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Discussion Starter #1
For anyone who doesn't already know. Starting this year the Smith is requiring that food be stored in a bear rated cooler / container or have an electric fence around them. It would suck to get there and find out at the launch.
 

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Paddling in to the Future
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are no dry boxes considered bear resistant? or do you have to bring a second bear resistant cooler for dry foods too?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I think it is only containers that have food in them. Keep in mind that if you don't have 500 quid to lay down on a new cooler or drybox you can use a portable electric fence.

I heard a rumor that there is a board that makes up these new regs and many of the board membes are made up cooler reps. If it isn't a rumor I'm sure it is just a coincidence.
 

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Not saying it was you, El Flaco, but if people would pick up after