcohol" rules in MN State Parks. It is there to make sure people are motivated to secure their food, keeping a tidy site, and not creating problem bears. If rangers catch someones food not hung correctly, I see them warning/advising them to do better, rather than extreme punishment. But, that assumption is based on the ranger authority being reasonable and not on a power trip. "


Agreed on this. Its probably not targeted exactly to the folks here on the forums as much. Like the state park rule its there in place if they need to use it to those ignorant individuals who want to turn the campground into a party. There's lots of serious trippers out there who do not hang, but they also keep a clean and tidy camp
 
straighthairedcurly
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05/05/2024 05:40PM  
quark2222: "Sawbill's website has some good questions and answers about the new regulation. Interesting read about not leaving a food pack at the end of a portage when you are double portaging. Here is the link:


Sawbill News


Tom"


Kudos to Sawbill for this FAQ. Well done and has some good recommendations for people who are used to blue barrels. I also like how they say that wilderness travel has never been about convenience or human preference. A good reminder.

One note to people planning to switch to Ursacks. It is important to use "odor proof" bags inside. While they really aren't odor proof, the goal is to decrease the odor radius. The Opsacks they sell with the Ursacks are terrible in my opinion because the ziplock tends to fail. Smelly Proof brand bags and I have also used the mylar vacuum pack bags when I need a larger size. I love the convenience of the Ursacks...on our group trips, I use one for each type of meal: breakfast, lunch, dinner and color code by carabiner color. I also don't pack liquids in an Ursack. If I need to bring liquids, they go in a bear canister. That way, if a bear did mess with an Ursack they can't puncture a liquid and get a reward.

Even the Rose Lake bear who visited our campsite while we were cooking did NOT return to mess with the Ursacks.
 
deepdish71
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05/05/2024 05:44PM  
airmorse: "Just curious as to how many bears have had to be euthanized because they had become habitual camp robbers."

I’m curious how many bears existed only because they were fed by campers.
 
05/05/2024 06:15PM  
 
05/05/2024 06:38PM  
naturboy12: "I sent an email to the forest supervisor’s office regarding the solo canoeing/double portaging question, which is a legitimate concern. I’ll report back here if I receive an answer. "


From the Sawbill link that quark2222 posted after your post. This was a question Sawbill asked the forest service. I’m sure glad I already switched from blue barrels to bearvaults a few years ago. That would be a PITA and talk about a sure fire way to clog up portages.

Does this apply to portaging? What if I have to double portage?” -Yes, it applies. You cannot leave your food unattended on a portage unless it is in an approved bear resistant container or hung in a tree.
 
05/05/2024 07:28PM  
airmorse: "Just curious as to how many bears have had to be euthanized because they had become habitual camp robbers."


I don't know that answer, but about 10 years ago I was camped on Caribou L (the one south of Clearwater) and had my blue food barrel dragged off by a bear. Totally my bad. Apparently that bear had been coming into campsites for a couple of weeks and creating quite a problem. I was told much later that about two weeks after my incident that bear was actually inside the food closet at Clearwater Outfitters and the outfitter called the USFS and got permission to shoot the bear right there. I still feel bad about that. Taking my food was my fault in that I didn't secure the barrel to a tree or hang it. I don't think taking my food should be a capital punishment for the bear that lives there and I'm just a visitor.
 
05/05/2024 07:30PM  
ducks: "
naturboy12: "I sent an email to the forest supervisor’s office regarding the solo canoeing/double portaging question, which is a legitimate concern. I’ll report back here if I receive an answer. "



From the Sawbill link that quark2222 posted after your post. This was a question Sawbill asked the forest service. I’m sure glad I already switched from blue barrels to bearvaults a few years ago. That would be a PITA and talk about a sure fire way to clog up portages.


Does this apply to portaging? What if I have to double portage?” -Yes, it applies. You cannot leave your food unattended on a portage unless it is in an approved bear-resistant container or hung in a tree."


Has there been one time on a portage in the last 100 years a single bear problem? Yogi Bear and Boo-boo were not that sneaky even.
End of camping in burnt areas.

What if you sink your food in a waterproof container in the lake? That would be better than any tree.
 
Chieflonewatie
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05/05/2024 07:41PM  
This is just dumb.
 
05/05/2024 07:51PM  
Disposing of fish remains at least 200 feet from any campsite, portage, trail and shoreline is a requirement in the BWCA and can help reduce bear interactions as well.

I still say fish caught out of a certain lake, put the remains back into the lake away from shore, and break the air bladder.
Present fish disposal rules are a bear problem waiting to happen. The MN DNR FISHERIES for 60 years when doing a lake survey will dispose of dead fish right back into the lake. Zero new nutrients added.
 
straighthairedcurly
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05/05/2024 07:52PM  
Pinetree: "
ducks: "
naturboy12: "I sent an email to the forest supervisor’s office regarding the solo canoeing/double portaging question, which is a legitimate concern. I’ll report back here if I receive an answer. "




From the Sawbill link that quark2222 posted after your post. This was a question Sawbill asked the forest service. I’m sure glad I already switched from blue barrels to bearvaults a few years ago. That would be a PITA and talk about a sure fire way to clog up portages.



Does this apply to portaging? What if I have to double portage?” -Yes, it applies. You cannot leave your food unattended on a portage unless it is in an approved bear-resistant container or hung in a tree."



Has there been one time on a portage in the last 100 years a single bear problem? Yogi Bear and Boo-boo were not that sneaky even.

"


Yes, actually, the Rose Lake Bear is extremely clever about unattended packs on the Stairway portage and there are numerous cases of them being dragged into the woods while the campers were headed back for a 2nd load. In addition, I came across a disasterous scene of food that had been ripped into and a pack shredded just off the trail on one of the portages between Mountain and Moose.
 
05/05/2024 07:52PM  
I think I'll be practicing this technique for quite a while before my September trip

 
gravelroad
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05/05/2024 08:01PM  
straighthairedcurly: "
Pinetree: "
ducks: "
naturboy12: "I sent an email to the forest supervisor’s office regarding the solo canoeing/double portaging question, which is a legitimate concern. I’ll report back here if I receive an answer. "




From the Sawbill link that quark2222 posted after your post. This was a question Sawbill asked the forest service. I’m sure glad I already switched from blue barrels to bearvaults a few years ago. That would be a PITA and talk about a sure fire way to clog up portages.



Does this apply to portaging? What if I have to double portage?” -Yes, it applies. You cannot leave your food unattended on a portage unless it is in an approved bear-resistant container or hung in a tree."




Has there been one time on a portage in the last 100 years a single bear problem? Yogi Bear and Boo-boo were not that sneaky even.


"



Yes, actually, the Rose Lake Bear is extremely clever about unattended packs on the Stairway portage and there are numerous cases of them being dragged into the woods while the campers were headed back for a 2nd load. In addition, I came across a disasterous scene of food that had been ripped into and a pack shredded just off the trail on one of the portages between Mountain and Moose. "


And this notorious example:

Bear Steals Camper's Pack Containing Firearm In BWCA
 
Morchella
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05/05/2024 08:11PM  
straighthairedcurly: "
Pinetree: "
ducks: "
naturboy12: "I sent an email to the forest supervisor’s office regarding the solo canoeing/double portaging question, which is a legitimate concern. I’ll report back here if I receive an answer. "




From the Sawbill link that quark2222 posted after your post. This was a question Sawbill asked the forest service. I’m sure glad I already switched from blue barrels to bearvaults a few years ago. That would be a PITA and talk about a sure fire way to clog up portages.



Does this apply to portaging? What if I have to double portage?” -Yes, it applies. You cannot leave your food unattended on a portage unless it is in an approved bear-resistant container or hung in a tree."




Has there been one time on a portage in the last 100 years a single bear problem? Yogi Bear and Boo-boo were not that sneaky even.


"



Yes, actually, the Rose Lake Bear is extremely clever about unattended packs on the Stairway portage and there are numerous cases of them being dragged into the woods while the campers were headed back for a 2nd load. In addition, I came across a disasterous scene of food that had been ripped into and a pack shredded just off the trail on one of the portages between Mountain and Moose. "


I have also heard that the Rose Lake bear will steal food packs on portages and from campsites around the area. It's a shame that bear has become so confident and attached to campers for food.
 
05/05/2024 08:15PM  
"Has there been one time on a portage in the last 100 years a single bear problem? Yogi Bear and Boo-boo were not that sneaky even.
End of camping in burnt areas."

Yes, many times. Next time to you run into Old Scout, ask him to tell you about his run in on the portage to Polly with a bear that dragged his food pack into the woods.

Also, the Clearwater bear of 2013 actually got the USFS rangers' lunch that was left on the landing at the Clearwater to Caribou portage while the rangers were on the trail looking for the bear. They came back to find it in their boat dining on their sandwiches.

Definitely happens on portages.
 
05/05/2024 08:24PM  
Do these qualify as a bear-resistant containers that can be left on the ground? If they do maybe it won't be that bad, pretty light containers bear vaults


Certified
 
05/05/2024 08:39PM  
Pinetree: "Do these qualify as a bear-resistant containers that can be left on the ground? If they do maybe it won't be that bad, pretty light containers bear vaults



Certified "

Yes, those are approved.
 
05/05/2024 09:40PM  
gravelroad: "
straighthairedcurly: "
Pinetree: "
ducks: "
naturboy12: "I sent an email to the forest supervisor’s office regarding the solo canoeing/double portaging question, which is a legitimate concern. I’ll report back here if I receive an answer. "





From the Sawbill link that quark2222 posted after your post. This was a question Sawbill asked the forest service. I’m sure glad I already switched from blue barrels to bearvaults a few years ago. That would be a PITA and talk about a sure fire way to clog up portages.




Does this apply to portaging? What if I have to double portage?” -Yes, it applies. You cannot leave your food unattended on a portage unless it is in an approved bear-resistant container or hung in a tree."




Has there been one time on a portage in the last 100 years a single bear problem? Yogi Bear and Boo-boo were not that sneaky even.



"




Yes, actually, the Rose Lake Bear is extremely clever about unattended packs on the Stairway portage and there are numerous cases of them being dragged into the woods while the campers were headed back for a 2nd load. In addition, I came across a disasterous scene of food that had been ripped into and a pack shredded just off the trail on one of the portages between Mountain and Moose. "



And this notorious example:


Bear Steals Camper's Pack Containing Firearm In BWCA "
An oldie but a goodie when the bear got kanoes everclear on the gaskin to Henson portage

I also remember the Sawbill area having a bear that would hang out at portages around 15 years ago. That one was also known for cutting ropes to get packs down and getting into vehicles in the campground. It was not afraid of people at all. That’s when Bill Hanson told me “there are bears and then there are naughty bears”
 
Dolpho
member (26)member
  
05/05/2024 10:29PM  
Setting the discussion of the merits of this new law/rule aside, when exactly were we to be made aware of this change during the permitting process? If the USFS is serious about this then IMHO this rule change should have been made abundantly clear when permitting for this season began in January.

I just went back and reviewed all of the required videos and associated guideline documents to see if anything new was shown. Bear approved containers and hanging are spelled out including not leaving food packs unattended on portages. However it does not state that this is a hard rule that carries a substantial penalty now.

I'm a solo paddler with a permit for Saganaga for May 16th. Plan on spending one night on Sag before entering Quetico for 14 nights. Plan was to then come back and spend time on Red Rock, Alpine, and Seagull until my food is depleted.

So does the USFS plan on telling me when I arrive to pick up my permit in Grand Marias the day before entry? Maybe I can drive around Grand Marias looking for every Ursack in town to try and repack my food the day before entry.

According to this I can't leave my food pack unattended between those 3 lakes. My food pack is pretty substantial for 3 weeks. I believe it would take 4 or maybe 5 Ursack Almighty's to hold all my food. Those cost 170 dollars each.

Again forgetting the merits of the requirement, it's hard for me to not think of the USFS as either inept or not serious about enforcement. Everyone getting a permit should have been made aware of the change before deciding to even get a permit considering the change. Finding out about this on a bulletin board, outfitter news letter, or newspaper article doesn't qualify as it is not part of the official permitting process. Not everyone reads these sources.

If I have missed some documentation from the USFS that tells about the change during permitting please correct me. Thanks

End of rant.



 
05/06/2024 06:27AM  
Morchella: "
straighthairedcurly: "Yes, actually, the Rose Lake Bear is extremely clever about unattended packs on the Stairway portage and there are numerous cases of them being dragged into the woods while the campers were headed back for a 2nd load. In addition, I came across a disasterous scene of food that had been ripped into and a pack shredded just off the trail on one of the portages between Mountain and Moose. "



I have also heard that the Rose Lake bear will steal food packs on portages and from campsites around the area. It's a shame that bear has become so confident and attached to campers for food."


Last year going in on the W Bearskin/Duncan portage we met a group who had just come upon their food pack being pillaged by that bear at the Duncan/Rose portage. I don't think he got any food but he did shred the shoulder straps on the pack which made things difficult for them. Headed back there in July and have been thinking about how to pack things so I can easily take the Bear Vaults out of the pack at portages so that if we do run into him he keeps busy with the vaults instead of destroying my pack.

This particular bear has been doing this for a several years from what I can tell, so it doesn't seem like they go after them very often.
 
tumblehome
distinguished member(2965)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/06/2024 07:06AM  
Dolpho: "

If I have missed some documentation from the USFS that tells about the change during permitting please correct me. Thanks


End of rant.

"

No you got it about right. The USFS made a substantial rule change with stiff penalties and are not telling anyone about it except word of mouth. Cuff ‘em and stuff ‘em.
Tom
 
airmorse
distinguished member(3428)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/06/2024 07:14AM  
For those who self outfit and are not on any board sites like this one, I see this as a potential trip ender at a ranger station when you pick up your permit. And what about those who bring fresh food only that needs to be kept cool/cold. The Ursack is geared for those who bring dehydrated food.

It would be nice for the USFS to send out an email to all those that hold current reservations, "oh by the way here is a new rule...".

We have always used a pulley system to hang our food, toiletries and trash. Never had any issues with that system. Haven't seen a bear in maybe ten years. Last time was on Alpine.
 
bottomtothetap
distinguished member(1047)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/06/2024 08:06AM  
Dolpho: "Setting the discussion of the merits of this new law/rule aside, when exactly were we to be made aware of this change during the permitting process? If the USFS is serious about this then IMHO this rule change should have been made abundantly clear when permitting for this season began in January.


I just went back and reviewed all of the required videos and associated guideline documents to see if anything new was shown. Bear approved containers and hanging are spelled out including not leaving food packs unattended on portages. However it does not state that this is a hard rule that carries a substantial penalty now.


I'm a solo paddler with a permit for Saganaga for May 16th. Plan on spending one night on Sag before entering Quetico for 14 nights. Plan was to then come back and spend time on Red Rock, Alpine, and Seagull until my food is depleted.


So does the USFS plan on telling me when I arrive to pick up my permit in Grand Marias the day before entry? Maybe I can drive around Grand Marias looking for every Ursack in town to try and repack my food the day before entry.


According to this I can't leave my food pack unattended between those 3 lakes. My food pack is pretty substantial for 3 weeks. I believe it would take 4 or maybe 5 Ursack Almighty's to hold all my food. Those cost 170 dollars each.


Again forgetting the merits of the requirement, it's hard for me to not think of the USFS as either inept or not serious about enforcement. Everyone getting a permit should have been made aware of the change before deciding to even get a permit considering the change. Finding out about this on a bulletin board, outfitter news letter, or newspaper article doesn't qualify as it is not part of the official permitting process. Not everyone reads these sources.


If I have missed some documentation from the USFS that tells about the change during permitting please correct me. Thanks


End of rant.



"


+1

I don't think it's so much of a rant-- you are raising an excellent point and asking some legitimate questions.
 
AlexanderSupertramp
distinguished member (394)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/06/2024 08:33AM  
I have seen more bears in my alley in Duluth than I have in Boundary Waters. Come to think of it, I have never actually had a bear encounter in the BWCA but have had several on trails around home. Should I hoist my trash bins up on the telephone wires when I put them out the night before?

Though the BWCA is not nearly the most travelled wilderness area, I am curious if this order will spark the introduction of more Ursack-like products, should the order remain in effect. Most of those approved on the IGBC website seem super impractical for any sort of tripping. Haven't a clue what it takes to get a product certified to be bear resistant, but maybe we'll see some larger insulated bear resistant carrying options come to market? Perhaps Ursack will start offering larger options that are insulated? Who knows. I think the only solution for those wanting insulated containers without hanging them is to take the largest Ursack option and self-insulate it, while carrying another one for your other non-perishable items.

What's maybe the most frustrating part about this is that they drop this out there right at the moment the season kicks off and not a few months ago so those who don't want to, or can't hang a bag, could plan ahead? BVs and Ursacks aren't cheap, lots of folks probably didn't budget $100 (for 1) of these, let alone 5 or 6 that they may need on a group trip. Renting is fine, but will outfitters now have shortages of these forcing people to purchase them anyway?

Bad form by the USFS. But then again it's a US government agency so I'm not sure what I was expecting.

 
bpaddle
senior member (92)senior membersenior member
  
05/06/2024 10:16AM  
Just a question about dealing with this....since you would need a pack to carry an Ursack as the ones I saw online do not have any kind of carrying straps, what if you put an Ursack in a blue barrel for carrying and water repellency? Would that need to be hung?
 
AlexanderSupertramp
distinguished member (394)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/06/2024 10:25AM  
bpaddle: "Just a question about dealing with this....since you would need a pack to carry an Ursack as the ones I saw online do not have any kind of carrying straps, what if you put an Ursack in a blue barrel for carrying and water repellency? Would that need to be hung?"


Technically no, since at least one layer of your food storage system (with all food inside) is still certified. But a passing ranger isn't going to know that you have a Ursack inside your blue barrel, should you not be at camp to show them. You could sharpie marker a note one the outside I guess? Not sure they would buy it though. I put my Ursack inside my portage pack for travel, but I pack pretty light and it's not a burden on space.

For water repellency in Ursacks I use turkey bags, usually two for extra durability. You can also trim down pack liners to fit inside and those are thicker, or you can go the boutique route and get the Opsaks.
 
Duckman
distinguished member(527)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/06/2024 10:38AM  
I’ve always been a stasher away from camp.

Guess some ursacks are in my future.
 
05/06/2024 11:55AM  









Photo from Ursack Website:

It’s interesting what areas allow Ursacks and what areas don’t. The yellow areas are questionable. It must be up to area Managers.

 
deepdish71
distinguished member (250)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/06/2024 02:28PM  
How about an ursack that fits around a blue barrel?
 
05/06/2024 02:30PM  
deepdish71: "How about an ursack that fits around a blue barrel?"


Better contact their design team. Or find a lot smaller blue barrel...
 
05/06/2024 02:50PM  
I wrote the BearVault folks a couple years ago practically begging them to design a 50L BearVault, after the USFS pulled this the first time. I know they can't just scale up the design and have to reinforce it differently, but it's annoying to see that there still aren't any good IGBC-certified options anywhere near the size of the blue barrels.

As a result of this order, I just forked over $170 for an Ursack Major 2XL and some plastic bags, after tax, to augment my existing Ursack investments (totaling over $400 now). I'm no good at hanging and I'd bet most of the people applauding this order aren't either. It's quite unfortunate that you have to fork over a big chunk of cash to avoid having to hang a bag now, but thankfully it's an expenditure I can begrudgingly justify.
 
scottiebaldwin
distinguished member (213)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/06/2024 05:09PM  
CoachWalleye74: "Some of the clowns involved buy stock in ursack? "


Yup, Follow the money.
 
EmmaMorgan
senior member (64)senior membersenior member
  
05/06/2024 06:07PM  
I just ran across the USFS news release on this issue and they indicate they’re only planning to issue warnings during the first year, “except for gross violations or repeat violations.” Food storage order news release
 
billconner
distinguished member(8654)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
  
05/06/2024 06:41PM  
Still wonder about bear fences. IGBC certified. in the 10 pound range. Could set up around food area and not worry about picking up.

And lots of coolers are IGBC certified. Looks like about a 5 pound penalty to go from 30 liter blue barrel to 32 qt cooler. Would take a little work to match it with a pack.

Both lots less expensive than ursaks and bear vaults for same volume.
 
05/06/2024 07:21PM  
billconner: "Still wonder about bear fences. IGBC certified. in the 10 pound range. Could set up around food area and not worry about picking up.


And lots of coolers are IGBC certified. Looks like about a 5 pound penalty to go from 30 liter blue barrel to 32 qt cooler. Would take a little work to match it with a pack.


Both lots less expensive than ursaks and bear vaults for same volume."


Never mind . . .

Tom
 
Savage Voyageur
distinguished member(14435)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
  
05/06/2024 07:56PM  
billconner: "And lots of coolers are IGBC certified. Looks like about a 5 pound penalty to go from 30 liter blue barrel to 32 qt cooler. Would take a little work to match it with a pack."


I never that of taking a cooler but this might be another option for someone who already has a bear certified cooler on certain trips like base camping on an entry lake or one short portage. I just checked my two Yeti tundra coolers, size 35 and 65. They both are certified for Grizzly bears. I leave my coolers outside our camper locked with two locks and a cable lock to the picnic table legs. I would only consider the Tundra 35 on a trip. The 65 is a beast of a cooler. Possibly the Tundra 65 for a large group with a 2 person carry. I have seen people on portages humping in coolers and said I never wanted to be that guy. But as I read the new law a Yeti cooler would be an option because it’s rated IGBC. For those wondering to make these coolers bear proof you need 2 Yeti bear proof locks on the lid, a Yeti bracket, and a cable lock for putting around a tree so the bear doesn’t drag it off. So an extra $65.00 for the locking system. Just a suggestion for someone who maybe wants to bring some fresh food/meat.
 
05/06/2024 08:42PM  
I know this has been a thing for a few years but I haven’t done a trip to BW in a few. Going in May 20. What do you with the ursack, buy a few, they look small, depending on how many are in the group and then pack these in a regular pack for portaging etc. How does that work when you are in camp, these are the type of container you don’t have to hang, keep those in the pack like usual. How many do you typically need for one person on a 5 day trip. I always stashed my food pack and never had a problem, but no van do no more. Thx
 
05/06/2024 08:59PM  
scat: "I know this has been a thing for a few years but I haven’t done a trip to BW in a few. Going in May 20. What do you with the ursack, buy a few, they look small, depending on how many are in the group and then pack these in a regular pack for portaging etc. How does that work when you are in camp, these are the type of container you don’t have to hang, keep those in the pack like usual. How many do you typically need for one person on a 5 day trip. I always stashed my food pack and never had a problem, but no van do no more. Thx"


The Ursack Major 2XL is 30 liters. I usually bring a 10gal barrel for 2 people for 8-9 days, which works out to about 40 liters. Since the bag stretches and cinches, you may not fit the full 30L in it, and it's highly recommended to use smell-resistant bags like OPsak or Smelly Proof, which ultimately wastes more space as you'll need several for a 30L bag. I have used 2 in my Major XL before, so doubling the space for a 2XL, 3-4 OPsaks doesn't sound too far off. Those ain't cheap either unfortunately. In the end I think I will use my Major 2XL and Major XL for myself for 9 days, maybe with some room to spare. Stuff like peanut oil takes up a lot of room. Maybe some things can go outside the OPsak to avoid having to buy so many. The zippers on them suck too and usually I need to buy new ones every couple years.

To secure them around camp, just tie them to a tree at head height, above several branches or one big branch. I cinch the bag as tight as I can, with a triple overhand knot (square knot with an extra pass), and then put the bag up in front of me, run both ties around the tree in opposite directions and back towards me, then I tie a triple overhand knot (or quadruple), using all available rope, then tug on it all to cinch it up. The main goal with tying it up is so a bear can't stomp on it, so you want it to stay up there if a bear is pawing at it. But you don't need to actually hoist it up (unless you really want to).

And yeah for transport, depending on your group size, you might just have a pack full of Ursacks. For a 5 day solo trip I just threw them in with my gear but it was a hefty pack. For my upcoming 9 day solo I'm going to bring a small dedicated pack for them.

Keep the BearVault BV500 in mind as well if you're just going to throw them in a pack, as it would prevent stuff from getting crushed in the pack, if you love your crunchy snacks as much as I do. BV500s are quite a bit cheaper than an Ursack Major 2XL, but also over twice as heavy, and don't get smaller as you clear food out of them.
 
05/06/2024 09:23PM  
Wow, thank you very much JD, that was very informative. Now I’ll have write that down or figure out how to print it. Does seem like it could get expensive quick for a 5 person crew which is what we have. Huh, gonna have to think this over. Thx again
 
05/07/2024 06:09AM  
Has anybody had issues with rodents with the regular Ursacks? Seems odd to me that mice would be able to get into those. The AllMighty versions are a lot more expensive and heavier.
 
airmorse
distinguished member(3428)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/07/2024 06:57AM  
JD: "
scat: "I know this has been a thing for a few years but I haven’t done a trip to BW in a few. Going in May 20. What do you with the ursack, buy a few, they look small, depending on how many are in the group and then pack these in a regular pack for portaging etc. How does that work when you are in camp, these are the type of container you don’t have to hang, keep those in the pack like usual. How many do you typically need for one person on a 5 day trip. I always stashed my food pack and never had a problem, but no van do no more. Thx"



The Ursack Major 2XL is 30 liters. I usually bring a 10gal barrel for 2 people for 8-9 days, which works out to about 40 liters. Since the bag stretches and cinches, you may not fit the full 30L in it, and it's highly recommended to use smell-resistant bags like OPsak or Smelly Proof, which ultimately wastes more space as you'll need several for a 30L bag. I have used 2 in my Major XL before, so doubling the space for a 2XL, 3-4 OPsaks doesn't sound too far off. Those ain't cheap either unfortunately. In the end I think I will use my Major 2XL and Major XL for myself for 9 days, maybe with some room to spare. Stuff like peanut oil takes up a lot of room. Maybe some things can go outside the OPsak to avoid having to buy so many. The zippers on them suck too and usually I need to buy new ones every couple years.


To secure them around camp, just tie them to a tree at head height, above several branches or one big branch. I cinch the bag as tight as I can, with a triple overhand knot (square knot with an extra pass), and then put the bag up in front of me, run both ties around the tree in opposite directions and back towards me, then I tie a triple overhand knot (or quadruple), using all available rope, then tug on it all to cinch it up. The main goal with tying it up is so a bear can't stomp on it, so you want it to stay up there if a bear is pawing at it. But you don't need to actually hoist it up (unless you really want to).


And yeah for transport, depending on your group size, you might just have a pack full of Ursacks. For a 5 day solo trip I just threw them in with my gear but it was a hefty pack. For my upcoming 9 day solo I'm going to bring a small dedicated pack for them.


Keep the BearVault BV500 in mind as well if you're just going to throw them in a pack, as it would prevent stuff from getting crushed in the pack, if you love your crunchy snacks as much as I do. BV500s are quite a bit cheaper than an Ursack Major 2XL, but also over twice as heavy, and don't get smaller as you clear food out of them."


Thanks JD.

I ended up buying a Ursack Major2XL and just 1 Opsack. With your info, looks like I should buy another Ursack and several more Opsaks.

This is ridiculous. All because a few bad apples refuse to play by the rules.
 
NotLight
distinguished member(1268)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/07/2024 07:41AM  
Change the penalty: offenders must clean out the food waste that people dump in the thunder boxes.


ZaSquatch: "I just saw this on reddit but hadn't seen it here.

It appears to be a more formalized food storage order for Superior NF.

I read it as no longer a recommendation to hang or use IGBC containers, but now a requirement, at least for the next 2 open water seasons.

https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/superior/notices/?cid=FSEPRD1174552"
 
AlexanderSupertramp
distinguished member (394)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/07/2024 08:02AM  
plmn: "Has anybody had issues with rodents with the regular Ursacks? Seems odd to me that mice would be able to get into those. The AllMighty versions are a lot more expensive and heavier."


As long as you dont overpack them, they will cinch up tight enough to keep rodents out. I like to actually wrap a loop/knot around the top after cinching it shut, but sometimes I dont have enough space to do that until the second or third day when some food is gone. Small insects can still get through the tiny gaps on top, but that's what liners are for. I have never found anything more than a couple ants crawling between the sack and the liner, never anything in the liner.
 
05/07/2024 08:16AM  
OneMatch: "I think I'll be practicing this technique for quite a while before my September trip


"


So will you be practicing throwing rocks and firewood as suggested? If the bear chases you up a tree I hear there are other techniques one can use to deter it or piss it off further.....aim for the eyes. :)

So what happens to these "problem" bears that have been accustomed to raiding food packs? I know bears are omnivores and will eat what they can get. So is the thought that the bears will just get frustrated after seeing our packs hung high or our ursacks and go back to eating strictly berries and leaves? Can a "problem" bear be "rehabilitated" to act like a wild bear and avoid humans? Or do "problem" bears just see a hung pack as a puzzle they need to solve to get their reward? I understand we as humans are the real "problem" that have, through our carelessness, trained some bears to eat our food, but once a bear has a taste of our peanuts and chocolate, will it ever go back to the way it was before?

 
05/07/2024 08:46AM  
I wonder if outfitters and any BWCA groups had any input on this change. The rule change good or bad is following what is in place in grizzly country.
Also it is a reaction from the USFS and National parks to the naive crowd of visitors there getting with zero common sense.
Like last week a tourist goes and kicked a bison in Yellowstone on purpose and gets charged by the bison. I suppose he did it to get a picture.
My point is we all suffer the consequences caused by others. Maybe stronger peer pressure, better outfitter preparation on new clientes?
 
MarshallPrime
distinguished member (434)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/07/2024 08:53AM  
So are they going to have Rangers out at night going around in the dark checking on campsites? Really large flashlights? That is the only time we leave our packs unattended. We put them under a canoe with paddles and pots on top to wake us with an issue. We have never had a bear mess with our canoe/packs in 19 trips or my buddys (on trips Ive not been on) for 38 trips between the 4 guys. The wind has knocked down the paddle and woken us up MANY more times than the zero times bears have. 57 total trips with zero bear issues.

We take the food with us on day trips. If the food is at camp, we are at camp.

The other issue is many campsites have NO TREES that have the limbs to support our food packs ESPECIALLY on the 1st few days of the trip. They are very heavy and these BW trees are not like what we have in Indiana with Oaks and big maples all over.
I see a lot of damage coming.

 
airmorse
distinguished member(3428)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/07/2024 09:30AM  
MarshallPrime: "So are they going to have Rangers out at night going around in the dark checking on campsites? Really large flashlights? That is the only time we leave our packs unattended. We put them under a canoe with paddles and pots on top to wake us with an issue. We have never had a bear mess with our canoe/packs in 19 trips or my buddys (on trips Ive not been on) for 38 trips between the 4 guys. The wind has knocked down the paddle and woken us up MANY more times than the zero times bears have. 57 total trips with zero bear issues.

We take the food with us on day trips. If the food is at camp, we are at camp.

The other issue is many campsites have NO TREES that have the limbs to support our food packs ESPECIALLY on the 1st few days of the trip. They are very heavy and these BW trees are not like what we have in Indiana with Oaks and big maples all over.
I see a lot of damage coming.

"

To add to your last question, what about burn areas where the campsites are open but there are no trees to hang.
 
05/07/2024 09:33AM  
MarshallPrime: "The other issue is many campsites have NO TREES that have the limbs to support our food packs ESPECIALLY on the 1st few days of the trip. They are very heavy and these BW trees are not like what we have in Indiana with Oaks and big maples all over.

I see a lot of damage coming."


The big trees around our well-used camp last year didn't have any branches until 15' up or so. I don't think people would be sawing them off that high. My bet is that hanging food either broke them or damaged the bark over the decades to the point that they died.
 
05/07/2024 09:35AM  
MarshallPrime: "...We put them (food packs) under a canoe with paddles and pots on top to wake us with an issue. We have never had a bear mess with our canoe/packs..."


I employed this same approach for my first 15+ trips in the early 2000s. Never had a problem either. I now have a BV and still stash it under the canoe at night.
 
05/07/2024 10:35AM  
Seems like I'm alone here in my opinion, but I am totally fine with this. Many other wilderness areas, National Parks, National Forests, etc. require the same or more stringent food storage. I'll change my practice and move on, no big deal. The standard I have to meet for compliance is really not that high. And if it means fewer problematic human-bear interactions and fewer euthanized bears, then great.

Also, I find the idea that the USFS or FS employees are doing this to somehow profit is comical. If they wanted to generate more revenue, they would increase the permit fees. And if they wanted to line their pockets, there are much more lucrative ways to do that then buying Ursack and BearVault stock.
 
sgthulka
member (13)member
  
05/07/2024 10:44AM  
As a society, when are we going to learn not to give power to a bunch of people who will make it their life's work to find new ways to exert authority over us? Also, who gave them the ability to change a rule and create laws that are felonies overnight?

Some of you people need to really think hard about how you helped enable situations like this through your voting creating this monster.

On a side note, remember that the Bear hunting license lottery submission date for the whole area was May 3rd. If you did not get it submitted your only chance to kill these "at risk" bears within the BWCA legally is by sniping a unclaimed license on August 6th at the MN DNR.
 
05/07/2024 10:45AM  
geotramper: "Seems like I'm alone here in my opinion, but I am totally fine with this. Many other wilderness areas, National Parks, National Forests, etc. require the same or more stringent food storage. I'll change my practice and move on, no big deal. The standard I have to meet for compliance is really not that high. And if it means fewer problematic human-bear interactions and fewer euthanized bears, then great.


Also, I find the idea that the USFS or FS employees are doing this to somehow profit is comical. If they wanted to generate more revenue, they would increase the permit fees. And if they wanted to line their pockets, there are much more lucrative ways to do that then buying Ursack and BearVault stock. "


some of it is just the change, tradition, much of it will be the same, we always have hung are food bag. I did order just now the 500 Bear Vault.
 
Sthisey
  
05/07/2024 10:55AM  
Solo means ultralight single carry and shorter stays, or tying my ursack to a tree at the end of each portage. At least here in Yellowstone they have hang poles at backcountry sites as tree hangs usually do not work effectively. Nothing like puting the cart before the horse and waiting until a week before fishing opener to release the order.
 
eyepaddle
senior member (73)senior membersenior member
  
05/07/2024 10:55AM  
We take 2 BWJ cooler packs and a dry food pack, family of 5 for 10+ days. I've never hung a pack. I use the Cliff Jacobson "stash in the woods well away from camp" method - over 20 years, never had a bear issue. I can't imagine trying to hang one of the cooler packs - those suckers get HEAVY. Plus...that means I'll need to fine THREE good trees to hang my 3 food packs, yikes! Anyone else have ideas / plans for what to do with their cooler packs??
 
toastedmarshmallow12
member (31)member
  
05/07/2024 11:07AM  
naturboy12: "I sent an email to the forest supervisor’s office regarding the solo canoeing/double portaging question, which is a legitimate concern. I’ll report back here if I receive an answer. "


Read their faq. They aren't going to be jerks about it.
 
Samsquatch
member (26)member
  
05/07/2024 11:10AM  
That's just great. You hear that, Ed? Bears!

I used a Bear Vault last year and found it handy. I might just purchase one now this regulation is in place.
 
05/07/2024 11:13AM  
eyepaddle: "We take 2 BWJ cooler packs and a dry food pack, family of 5 for 10+ days. I've never hung a pack. I use the Cliff Jacobson "stash in the woods well away from camp" method - over 20 years, never had a bear issue. I can't imagine trying to hang one of the cooler packs - those suckers get HEAVY. Plus...that means I'll need to fine THREE good trees to hang my 3 food packs, yikes! Anyone else have ideas / plans for what to do with their cooler packs?? "


Buy a Yetti or other IGBC certified cooler and get the proper locks for it.
 
Tomcat
distinguished member(707)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/07/2024 11:19AM  
geotramper: "Seems like I'm alone here in my opinion, but I am totally fine with this. Many other wilderness areas, National Parks, National Forests, etc. require the same or more stringent food storage. I'll change my practice and move on, no big deal. The standard I have to meet for compliance is really not that high. And if it means fewer problematic human-bear interactions and fewer euthanized bears, then great. "


You are not alone.

I believe in the rule of law and I make an effort to understand and comply with regulations. Compliance can be inconvenient and may require compromise but the information and resources are available for success.
 
05/07/2024 11:24AM  
toastedmarshmallow12: "
naturboy12: "I sent an email to the forest supervisor’s office regarding the solo canoeing/double portaging question, which is a legitimate concern. I’ll report back here if I receive an answer. "



Well your going to look stupid. Its stated that its not required while food is being transported. Maybe take rhe time to read before reacting "


You are in the wrong, feel free to read here, as posted and discussed in this thread already after my post. If you’ve found a source verifying what you say is true, please post a link. Sawbill News

Taken right from the Forest Service Website:
In effect March 1-November 30 each year, except while being prepared, consumed, or under on-site visual observance, all food, food containers, scented items (such as soap, lip balm, toothpaste) and refuse shall be suspended at least 12 feet above the surface of the ground and not less than 6 feet horizontally from the trunk of a tree, or stored in an Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee certified bear resistant container. 36 C.F.R. § 261.58 (cc).
 
Papinator
distinguished member (396)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/07/2024 11:27AM  
OneMatch: "I think I'll be practicing this technique for quite a while before my September trip


"


This works very well, I utilize a pully in the middle for the pack so you can tether the line and raise and lower the pack at will.
 
MikeinMpls
distinguished member(1359)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/07/2024 11:27AM  
eyepaddle: "We take 2 BWJ cooler packs and a dry food pack, family of 5 for 10+ days. I've never hung a pack. I use the Cliff Jacobson "stash in the woods well away from camp" method - over 20 years, never had a bear issue. I can't imagine trying to hang one of the cooler packs - those suckers get HEAVY. Plus...that means I'll need to fine THREE good trees to hang my 3 food packs, yikes! Anyone else have ideas / plans for what to do with their cooler packs?? "


I use Cliff's method, too. I don't plan on changing much in the future...we occasionally do a somewhat half-hearted hanging of the pack, maybe we'll try harder.

Mike

 
bottomtothetap
distinguished member(1047)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/07/2024 11:29AM  
toastedmarshmallow12: "
naturboy12: "I sent an email to the forest supervisor’s office regarding the solo canoeing/double portaging question, which is a legitimate concern. I’ll report back here if I receive an answer. "



Well your going to look stupid. Its stated that its not required while food is being transported. Maybe take rhe time to read before reacting "


The question was specifically put to the Forest Service with this response:

“Does this apply to portaging? What if I have to double portage?” -Yes, it applies. You cannot leave your food unattended on a portage unless it is in an approved bear resistant container or hung in a tree."

Maybe "your" a little quick to judge?
 
MikeinMpls
distinguished member(1359)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/07/2024 11:32AM  
MarshallPrime: We put them under a canoe with paddles and pots on top to wake us with an issue. We have never had a bear mess with our canoe/packs in 19 trips or my buddys (on trips Ive not been on) for 38 trips between the 4 guys.
"


I've heard of trippers doing this, but I've been very leery of this approach. I fear a bear putting a hole in my canoe...then I have no food and no way of getting out.

We use the pots-and-pans-and-rocks early-warning detection system...elementary to be sure. But at least we won't lose the canoe.

Mike
 
05/07/2024 11:41AM  
Tomcat: "
geotramper: "Seems like I'm alone here in my opinion, but I am totally fine with this. Many other wilderness areas, National Parks, National Forests, etc. require the same or more stringent food storage. I'll change my practice and move on, no big deal. The standard I have to meet for compliance is really not that high. And if it means fewer problematic human-bear interactions and fewer euthanized bears, then great. "



You are not alone.


I believe in the rule of law and I make an effort to understand and comply with regulations. Compliance can be inconvenient and may require compromise but the information and resources are available for success. "


The problem is not the regulation itself. I was already complying, for the most part. It's implementing a regulation with felony-level consequences at the last minute and without making hardly any effort to notify those who will be visiting. It's the kind of overbearing overreach that democratic societies should not tolerate. In what world does 6 months in prison make sense for improperly storing your own food?

I'm amazed at the attitude of some people I've seen on social media. "Well they SAY they won't strictly enforce these ridiculous penalties that they enshrined into law so it's OK". No, it's not OK. If they don't mean to ever enforce them there would be no reason to have them.

I believe in the rule of law as well. But only when that law is enacted in a fair and just manner.
 
05/07/2024 12:02PM  
geotramper: "I'll change my practice and move on, no big deal. The standard I have to meet for compliance is really not that high."


I would challenge you here; as someone who has far from mastered the bag hang, but done it many times, and seen many others do it, I think the standards are actually fairly difficult to meet without serious practice. I would have loved to see USFS suggest recommended ways to get your bag 6ft from the trunk and 12ft from the ground (to bottom of the bag). Just hung from a branch, assuming a ~3ft tall pack, you need at least a ~15ft high branch that's strong enough to support not only the weight of the bag, but also the tugging of the rope, 6ft from the trunk. Branches this thick are tough to find, without being choked in by other trees nearby (making it very hard to get a rope over them). I also think the proper rope is very important; it must be slick enough to slide.

My calculations may have been incorrect/unnecessarily complicated so I'm revisiting. Ah, geo/trigotramper you got me!
 
kjw
distinguished member (116)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/07/2024 12:13PM  
plmn: "
Tomcat: "
geotramper: "Seems like I'm alone here in my opinion, but I am totally fine with this. Many other wilderness areas, National Parks, National Forests, etc. require the same or more stringent food storage. I'll change my practice and move on, no big deal. The standard I have to meet for compliance is really not that high. And if it means fewer problematic human-bear interactions and fewer euthanized bears, then great. "




You are not alone.



I believe in the rule of law and I make an effort to understand and comply with regulations. Compliance can be inconvenient and may require compromise but the information and resources are available for success. "



The problem is not the regulation itself. I was already complying, for the most part. It's implementing a regulation with felony-level consequences at the last minute and without making hardly any effort to notify those who will be visiting. It's the kind of overbearing overreach that democratic societies should not tolerate. In what world does 6 months in prison make sense for improperly storing your own food?

I'm amazed at the attitude of some people I've seen on social media. "Well they SAY they won't strictly enforce these ridiculous penalties that they enshrined into law so it's OK". No, it's not OK. If they don't mean to ever enforce them there would be no reason to have them.


I believe in the rule of law as well. But only when that law is enacted in a fair and just manner."


First of all it is not felony level consequences. The forest service can't send you to jail. US Attorney would have to prosecute you and convict you. The judge would decide your sentence and fine. You have idiots out there who probably thumb their nose to any law including not getting a permit. You have to have some consequences for the total idiots to change their behavior. I am sure the penalties could be applied to them. Look at all your local laws. I bet a bunch of them can have jail consequences but they are only applied by the judge to people who deserve the jail time. You would have to thumb your nose multiple times before you would get prosecuted and judge imposes any jail time. All the idiots going to BWCA would love your ideas. They could break any law multiple times with no consequences.
 
timf1981
distinguished member (136)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/07/2024 12:26PM  
airmorse: "Just curious as to how many bears have had to be euthanized because they had become habitual camp robbers."


How many trips ruined by bears taking all the food?
You can tell people that only a couple of humans have been attacked by a black bear.
But when one comes into your camp at night and wont leave. It can be a scary deal
 
timf1981
distinguished member (136)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/07/2024 12:31PM  
Maybe i missed it.
But did anyone stop complaing long enough to list the approved bear proof containers ? ? ?

I read the original article and went around in circles for 10 minutes on their web sites. But could never find the list.

In 40 years we have had no bear issues.
We attemted to hanf the pack twice. Maybe got it 7 ft up.
Keep camp clean. Rarely fry meat.
Keep food in a drybag.

He fast majority of our trips have been in quetico.

As in all parts of life.
It only takes a few to ruin it for the rest of us.
 
05/07/2024 12:38PM  
kjw: "
plmn: "
Tomcat: "
geotramper: "Seems like I'm alone here in my opinion, but I am totally fine with this. Many other wilderness areas, National Parks, National Forests, etc. require the same or more stringent food storage. I'll change my practice and move on, no big deal. The standard I have to meet for compliance is really not that high. And if it means fewer problematic human-bear interactions and fewer euthanized bears, then great. "




You are not alone.



I believe in the rule of law and I make an effort to understand and comply with regulations. Compliance can be inconvenient and may require compromise but the information and resources are available for success. "




The problem is not the regulation itself. I was already complying, for the most part. It's implementing a regulation with felony-level consequences at the last minute and without making hardly any effort to notify those who will be visiting. It's the kind of overbearing overreach that democratic societies should not tolerate. In what world does 6 months in prison make sense for improperly storing your own food?


I'm amazed at the attitude of some people I've seen on social media. "Well they SAY they won't strictly enforce these ridiculous penalties that they enshrined into law so it's OK". No, it's not OK. If they don't mean to ever enforce them there would be no reason to have them.



I believe in the rule of law as well. But only when that law is enacted in a fair and just manner."



First of all it is not felony level consequences. The forest service can't send you to jail. US Attorney would have to prosecute you and convict you. The judge would decide your sentence and fine. You have idiots out there who probably thumb their nose to any law including not getting a permit. You have to have some consequences for the total idiots to change their behavior. I am sure the penalties could be applied to them. Look at all your local laws. I bet a bunch of them can have jail consequences but they are only applied by the judge to people who deserve the jail time. You would have to thumb your nose multiple times before you would get prosecuted and judge imposes any jail time. All the idiots going to BWCA would love your ideas. They could break any law multiple times with no consequences."


I never said their shouldn't be any consequences. And who gives out the punishment is irrelevant. The point is the potential punishment doesn't fit the crime. Not even close.

Go ahead and put your faith in the benevolence of government entities. That always works out well.

 
flopnfolds
distinguished member (314)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/07/2024 12:43PM  
Tomcat: "
geotramper: "Seems like I'm alone here in my opinion, but I am totally fine with this. Many other wilderness areas, National Parks, National Forests, etc. require the same or more stringent food storage. I'll change my practice and move on, no big deal. The standard I have to meet for compliance is really not that high. And if it means fewer problematic human-bear interactions and fewer euthanized bears, then great. "



You are not alone.


I believe in the rule of law and I make an effort to understand and comply with regulations. Compliance can be inconvenient and may require compromise but the information and resources are available for success. "


Plus one, I don't think its a huge deal and has been a longtime in coming. Pretty common in many of the other wilderness areas I have been fortunate to have traveled through.
 
flopnfolds
distinguished member (314)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/07/2024 12:47PM  
billconner: "Still wonder about bear fences. IGBC certified. in the 10 pound range. Could set up around food area and not worry about picking up.


And lots of coolers are IGBC certified. Looks like about a 5 pound penalty to go from 30 liter blue barrel to 32 qt cooler. Would take a little work to match it with a pack.


Both lots less expensive than ursaks and bear vaults for same volume."


Good point. Although my only experience with the fence was on the Smith River, and I don't recall the fence being very small and packable, but I could be wrong.
 
kjw
distinguished member (116)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/07/2024 12:47PM  
timf1981: "Maybe i missed it.
But did anyone stop complaing long enough to list the approved bear proof containers ? ? ?


I read the original article and went around in circles for 10 minutes on their web sites. But could never find the list.


In 40 years we have had no bear issues.
We attemted to hanf the pack twice. Maybe got it 7 ft up.
Keep camp clean. Rarely fry meat.
Keep food in a drybag.


He fast majority of our trips have been in quetico.


As in all parts of life.
It only takes a few to ruin it for the rest of us."


It was in Sawbill Article above somebody provided link to.

Approved Containers
 
05/07/2024 12:47PM  
timf1981: "Maybe i missed it.
But did anyone stop complaing long enough to list the approved bear proof containers ? ? ?"


IGBC Approved Products
 
sgthulka
member (13)member
  
05/07/2024 12:54PM  

First of all it is not felony level consequences. The forest service can't send you to jail. US Attorney would have to prosecute you and convict you. The judge would decide your sentence and fine. You have idiots out there who probably thumb their nose to any law including not getting a permit. You have to have some consequences for the total idiots to change their behavior. I am sure the penalties could be applied to them. Look at all your local laws. I bet a bunch of them can have jail consequences but they are only applied by the judge to people who deserve the jail time. You would have to thumb your nose multiple times before you would get prosecuted and judge imposes any jail time. All the idiots going to BWCA would love your ideas. They could break any law multiple times with no consequences."

Wrong. They can do anything they want. The judges will be more sympathetic but only because you are tying up their court room and they need to get rid of this type of stuff quickly. US attorneys have unlimited resources and less than 1% of people are acquitted once they take up a case - its what they do and it does not matter if you are innocent or not - you will pay. The Bureau of Land Management/Federal Court is probably the last organization on earth that you should rely on in good faith. Ask the American Indian.

If people here think this is nonsense - try this - Look up your federal representative or state senator - fill out an Privacy Release Form and ask them to check in on it. Just tell them it is nonsense and is like putting a 5k fine for going 60 in a 55. ...take you 5 minutes.


 
ldpearson1
  
05/07/2024 01:16PM  
We have had one bear encounter in 40 some years of bwca camping. That encounter was on a lake on the edge that had an outfitter property so we weren’t surprised. We actually started hanging our food to keep mice from infiltrating our food pack. I can’t quite understand the 15’ requirement. I can’t imagine any black bear in the bwca being large enough to reach even a 8’ high bag. This sounds just as silly as the fish remains rule.
 
bottomtothetap
distinguished member(1047)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/07/2024 01:37PM  
As a point of clarification, while the proposed order threatens stiff penalties, it is not, as some have suggested, "felony-level".

This is from Line item 3 of the 3rd section of the order:
"Any violation of this prohibition is punishable as a Class B misdemeanor"
 
ForestDuff
distinguished member (203)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/07/2024 02:19PM  
Hanging my food on a winter trip the first week or so of March?
Yea.........no.
Cripes.
 
DiscoJoe
member (6)member
  
05/07/2024 02:29PM  
Call your Congressman and Senators and let them know how you feel. I am.
 
05/07/2024 02:35PM  
This order would have made more sense if it had been released on April 1st instead of on April 19th.
 
05/07/2024 03:30PM  
Well, I see there are 3 more threads relating to this now. How much BVs cost, hanging methods, etc. I think one of the biggest losers in this mess will be the trees. You can always pick out the favorite hanging tree in a campsite....stripped of limbs, broken branches, bark missing. We already have fire grates and latrines at campsites. Why doesn't the FS just bite the bullet and put in steel boxes at campsites and save the trees and the bears. They could be similar to the ones at Voyageurs but smaller. Seems to me to solve a bunch of problems involving this whole "order" business. The FS could paddle around and check them a lot quicker than searching for faulty hangers and writing tickets. I would certainly hope that people wouldn't complain about said vaults detracting from their wilderness experience, especially after reading all these threads. Just a thought.....
 
05/07/2024 03:59PM  
OneMatch: "I think I'll be practicing this technique for quite a while before my September trip


"


Keep in mind, that limb you toss your rock/rope over must be at least 22' off the ground if your pack hangs 4' or so below your pulley.
 
05/07/2024 04:00PM  
I agree with cowdoc. I know I said I'd hate for eyesores in a wilderness area (hanging wires) but if it meant the trees could be be spared, I'd get over it. You still have the issue of a non-IGBC pack being unsecured while double carrying a portage, though, so... I'm not sure if that part of the order needs to be modified/removed, with the addition of permanent food storage devices at campsites, or what. There's no great solution here unfortunately. We need larger IGBC-compliant barrels (compatible with existing harnesses), but if you don't want to spend a bunch of money which none of us do, then hanging needs to be more viable, or we need storage lockers. But again, storage lockers can't be at every portage landing... so...... yeah. I suppose everyone should just get good at hanging! :P
 
05/07/2024 04:05PM  
trstuck: "Keep in mind, that limb you toss your rock/rope over must be at least 22' off the ground if your pack hangs 4' or so below your pulley."


I spent an hour re-learning trig to try and work this out. Indeed, you'd need to get a rope very high - I didn't work the 4 foot drop into my equations. But, assuming that sloping line sags 3ft when you hang a 60lb pack on it, the top of the line would need to be something like 26ft above the ground. A 24ft x 24ft x 34ft right triangle allows you to hang a bag 6ft from the trunk, 18ft above the ground, before any sag. Assuming a 3ft tall pack, you get 15ft of usable height, and then the rope can only sag 3ft before you're breaching the 12ft requirement. That is all assuming the bag is essentially touching the sloping line, too... if you have to hang it 4ft down, your triangle needs to scale up quite a bit. 24ft is already going to be a challenge to get a rope over!
 
BearWithMe
member (6)member
  
05/07/2024 04:13PM  
I don't hang food anymore for a few reasons. First, I use a the 30L blue barrel, which is stronger than the 60L and I use a bear vault container as well. I have never had any issues with bears but plenty of issues with rodents. I bring the food at least 100 yards from the campsite and cable the blue barrel to a tree. (the bear vault is difficult to cable)

It seems the only people I meet that have issues with bears are those hanging food bags. The bag in the tree is a signal to bears that there's good things here. Bears climb trees very well. The bears have played this game before and understand how to get up the same trees everyone is using to hang food. Creatures of habit they are. Hanging food anywhere near your campsite is just not a good idea. Keep a clean site, clean your dishes, pick up ALL dropped food from the ground.

Time to spray-paint the barrel. So I guess if the rangers will need to find my barrel. I'm not helping them look. Food? I don't have any food. Strict pescatarian I am.
 
05/07/2024 04:20PM  
JD: "
trstuck: "Keep in mind, that limb you toss your rock/rope over must be at least 22' off the ground if your pack hangs 4' or so below your pulley."



I spent an hour re-learning trig to try and work this out.
...
24ft is already going to be a challenge to get a rope over!
"

Yup! Or even a challenge to find.
 
LukeMacGillie37
member (28)member
  
05/07/2024 04:32PM  
I realize I don’t have the long-term experience in the BWCA. But I’ve been using Using Bear Vault cans in bear country (BWCA, KY & MI) for the last couple Years. They will go with us to Yellowstone and Hudson Bay this year. My daughter and I each carry one in our packs and can get a weeks worth of food in each. They also make pretty nice seats

Here is one in the “wild” so to speak.





Yes they could change your typical menu, but also, a Ozark Trail cooler with a padlock is in the list, so you could portage that with a tumpline just like an old school wannigan.


Perhaps the bear vault folks will come out with a large one that can be carried with a blue barrel harness?
 
kjw
distinguished member (116)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/07/2024 06:02PM  
Cowdoc may have good idea. They could get by with limited supply of food lockers. Just put them on lakes/portages they are having bear problems with. No need to put them at every site in BWCA.
 
toastedmarshmallow12
member (31)member
  
05/07/2024 07:00PM  
plmn: "
kjw: "
plmn: "
Tomcat: "
geotramper: "Seems like I'm alone here in my opinion, but I am totally fine with this. Many other wilderness areas, National Parks, National Forests, etc. require the same or more stringent food storage. I'll change my practice and move on, no big deal. The standard I have to meet for compliance is really not that high. And if it means fewer problematic human-bear interactions and fewer euthanized bears, then great. "


Its does fit the crime. Having to kill a bear or a bear kills a human. Pretty serious.



You are not alone.




I believe in the rule of law and I make an effort to understand and comply with regulations. Compliance can be inconvenient and may require compromise but the information and resources are available for success. "




The problem is not the regulation itself. I was already complying, for the most part. It's implementing a regulation with felony-level consequences at the last minute and without making hardly any effort to notify those who will be visiting. It's the kind of overbearing overreach that democratic societies should not tolerate. In what world does 6 months in prison make sense for improperly storing your own food?



I'm amazed at the attitude of some people I've seen on social media. "Well they SAY they won't strictly enforce these ridiculous penalties that they enshrined into law so it's OK". No, it's not OK. If they don't mean to ever enforce them there would be no reason to have them.



I believe in the rule of law as well. But only when that law is enacted in a fair and just manner."




First of all it is not felony level consequences. The forest service can't send you to jail. US Attorney would have to prosecute you and convict you. The judge would decide your sentence and fine. You have idiots out there who probably thumb their nose to any law including not getting a permit. You have to have some consequences for the total idiots to change their behavior. I am sure the penalties could be applied to them. Look at all your local laws. I bet a bunch of them can have jail consequences but they are only applied by the judge to people who deserve the jail time. You would have to thumb your nose multiple times before you would get prosecuted and judge imposes any jail time. All the idiots going to BWCA would love your ideas. They could break any law multiple times with no consequences."



I never said their shouldn't be any consequences. And who gives out the punishment is irrelevant. The point is the potential punishment doesn't fit the crime. Not even close.


Go ahead and put your faith in the benevolence of government entities. That always works out well.


"
 
05/07/2024 07:45PM  
bottomtothetap: "As a point of clarification, while the proposed order threatens stiff penalties, it is not, as some have suggested, "felony-level".


This is from Line item 3 of the 3rd section of the order:
"Any violation of this prohibition is punishable as a Class B misdemeanor""


Somebody else had said that and I repeated it without verifying. Sorry about that, thanks for clarifying. Still, it's a very harsh punishment.
 
bwcamjh
distinguished member (113)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/07/2024 08:41PM  
Always good to practice good bear area food and scented items safety and precautions.



Two parts I have a problems with:



The excessive fines. Sure I don't mind a ticket and a fine but the amounts seem extreme-- what about a tiered system as well. 1st time small, second more, 3rd the largest, 4th banned for 5 years.



Also if it's good for the visitor is should also be mandated for Officers and organized rescuers performing official duties to follow the same rules-----I mean where is the lead by example??? Rather than rules for thee and not for me. I can understand the fire fighting units and the nature of their work and different needs for such crews.
 
05/07/2024 08:45PM  
I see much of what going to happen is like we campers are on probation for being lazy on bear prevention. Maybe by 2016 rules relaxed or altered?

duluth update

Good interview with USFS and implementing he plan. Warnings only First year, unless violation extreme.
Various groups like Friends of the Boundary Waters oppose much of the new ruling.


Peter Marshall, communications director for the group Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness, said the Forest Service has the right intention to prevent human/bear encounters but that “it’s the draconian nature of the order that is wrongheaded.”

Marshall called the rule “impractical” and notes that many seasoned veterans of BWCAW travel argue that hanging food is not the most effective way to deter bears. Marshall said keeping food sealed in plastic bags and 200 feet from tents often is enough to deter bears in the wilderness.

“Six months in jail, a $5,000 fine, or both, and a misdemeanor on your record?" Marshall said. "For what? Not for drunk driving, which carries a similar penalty, but for not using a certified bear container, or for hanging it 11 rather than 12 feet off the ground. This is extreme. Friends of the Boundary Waters, and many other groups, have worked hard to make the wilderness more inviting to diverse groups of people, to open it to people who never went to the Boundary Waters.

"Having this impractical order, that carries the very real threat of jail time or hefty fines, is a major setback," Marshall said.

The Forest Service on Monday vowed to issue only warnings for violations of the new rule during the first season.

“Our goal initially is to highlight the importance of all of us doing our due diligence to keep wildlife from becoming habituated," the agency noted in unveiling the rule. "Except for gross violations or repeated violations, we intend to issue warnings for the first year of the order. Fortunately, many BWCAW visitors are already practicing good food storage techniques. The concept isn’t new, we’re just approaching it as a season-long prevention effort, rather than reacting to incidents as they occur.”

 
05/07/2024 09:19PM  


I am guilty, my bird feeder was only about 5 feet high, raised it after that.

This bear was radio collared a few miles from my house. Has an interesting history, It had 4 cubs and two got hit on the highway a half mile from my house a month apart. DNR sent me all its traveling locations for the year. Only weighed about 250 pounds and lost weight after having cubs.
 
05/07/2024 10:44PM  
deepdish71: "How about an ursack that fits around a blue barrel?"


As we switched from hanging a pack to stashing a blue barrel a few years ago ( we own both 30 & 60) I really like this idea! I wonder if they sell rolls of the material and I’ll sew my own! We bring a dog, so I can’t imagine how many BVs I would need.

Regarding the portage issue- while I understand the new rule on certain lakes, in reality this could cause other non- bear issues. If someone stays to supervise the pack at one end on a double portage, the time spent portaging will increase, and could cause more congestion and backup at each end. And can you imagine the time and chaos of a couple people trying to find hanging trees at each end of a portage.?

We have a May 20 entry, so with the short notice I guess we’ll be hanging big blue, not purchasing new bearproof containers.



 
05/08/2024 12:16AM  
4keys: "
deepdish71: "How about an ursack that fits around a blue barrel?"



As we switched from hanging a pack to stashing a blue barrel a few years ago ( we own both 30 & 60) I really like this idea! I wonder if they sell rolls of the material and I’ll sew my own! We bring a dog, so I can’t imagine how many BVs I would need.


Regarding the portage issue- while I understand the new rule on certain lakes, in reality this could cause other non- bear issues. If someone stays to supervise the pack at one end on a double portage, the time spent portaging will increase, and could cause more congestion and backup at each end. And can you imagine the time and chaos of a couple people trying to find hanging trees at each end of a portage.?


We have a May 20 entry, so with the short notice I guess we’ll be hanging big blue, not purchasing new bearproof containers.
"


Thats a good one, I could see about 5-10 bags on one tree from different parties.
Reserve a tree program at a portage. Always was taught to keep a moving at portages.
 
Deeznuts
distinguished member(525)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/08/2024 04:19AM  
Lot of people crying and whining about something that is the norm in most backcountry areas.
I like putting the steel lockers in problem/busy sites,that's a great suggestion. But that could become pricey and you would be able to supply pulley systems to many more "problem campsites". It could be one of the hallmarks of our campsite much like latrine and fire grates.
We have problem bears because of problem people. The risk of a 5000$ fine for being a messy camper should keep a lot if those problem people out of the BWs and I say good.
 
EmmaMorgan
senior member (64)senior membersenior member
  
05/08/2024 06:37AM  
“The excessive fines. Sure I don't mind a ticket and a fine but the amounts seem extreme-- what about a tiered system as well. 1st time small, second more, 3rd the largest, 4th banned for 5 years."


The potential penalties for violating this order are the same as the penalties for violating other BWCA regulations. Get caught bringing in a can of pop that you intend to pack out and you’ll face the same consequences of $5,000 fine/6 months in jail.
 
05/08/2024 06:53AM  
EmmaMorgan: "
“The excessive fines. Sure I don't mind a ticket and a fine but the amounts seem extreme-- what about a tiered system as well. 1st time small, second more, 3rd the largest, 4th banned for 5 years."



The potential penalties for violating this order are the same as the penalties for violating other BWCA regulations. Get caught bringing in a can of pop that you intend to pack out and you’ll face the same consequences of $5,000 fine/6 months in jail."


Two wrongs don't make a right.
 
05/08/2024 07:44AM  
Deeznuts: "Lot of people crying and whining about something that is the norm in most backcountry areas.
I like putting the steel lockers in problem/busy sites,that's a great suggestion. But that could become pricey and you would be able to supply pulley systems to many more "problem campsites". It could be one of the hallmarks of our campsite much like latrine and fire grates.
We have problem bears because of problem people. The risk of a 5000$ fine for being a messy camper should keep a lot if those problem people out of the BWs and I say good. "


To put steel lockers in the BWCA would be a move to make the BWCA more like a city or state park. Let's quit taking the Wild out of the Wild. Has the bear problem really been that bad?
So little prevention would end a problem which is isolated to a few spots and a few bear.
 
bottomtothetap
distinguished member(1047)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/08/2024 07:46AM  
Deeznuts: "Lot of people crying and whining about something that is the norm in most backcountry areas.
"


"most back country areas" are not the BWCA.

Part of the Boundary Waters appeal is that it is different from what you'd experience in other wild places. With limited over-land carrying required of your gear and food, you have more options of what to bring compared to hiking or backpacking.

It is understood that in those other backpacking areas, just like the BWCA, a proper hang to protect against bears can be difficult to achieve and thus, the requirement to use certified bear "proof" containers for food storage. The industry is currently set up to address this--the need for food protection on backpacking or hiking trips where ultra-lite and minimalist is often the focus. For those purposes the certified containers that are now available work well enough.

In the BWCA, it is true that many campers have adopted this minimalist method for food as well knowing that hanging to the prescribed specs will be hard to do. However, those that enjoy the BWCA in part for the additional eating options have also developed effective alternatives to protect their food from bears and other wildlife. Now, finding that they are being mandatd by the Forest Service to do it the way it's done in backpacking country, they are feeling frustrated as they know that hanging is often not a good option and the current offerings for certified containers do not work as well--especially capacity and cost-wise for a group of 8 or 9.

Perhaps industry needs to come up with something that can be certified and that better fits how BWCA trips are often done, especially from a size/volume standpoint.

Because it is done a certain way and works in many other areas does not mean it's a great solution for the BWCA.
 
05/08/2024 08:07AM  
trstuck: "
OneMatch: "I think I'll be practicing this technique for quite a while before my September trip

"


Keep in mind, that limb you toss your rock/rope over must be at least 22' off the ground if your pack hangs 4' or so below your pulley."


I think that you can ignore the 4' note on the diagram. The forest service's order requires 12' above the ground and 6' from the tree, but there is no requirement regarding distance below a pulley or even a branch.
 
millerbjm
  
05/08/2024 08:43AM  
I'm really surprised how over the top most of these reactions are to a simple and effective regulation change. I personally think this is a great example of proactive action to prevent a problem before it occurs rather than waiting for widespread bear issues and then reacting after there is already an issue. I've been taking multiple annual trips to the BWCA for over 35 years and well I haven't had bear problems I have noticed more new visitors and increased impacts in the last 4-5 years so it makes sense to get ahead of it. Seems many folks are concerned about the challenge of properly hanging the food pack but if that is your concern why not just use an approved bear barrel? I made the switch to a barrel years ago and it is an easy way to prevent all kinds of animals from getting at you gear and doesn't require hanging the pack. Additional bonus it keeps everything dry and prevents food being crushed etc. I get that change is hard but for me this change is good and not difficult to adapt to. I look forward to many more decades in the wilderness without problem bears at the campsites!

As others have pointed out it is similar penalties to those for many other regulations we may or may not agree with like aluminum containers - very rarely if ever enforced with actual penalties unless the offense is blatant and more an effort to deter and educate.
 
05/08/2024 08:52AM  
bear

Hope they will be flexible and fine tooth THE rules. There is ZERO reasons to these rules to be in effect on March 1 each year. How many bears did you see BY MARCH 1?
Its like banning campfires two years ahead of that summer because it may be dry. We ban campfires when current conditions are present than.
 
sgthulka
member (13)member
  
05/08/2024 09:05AM  
In the BWCA on a regular basis, hunting shack within a mile of border and regularly deer hunt within BWCA, Building a remote cabin on an entry lake (just got back Monday night), sons and friends regularly in BWCA, friends in area, relationships with resorts and none of of us have any 1st or 2nd hand experience of problem Bears stealing food at campsites. You hear about it once or twice per year that there is a problem bear somewhere. I assume people already get ticketed now and then.

This is just a Karen in the forest service thinking - Still have problem bears, I wish people would just listen to me and do exactly what I say, I know what Ill do, lets fine the little people 5k and throw them in jail for not listening, lets give em 1 year to shape up because I am so nice.

Call your congressmen people. Don't just complain, ask to setup an inquiry - will take you 5 minutes and it will be good experience for the future.
 
sgthulka
member (13)member
  
05/08/2024 09:54AM  
As a follow up to my suggestion to call your senator or representative above - keep in mind that in each politician's home offices they have a huge staff that is paid for by the federal government whose sole job is to respond to people like you for exactly these types of issues. Each time someone is elected they inherit this budget and they do take it seriously. The person that you speak to will ask you to fill out a privacy release form and send it in so that they can proceed. They will then reach out to their liaison in DC or wherever over the US forest service to begin an inquiry. This brings alot of attention from a high level to what is happening. The people making the decisions then need to defend their reasoning or back down. Either way they would rather not have attention drawn to them and their career if they are making mistakes (and this is a very draconian penalty which deserves to be reversed). It is how we the people keep the government in check.

Seriously - call or go online, it will take you 5 minutes. It does not matter if you voted for them or not - they will be happy to help either way
 
CoachWalleye74
distinguished member (161)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/08/2024 09:56AM  
millerbjm: "I'm really surprised how over the top most of these reactions are to a simple and effective regulation change. I personally think this is a great example of proactive action to prevent a problem before it occurs rather than waiting for widespread bear issues and then reacting after there is already an issue. I've been taking multiple annual trips to the BWCA for over 35 years and well I haven't had bear problems I have noticed more new visitors and increased impacts in the last 4-5 years so it makes sense to get ahead of it. Seems many folks are concerned about the challenge of properly hanging the food pack but if that is your concern why not just use an approved bear barrel? I made the switch to a barrel years ago and it is an easy way to prevent all kinds of animals from getting at you gear and doesn't require hanging the pack. Additional bonus it keeps everything dry and prevents food being crushed etc. I get that change is hard but for me this change is good and not difficult to adapt to. I look forward to many more decades in the wilderness without problem bears at the campsites!


As others have pointed out it is similar penalties to those for many other regulations we may or may not agree with like aluminum containers - very rarely if ever enforced with actual penalties unless the offense is blatant and more an effort to deter and educate."




I'm really surprised with your ability to measure effectiveness over the approximate 10 days since this laws been in place. Assumptions work both ways.
 
05/08/2024 09:58AM  
millerbjm: "I'm really surprised how over the top most of these reactions are to a simple and effective regulation change."


They have not provided any data to prove how effective this regulation change will be or why it merits such draconian penalties. Especially when many experts have been recommending against hanging for decades. They haven't even shown that it's a major issue to begin with, and their inaction dealing with some problem bears leads me to believe that they don't really consider it to be. I would also argue it is not simple. A lot of people bring in stuff that isn't practical to hang, some sites don't have places to hang, and it's expensive to buy approved containers.

I'm surprised some people can't see why this upsets people. Even if you support the regulation you should be able to understand the problems with how they enacted it.
 
05/08/2024 10:00AM  
It is a wakeup call and makes people think twice on procedure on food storage.
 
05/08/2024 10:20AM  
If nothing else, this order has brought a lot of traffic to this website. There is more posting now than I’ve seen in weeks.
 
bottomtothetap
distinguished member(1047)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/08/2024 10:39AM  
millerbjm: "I'm really surprised how over the top most of these reactions are to a simple and effective regulation change. I personally think this is a great example of proactive action to prevent a problem before it occurs rather than waiting for widespread bear issues and then reacting after there is already an issue. I've been taking multiple annual trips to the BWCA for over 35 years and well I haven't had bear problems I have noticed more new visitors and increased impacts in the last 4-5 years so it makes sense to get ahead of it. Seems many folks are concerned about the challenge of properly hanging the food pack but if that is your concern why not just use an approved bear barrel? I made the switch to a barrel years ago and it is an easy way to prevent all kinds of animals from getting at you gear and doesn't require hanging the pack. Additional bonus it keeps everything dry and prevents food being crushed etc. I get that change is hard but for me this change is good and not difficult to adapt to. I look forward to many more decades in the wilderness without problem bears at the campsites!


As others have pointed out it is similar penalties to those for many other regulations we may or may not agree with like aluminum containers - very rarely if ever enforced with actual penalties unless the offense is blatant and more an effort to deter and educate."


Some key words in your post are "approved bear barrel".

The available containers that I am now seeing on the APPROVED list I would hardly consider "barrels". For example, Bear Vault's BV500 is the largest certified container they offer but even that measures less than 9" wide and just over a foot high. They optimistically rate it as able to hold one person's food for 7 days. These things are sold for about $100 each. Using these numbers, a group of 9 people on a one-week canoe trip would need a container for each person and with another one probably needed for any soaps, toothpaste, lip balm or other scented items, that's now ten of these containers to do this trip or $1,000 worth of containers (that still need to go into packs) just for the food soaps and toiletries.

Years ago I also switched to a barrel rather than hanging because attempting a "proper" hang was cumbersome, represented some safety risks and often was not really possible at particular sites. While no method, including hanging to the prescribed specs, is completely bear proof, I am fully convinced, as I'm sure you are of what you've been doing, that our barrel provided a very strong level of deterrence.

The Forest Service has now said NO to that and that regardless of what one has been doing, how sensible it is and how effective it may be, you must operate to their standard or face the possibility of substantial penalty. That's what's causing a lot of this reaction.

If the "barrel" you are using and have found success with is on the approved list I applaud you. If not, this new order will represent some significant changes in method or trip costs for you, just like many others that are reacting to the announcement of this order.
 
05/08/2024 12:07PM  
I wonder which is worse, food stashed properly in a blue barrel or food improperly hung? I'm guessing we're going to see much more of the latter in lieu of the former. Not only that I'm guessing where we would have had food sitting on portages in blue barrels now we'll just see food sitting unprotected in regular packs. Nobody is going to hang their food at each portage when double portaging. Nobody should have to pay for (or carry for that matter) $500 worth of bear vaults either.

Also another case where we're pushing people of less economic means away from the outdoors which is sad.

I'm fortunate that I already have a couple ursacks that should get me by for now, but I still think this is bonkers.
 
millerbjm
  
05/08/2024 02:21PM  
My barrel is a Counter Assault Bear Keg with the required IGBC certification. I agree that this is an additional cost and can understand for some the additional cost is a burden. That said in the grand scheme of how much money most of us have invested in gear, gas, etc. to make these trips another $100/person in 1 time cost really doesn't seem like a huge deal to me. I understand the folks who don't want to hang it but for me the barrel is all around an easy and positive solution to a number of issues. Sure they don't have data yet because the rule hasn't been in place but I assume that is why they are only making this a temp rule for 2 years to get the data. I've worked with the USFS and other government agencies for over 20 years as a contractor and just don't buy into the many folks who think these USFS folks are tired office bound bureaucrats trying to make rules for rules sake - my experience is most of them are active users and advocates.
 
grizzlyadams
senior member (68)senior membersenior member
  
05/08/2024 03:10PM  
Good grief, grab your torches and pitchforks!

I'm more concerned about more potential damage to trees than any inconvenience this will cause me...
 
bottomtothetap
distinguished member(1047)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/08/2024 03:54PM  
millerbjm: "My barrel is a Counter Assault Bear Keg with the required IGBC certification. I agree that this is an additional cost and can understand for some the additional cost is a burden. That said in the grand scheme of how much money most of us have invested in gear, gas, etc. to make these trips another $100/person in 1 time cost really doesn't seem like a huge deal to me. I understand the folks who don't want to hang it but for me the barrel is all around an easy and positive solution to a number of issues. Sure they don't have data yet because the rule hasn't been in place but I assume that is why they are only making this a temp rule for 2 years to get the data. I've worked with the USFS and other government agencies for over 20 years as a contractor and just don't buy into the many folks who think these USFS folks are tired office bound bureaucrats trying to make rules for rules sake - my experience is most of them are active users and advocates. "


I don't disagree with you at all that a barrel is a far superior and positive alternative to hanging. I prefer and have used a barrel as well and if you are already doing that with an IGBC approved container, again, well done. The problem that I'm faced with is that for the group of nine we have organized, we did calculate that with the gear we already have, along with gas, food, permit, etc., total cost per person was gonna be about $300-350 each. Now if I tell them, "by the way, the Forest Service has declared that some of what we were going to do, and have always done, is against the law for our upcoming trip, so to go forward we're all going to have to spend another 30 percent more each on gear or risk fines and imprisonment", that's bound to be a real buzzkill of a conversation.

I know that the FS has further promised no fines for this summer but I would also rather not just ignore the rule only because I think we can get by with just a scolding. We'll probably attempt to hang again and do our best to comply with those specs though I'm not optimistic that we'll be able to get into real compliance and am pretty sure that our food would have been more secure with our familiar method.

As mentioned earlier, if this is going to be, then I'm seeing the need for availability of better-capacity certified containers that cut down on some of the cost, some of the bulk and are better suited for the canoe-country style of camping we go to the BWCA for rather than the backpacking trips that the current container offerings are mostly designed for.
 
ockycamper
distinguished member(1440)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/08/2024 03:56PM  
bottomtothetap: "
millerbjm: "I'm really surprised how over the top most of these reactions are to a simple and effective regulation change. I personally think this is a great example of proactive action to prevent a problem before it occurs rather than waiting for widespread bear issues and then reacting after there is already an issue. I've been taking multiple annual trips to the BWCA for over 35 years and well I haven't had bear problems I have noticed more new visitors and increased impacts in the last 4-5 years so it makes sense to get ahead of it. Seems many folks are concerned about the challenge of properly hanging the food pack but if that is your concern why not just use an approved bear barrel? I made the switch to a barrel years ago and it is an easy way to prevent all kinds of animals from getting at you gear and doesn't require hanging the pack. Additional bonus it keeps everything dry and prevents food being crushed etc. I get that change is hard but for me this change is good and not difficult to adapt to. I look forward to many more decades in the wilderness without problem bears at the campsites!



As others have pointed out it is similar penalties to those for many other regulations we may or may not agree with like aluminum containers - very rarely if ever enforced with actual penalties unless the offense is blatant and more an effort to deter and educate."



Some key words in your post are "approved bear barrel".


The available containers that I am now seeing on the APPROVED list I would hardly consider "barrels". For example, Bear Vault's BV500 is the largest certified container they offer but even that measures less than 9" wide and just over a foot high. They optimistically rate it as able to hold one person's food for 7 days. These things are sold for about $100 each. Using these numbers, a group of 9 people on a one-week canoe trip would need a container for each person and with another one probably needed for any soaps, toothpaste, lip balm or other scented items, that's now ten of these containers to do this trip or $1,000 worth of containers (that still need to go into packs) just for the food soaps and toiletries.


Years ago I also switched to a barrel rather than hanging because attempting a "proper" hang was cumbersome, represented some safety risks and often was not really possible at particular sites. While no method, including hanging to the prescribed specs, is completely bear proof, I am fully convinced, as I'm sure you are of what you've been doing, that our barrel provided a very strong level of deterrence.


The Forest Service has now said NO to that and that regardless of what one has been doing, how sensible it is and how effective it may be, you must operate to their standard or face the possibility of substantial penalty. That's what's causing a lot of this reaction.


If the "barrel" you are using and have found success with is on the approved list I applaud you. If not, this new order will represent some significant changes in method or trip costs for you, just like many others that are reacting to the announcement of this order. "


First, you can find BV500 bearvaults for $60 on sale several times each year. Our groups have been using these for years. We go for 7 days. . . one day out, one back, the other five in camp. So we have 5 breakfasts and 5 dinners to cook. We typically have 6 men to a camp. As you pointed out, it takes us about one BV500 bearvault to handle food each day for 6 guys. . . so one BV500 per day, 5 for the camp. We have bought them over a period of years, however, always on sale. Carrying is not the horrible task that many make out. Each guy carries one BV500, two per canoe. Not hard at all for the guys to put on their own pack, and carry the BV500 through the portage.

The plus for us is that everything is not in one container. I label each container by day's use. We open them, use them, then put the trash back in them and seal them back up. You can see what is in them, and use them as tables or seats. And it is a simple matter to make them waterproof when in a canoe by using tape.

Yes, I have $360 of 6 BV 500's for my camp. However I use them at home for food storage for the rest of the year. They are not one time use. And honestly, most of the guys bring fishing gear with them that costs a lot more then $360!
 
ockycamper
distinguished member(1440)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/08/2024 04:09PM  
One of our group asked. . .who gets the fine? If there are six guys in camp and one food pack. . . does everyone get fined? (asking for a friend)
 
emptynest56
distinguished member(839)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/08/2024 04:14PM  
I contacted my US rep’s office and he is rep for the area of the BWCA, Pete Stauber. I registered my extreme displeasure over this rule because old farts like myself (and others)would get rotator cuff injuries if we’d try to pitch a starting line for a hang 16 ft up or more. This rule is unnecessarily punitive and exclusionary to everyone except Cy Young MLB pitchers, it makes more of a mess of campsites ultimately, and may violate the spirit of the Americans with Disablity Act.
Contact your Federal US Congressperson abut this overreach rule.
I can take responsibility of the fate of my own well used 20 year old blue barrel, thank you very much.
 
05/08/2024 04:22PM  
ockycamper: "One of our group asked. . .who gets the fine? If there are six guys in camp and one food pack. . . does everyone get fined? (asking for a friend)"
Usually it is the person who is the main permit holder.
 
ockycamper
distinguished member(1440)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/08/2024 04:40PM  
emptynest56: "I contacted my US rep’s office and he is rep for the area of the BWCA, Pete Stauber. I registered my extreme displeasure over this rule because old farts like myself (and others)would get rotator cuff injuries if we’d try to pitch a starting line for a hang 16 ft up or more. This rule is unnecessarily punitive and exclusionary to everyone except Cy Young MLB pitchers, it makes more of a mess of campsites ultimately, and may violate the spirit of the Americans with Disablity Act.
Contact your Federal US Congressperson abut this overreach rule.
I can take responsibility of the fate of my own well used 20 year old blue barrel, thank you very much."


I am also an "old fart". I don't plan to hang. Simple matter to buy bearproof certified containers. There is no ADA violation here. No one is saying you have to hang. Just get the right gear.
 
05/08/2024 04:51PM  
Just got back from vacation and was offline for awhile…

WOW :)

In my opinion (no body cares I know) this is idiotic. The FS has their heart in the right place but the research and prior Hx is against them. This order will force people from proven and reliable methods in the BWCAW to the most frequently breached food method…Hanging. It may actually have the opposite result in what they want to accomplish.

There are good reasons groups like Friends of the Boundary Waters are apposed to this order.

I got my BV500’s several years ago for $40/barrel but I see they are now around $100…To the previous poster who said they can be bought for $60…that was 3 years or more ago. You can’t find BV500’s anymore for that price on the best sales. First thought comparison they are inferior to my blue barrels. Both in water proof mess and smell reduction. Smell reduction is the #1 tool to reduce bear visits.

I also have 2 Ursack 2XL’s so I’ll probably put them in my 2 30L blue barrels. Can’t wait till they try to fine me and I open them up :)

T
 
ockycamper
distinguished member(1440)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/08/2024 05:06PM  
$77 for BV500s on Ebay. Some cheaper
 
eyepaddle
senior member (73)senior membersenior member
  
05/08/2024 05:12PM  
I’m brainstorming how I can still use my 2 BWJ cooler packs without having to hang them. I usually stash in the woods Cliff Jacobson style. I’m not familiar with the ursacks, but does anyone think I could put the cold food into several smaller ursacks, then organize those inside my cooler packs? Would that qualify as “legal”?? Or am I headed to jail for that? :-)
 
ockycamper
distinguished member(1440)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/08/2024 05:18PM  
I wondered the same thing about the BV500's. Putting a couple inside an Icemule pack.

Problem is that it would be simple for the bear to haul off the pack. The bear would not be able to open the BV500's but who knows how far away he would haul the pack containing them.
 
eyepaddle
senior member (73)senior membersenior member
  
05/08/2024 05:30PM  
ockycamper: "I wondered the same thing about the BV500's. Putting a couple inside an Icemule pack.


Problem is that it would be simple for the bear to haul off the pack. The bear would not be able to open the BV500's but who knows how far away he would haul the pack containing them."


I’m no too worried about a bear dragging the pack away. I keep things well-sealed, no scent, and I’ve never had an issue in 20+ years. Just looking for a way to basically keep doing what I’m doing but make it legal.
 
05/08/2024 05:35PM  
emptynest56: "I contacted my US rep’s office and he is rep for the area of the BWCA, Pete Stauber. I registered my extreme displeasure over this rule because old farts like myself (and others)would get rotator cuff injuries if we’d try to pitch a starting line for a hang 16 ft up or more. This rule is unnecessarily punitive and exclusionary to everyone except Cy Young MLB pitchers, it makes more of a mess of campsites ultimately, and may violate the spirit of the Americans with Disability Act."


Old farts (I'm 73) can still hang. This is from our 2022 Quetico trip; my wife is 5'-7" as a height reference. I use a variation of the "clothesline method", and place an unloaded line (to minimize damage to tree branches) between trees ~25' apart with a 2 to 1 pulley arrangement in the middle of the clothesline.

TZ

 
pleflar
senior member (71)senior membersenior member
  
05/08/2024 05:46PM  
ockycamper: "I wondered the same thing about the BV500's. Putting a couple inside an Icemule pack.


Problem is that it would be simple for the bear to haul off the pack. The bear would not be able to open the BV500's but who knows how far away he would haul the pack containing them."


I may be wrong but, as I understand it, the proper method is to have the BVs outside of the pack if it isn't carried or in sight. On a double portage leave the cannisters on the ground near the bag.
 
05/08/2024 05:47PM  
eyepaddle: "I’m brainstorming how I can still use my 2 BWJ cooler packs without having to hang them. I usually stash in the woods Cliff Jacobson style. I’m not familiar with the ursacks, but does anyone think I could put the cold food into several smaller ursacks, then organize those inside my cooler packs? Would that qualify as “legal”?? Or am I headed to jail for that? :-)"


You're headed to jail. No but seriously, the Ursack is designed to tie the whole bullet-proof bag to a tree using the bear-proof cord. So simply tucking an Ursack into your cooler doesn't really fit the bill. But hey, what do I know? You'll have to ask the Forest Ranger.
 
05/08/2024 05:49PM  
ockycamper: "$77 for BV500s on Ebay. Some cheaper"


You need to look at the total price on eBay and $77 isn’t $60 the last time I checked :)…

$77 plus $10-12 shipping, plus tax and we are at roughly $100 per BV500 container.

I am sure you can scour and scrounge to find a deal here and there. No doubt…but now literally 1,000’s will be looking for those deals and eBay already also has BV500’s for $195/per barrel as well in response…

T
 
RedLakePaddler
distinguished member (270)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/08/2024 06:09PM  
REI HAS BV500’S FOR $95.00. There is at least 1 in Maple Grove and more can be there by the 15th.
If you join,I believe it’s $25.00 lifetime, you can get free shipping and approximately 10% back in dividends on regular priced items. They also have sales and coupons for members for 20% 0ff an item.
Very dangerous place for Carl! Always seem to be the right stopping place between East Grand Forks MN and Rochester MN.
 
ockycamper
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05/08/2024 06:22PM  
Walmart has them for $94.95 and free shipping
 
05/08/2024 06:33PM  
If a camper is paid a visit by the forest police and their pack is not properly hung, will the forest police offer assistance in meeting the new requirement if the camper is on the older side of life or has a medical issue, e.g. has a bad shoulder, arthritis, etc.? Personally, I would rather enjoy the conversation of asking the forest cop for a little help in getting my pack up 12 feet in the air and watching how they respond.

Tom

 
pleflar
senior member (71)senior membersenior member
  
05/08/2024 06:38PM  
emptynest56: "I contacted my US rep’s office and he is rep for the area of the BWCA, Pete Stauber."


Pete Stauber? Who introduced a bill in the House to polute the BWCAW?

HB 3195

There's an entire thread, right here on this forum, about how much he cares.

Keep yer hands off
 
05/08/2024 06:42PM  
RedLakePaddler: "REI HAS BV500’S FOR $95.00. There is at least 1 in Maple Grove and more can be there by the 15th.
If you join,I believe it’s $25.00 lifetime, you can get free shipping and approximately 10% back in dividends on regular priced items. They also have sales and coupons for members for 20% 0ff an item.
Very dangerous place for Carl! Always seem to be the right stopping place between East Grand Forks MN and Rochester MN."


Yes 10% off from REI and free shipping. Also in past years, REI has donated $1000's of dollars for maintenance projects in the BWCA. I remember thanking them for doing such a few years ago. Good outfit.

I ordered a 500 this week and will have it by Saturday from them.
 
eyepaddle
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05/08/2024 06:55PM  
HangLoose: "
eyepaddle: "I’m brainstorming how I can still use my 2 BWJ cooler packs without having to hang them. I usually stash in the woods Cliff Jacobson style. I’m not familiar with the ursacks, but does anyone think I could put the cold food into several smaller ursacks, then organize those inside my cooler packs? Would that qualify as “legal”?? Or am I headed to jail for that? :-)"



You're headed to jail. No but seriously, the Ursack is designed to tie the whole bullet-proof bag to a tree using the bear-proof cord. So simply tucking an Ursack into your cooler doesn't really fit the bill. But hey, what do I know? You'll have to ask the Forest Ranger. "


Got it! That makes sense. Maybe they’ll come out with an extra huge Ursack I can fit over the entire cooler pack. Thanks for clarifying!
 
Minnesotian
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05/09/2024 11:16AM  
After sitting with this rule change for a couple days and reading the reactions to it, I have decided this is the first step on the part of the USFS to build a case for installing food storage infrastructure in the BWCA.

The biggest issues I see are:

1. Lack of the perfect tree. There are many techniques out there to hang food. The solo perfect branch and the clotheline method to name two. Both rely on locating a tree or two trees that offer tie-off points at the correct height. If you are hanging a 4' tall storage item that needs to hang 12' off the ground and 4'-6' below the perfect branch, this branch will need to be at 20' off the ground to start, and at least 6' away from the tree trunk.

At 20' tall, more then likely there will be numerous other branches in the way to the perfect branch, if the perfect branch exists at all. But even more difficut, and isn't addressed by the FS at all, is what to do in burned areas where there are no trees for a hanging option? The only option left are the IGBC approved containers.

2. Eyesore. Let's say you have located a somewhat good tree, and after the 5th toss up there, the line gets knotted up and you can't get it down. We have all visited those campsites that have multiple broken off lines hanging around from past campers. I suspect this mandate will lead to more violations of the Leave No Trace ethic from stuff getting caught in trees.

3. Damage. As more ropes gets tossed up, and food is pulled up/down, and retied off to surrounding trees, a sawing action will occur, leaving scars, ripped off bark, and broken branches. The surrounding area around the campsite will get more impacted as campers go out in search of the perfect tree.

4. Cost. Whether a part of the outfitter rental, or a one-time purchase, visitors will be expected to fork out $70 and up to stay compliant. A group of 9 visitors, who in the past may have been able to fit all their food for a week in one-blue barrel, now will have to purchase multiple containers. These multiple containers will all have to fit into portage systems, which may mean purchasing additional portage packs. How does this affect big groups such as the Scouts, or Wilderness Inquiry? Friends of the Boundary Waters make good points about how this rule change is a limiting factor for people visiting the BWCA.

4. Does requiring hanging of food really deter creating nuisance bears? Bears are smart and persistant. What I have heard happening, is that even when someone hangs the perfect setup (12' up, 6' away from trunk) bears have been known to learn how to chew through the rope and down comes the food because they have learned that rope=food.


Just some of the issues I have ruminated on.
There is one clue as to where I think this rule change is heading. It is addressed in the Q and A the FS issued:

"Q. Would the Forest Service consider adding hanging poles or other infrastructure at campsites for hanging food, as is done in National Parks, etc. (similar to fire grates at campsites, one at every site)?"

"A. We cannot install permanent structures within a federally designated wilderness without justification. If it became necessary to prevent damage to the area, that may provide justification, but our first tool is educating our visitors and changing our behaviors to mitigate that risk."

My sence is that the FS may be trying to build a case for installation of hanging poles, similar to the ones I have seen in the backcountry of Glacier National Park. But before they can do so, they have to have evidence that even with an educated public, bears are still gaining access to food and there has been an increase in damage. Add into the fact that the FS is currently drafting and creating a new Forest Service Plan for the BWCA that will go into effect in April of 2026, the same time this two year rule is set to expire or be extended, is not a coincidence. By the way, input for this draft of a new forest service plan is still open for public comment until May 17 here:
Forest Service Plan. More so then writing your represenative, feedback here will have a direct line to the policy makers of the BWCA.
 
05/09/2024 11:32AM  
I sent an email to the FS listing multiple reasons this is a bad idea. If you are willing to post a complaint here then you should be willing to email the FS or your representative to submit a complaint to them.

This food storage order is not only an overreach, it is ineffective and will likely cause more problem bears instead of less. All we would be doing is creating more incentive and opportunity for bears to learn how to get hanging food packs down.
 
tumblehome
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05/09/2024 12:04PM  
A1t2o: "I sent an email to the FS listing multiple reasons this is a bad idea. If you are willing to post a complaint here then you should be willing to email the FS or your representative to submit a complaint to them.


This food storage order is not only an overreach, it is ineffective and will likely cause more problem bears instead of less. All we would be doing is creating more incentive and opportunity for bears to learn how to get hanging food packs down."


lol. Funniest post yet. Bears don’t have opposable thumbs.
Tom
 
TreeBear
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05/09/2024 12:37PM  
I've been trying to stay out of this discussion because it has felt that there's a lot of strong feelings over it.

To me, most of this regulation update is giving rangers a foot to stand on when it comes to food storage. For years, the USFS has given recommendations of how to store food (whether or not their methods are correct is, evidently, a matter of lengthy debate.) But if a ranger pulls up to a campsite where someone is obviously, blatantly causing issues and their decision has an impact for the rest of the summer or years to come (Alpine/Red Rock, Duncan/Daniels...) what could they do? They could ask nicely that people store their food properly. If litter was scattered, they could enforce a law there. As far as I can tell, this is an enforceable mandate which simply means the rangers have another tool to use when someone is blatantly causing issues. If I had to guess, it's not going to see heavy enforcement, mostly warnings, unless someone's attitude or outlook earns it.

At the end of the day, this is a response to specific issues during the pandemic and changes in use since. And as quickly as it has been enacted, it can be changed in the years to come.

I still just don't understand the fury and the guile, but I know I probably never will. And so much of the discussion is based on personal experience (I've never seen a bear doing it my way....) Well, neither have I. Most bear issues are circumstantial (the right bear, the right campsite, the right day.) But, the thought being we should each be responsible for our actions because, especially in a heavily visited place like the BWCAW, our actions have consequences for the next group. And no, the USFS is not going to drag you out of your campsite to the nearest jail because your pack is 11.5' off the ground. So much of the strong feelings are overreactions and fear-mongering. They do have laws to enforce, but unless the law you are breaking is a risk to health and life (ie: a bonfire in the middle of a red flag) the worst you can expect is a warning and a conversation. Wilderness enforcement is as much about education as anything. Be smart, be safe, and don't be the reason more rules get put in place just because your way/my way HAS to be the right way.
 
05/09/2024 12:47PM  
I see from some of the posts above that some were not practicing bear prevention in the past. Maybe part of the problem at present.
 
05/09/2024 12:55PM  
I have said in a separate post that I felt the FS food storage order was not well thought out and would create a multitude of new problems. Example: you are going in at EP 50 Cross Bay planning on a 5 day base camp on Long Island Lake, you are solo, double portaging. ( I have done this trip 3 times ) I take my canoe and food pack on one trip and main pack, fishing gear etc on the second. There are 6 portages, 7 if you wish. 3 groups per day.
Check my math-- I need to hang my food pack at least 6 times on what is usually a 5 hour trip, while other campers both coming in and going out are trying to do the same thing? Traffic jam, fist fights over who saw the best tree first ? What could possibly go wrong.
I suppose I could go buy some more approved food storage containers, money being no object of course. Great idea! My wife could fashion the ursack into a purse or use the bear vaults as lunch boxes for the grand kids! Martha Stewart would be proud of how we turned single use items into (a little hot glue and some glitter) a fashion trend sweeping the camping world.

I thought the W in BWCAW stood for wild ( old dopey me) Would someone legislate out the black flies next.

This rant brought to you by Merlyn
 
05/09/2024 01:37PM  
Ludicrous. Have not hung a pack for the past 15 plus years and will not start now, and am none too worried that a ranger is going to enter my camp at night with a tape measure.
 
05/09/2024 02:41PM  
tumblehome: "
A1t2o: "I sent an email to the FS listing multiple reasons this is a bad idea. If you are willing to post a complaint here then you should be willing to email the FS or your representative to submit a complaint to them.

This food storage order is not only an overreach, it is ineffective and will likely cause more problem bears instead of less. All we would be doing is creating more incentive and opportunity for bears to learn how to get hanging food packs down."


lol. Funniest post yet. Bears don’t have opposable thumbs.
Tom"


I suppose you have never seen a video of a bear working at a properly hung food pack until it came down. That or you're being sarcastic, but still it's worth saying. Bears can learn how to defeat just about any protection system. Some bears have even learned how to open a BearVault and can do so repeatedly.

For hangs, all a bear needs to do is figure out that chewing or pulling on a rope can lower or even drop the food pack. And if more people are hanging, instead of using a different prevention method like a blue barrel, then the bear will have more exposure and a greater chance of figuring out ways to get the food pack down and be able to use that trick more often to get that reward.

As long as people use some method to protect their food, more methods are better than fewer. I don't know for sure where you draw that line, but I think the majority of people would agree that the average blue barrel is much better than the average hang.
 
Z4K
distinguished member (429)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/09/2024 03:06PM  
Pinetree: "I see from some of the posts above that some were not practicing bear prevention in the past. Maybe part of the problem at present."


1000% Pinetree

I only made it half way through reading the above and I am just blown away by how entitled some of you are. GO SOMEWHERE ELSE IF YOU CAN'T FOLLOW THE RULES, THE USFS IS SICK AND TIRED OF HAVING TO KILL BEARS. The BWCA is just too easy to get to and people treat it like a campground instead of respecting it as the bona-fide wilderness it is. Go talking like "I've never hung and I've never had problems" in the Tetons or Glacier and see how the community responds.

I know that the vast majority here are not the ones introducing bears to food packs. That is when the damage is done, not the 2nd 3rd 4th pack. The first time a bear finds a pack it is THE BEST MEAL OF IT'S LIFE. What would you do, never go to that restaurant again? It's all downhill from there. We've been given warnings of this coming in the form of temporary and limited-area mandates for the past few years and, obviously, not enough people got the message so here we are. Now we have 2 years to get EVERYONE to straighten their act out or we live with this forever.

I spent under $100 on some good dynema and a set of fly blocks from Harken (made for sailing) a few years ago when a temporary order was issued. Total weight is under 1 pound and my 70 year old aunt has hung 200# with it (6:1). I haven't had any problems since (or before) but I'm glad to be doing my part nonetheless.

 
CoachWalleye74
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05/09/2024 04:19PM  


I only made it half way through reading the above and I am just blown away by how entitled some of you are. GO SOMEWHERE ELSE IF YOU CAN'T FOLLOW THE RULES, THE USFS IS SICK AND TIRED OF HAVING TO KILL BEARS.

"


Only making it halfway through you must have missed the parts about people objecting to the timing or how this was rolled out....the challenges with tree's....other ways that are as or more effective to achieve the desired outcomes...you know, good points of conversation on a topic???

It's a message board where people seem to be having a decent conversation about their opinion on what anyone with half a brain would call a potentially diversive topic. How's your rant look if in a year this method causes come bears to have to be removed? Lighten up, Francis, this is still the USA.
 
Z4K
distinguished member (429)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/09/2024 05:11PM  
I'd like to apologize to anyone took offense to my last post. I got real fired up and the first paragraph or two was really only meant for brand-new campers just learning about this or those that have said they plan on disregarding the new rules altogether. I should have wrote in a way directed more at the general audience here. I did not mean to sound disrespectful, I did not mean to push this conversation in a toxic direction. This was apparent to me when I re-read my own post, normally I would tone down before I posted but I felt very passionate in the moment. I in no way meant to hamper discussion here and I acknowledge the vast majority of conversation in this thread has been civil, law-abiding, and informative.

CoachWalleye74: "How's your rant look if in a year this method causes come bears to have to be removed?"

I tried to find my similar rant from when they issued the first SNF-wide ban, to post a picture of as a response to this but I've been unable to find it. I believe I used very similar phrasing to what you used here.
 
05/09/2024 05:25PM  
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources notes there have been no fatal bear attacks in Minnesota.

Since 1987, there have been eight unprovoked bear attacks in the state that resulted in hospitalization. In most of the incidents, the DNR stated bears were attracted to unsecured food sources at homes or campsites.

In three cases, the bears chased dogs that were not leashed. Bears perceive dogs as a threat, and dogs being chased often come back to their owner with the bear at heel.

One bear in the attacks had a very unusual brain disease that certainly motivated its aggressive behavior and it also showed signs of previously being in captivity. None of the other bears involved in attacks had any physical ailments.

Safety tips
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
 
05/09/2024 05:28PM  
"The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources notes there have been no fatal bear attacks in Minnesota.


Since 1987, there have been eight unprovoked bear attacks in the state that resulted in hospitalization. In most of the incidents, the DNR stated bears were attracted to unsecured food sources at homes or campsites.


In three cases, the bears chased dogs that were not leashed. Bears perceive dogs as a threat, and dogs being chased often come back to their owner with the bear at heel.


One bear in the attacks had a very unusual brain disease that certainly motivated its aggressive behavior and it also showed signs of previously being in captivity. None of the other bears involved in attacks had any physical ailments.



Bear-dog tangle today, then with owner, as he confronts bear by approaching bear to help dog' then de gets attacked. Ends up with laceratons.

Bear attacks dog today Crosby-_Ironton mn
 
05/09/2024 08:00PM  
Pinetree: "I see from some of the posts above that some were not practicing bear prevention in the past. Maybe part of the problem at present."


So I would call this an opinion…not fact based.

The actual facts according to previous FS reports is the most often breached food storage method by bears is hanging. So based on the facts anyone that hangs is not practicing the best bear prevention method and is guilty of creating the present problem. Simply saying that’s where the statistics lead us too. I don’t think your statement is well thought out, nor productive and comes off as arrogant ( I don’t think you are BTW and it wasn’t your intention) …

Now…do I personally think a well hanged bag is a problem? Absolutely not. I bet Pinetree does a great job and personally creates less risks to bears., My point is that this rule isn’t based on facts and I think judging people’s initial reaction to this rule is not in good form. It is very complicated.

I will follow the rules. I have the means too. Do I believe the bears or myself will be safer…absolutely not. There is no evidence of this. The FS heart is in the right place for sure…the cure may eventually be worse than the problem though…that is often the case with large Corporations or the government. One size fits all rarely works.

T
 
05/09/2024 08:29PM  
timatkn
It would be nice if you could fine the info on how food was stored and yes like everything there is bags hung correctly and bags like a few feet of the ground.
Also, it would be interesting if bears that got a hold of hung bags were successful in stealing it or if campers were awaken and chased the bear of empty handed, vs food left on the ground and not in a bear vault or similar container and bear gets food and runs off.
So many scenarios possible.
I have come up to numerous campsites to camp and found excess food dumped into the fireplace and even like 2 pounds of fried fish they didn't eat dumped there. That should be an automatic and stiff fine in those instants.
Yes, and the method to dispose of fish remains in the woods is the wrong way to go. Discard fish in deep water and puncture air bladder.
 
05/09/2024 09:14PM  
Appalachian trail rules USFS-interesting
food rules
 
analyzer
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05/09/2024 10:09PM  
I just can't help thinking the manufacturers of the bear approved containers, hired a lobbyist, made some campaign donations and next thing ya know there is stiff Food Storage regulation, and their sales quadrupled.
 
05/10/2024 06:25AM  
Pinetree: "Appalachian trail rules USFS-interesting
food rules "
That is interesting. The Ursacks must be hung to regulation 12’ heights.
That’s why I’m hesitant to buy one for BWCA and then have a Ursack rule change like that.
 
05/10/2024 11:32AM  
geotramper: "Seems like I'm alone here in my opinion, but I am totally fine with this. Many other wilderness areas, National Parks, National Forests, etc. require the same or more stringent food storage. I'll change my practice and move on, no big deal. The standard I have to meet for compliance is really not that high. And if it means fewer problematic human-bear interactions and fewer euthanized bears, then great.


Also, I find the idea that the USFS or FS employees are doing this to somehow profit is comical. If they wanted to generate more revenue, they would increase the permit fees. And if they wanted to line their pockets, there are much more lucrative ways to do that then buying Ursack and BearVault stock. "


+1

If you already hang your food, the regulation is no problem.

If you use a pack or blue barrel and tie to a tree or do the Cliff Jacobson, use a couple Ursacks inside the blue barrel or pack and the regulation is no problem.

These regulations are common place throughout the west and in the near future this will inevitably be the rule for all popular wilderness areas with a bear population. If you want to yell and scream into the wind or give the lowest paid staff member in your elected representative's office another email to read, go ahead... The end result will be the same. Some folks may be inclined to make this a part of their world view of a nefarious government hell bent on over-regulation... while this is just the inevitable result of an ever expanding human population and the inherent conflict with wildlife and wild places.

The maximum penalty for speeding in Minnesota is a 6 month license suspension. Obviously that's not the common or typical penalty for speeding, so just take deep breath...
 
Lawnchair107
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05/10/2024 12:10PM  
What's the real issue here? Burn areas? What's the FS plan on tackling this if they see you at a campsite that legit has zero trees to hang from? My guess would be real lackadaisical.

Here's my simple take: Bears will get food regardless, no? Why not make it be a little harder for them to receive a reward if tied up on a tree vs. sitting next to the shoreline, off in the woods (that my favorite) or tied to your tent pole...

The fact some think Bears don't have a nose that will find a stash of food hidden "off trail" is down right ridiculous and comical. Is that the thought? That Bears only roam our latrine trails?

2nd notion, I hear the repeated.. I've been to the Bdub X-amount of years and have never seen a bear, been bothered, etc. - why does this pertain to me? Kudos, but just because you haven't had a first hand experience like some on here have, doesn't mean your system works best &/or not yet tested. Just my .02 cents.

PS - 100% fish remains should be discarded back to the lake. I see this change coming soon.

Wolves in 4!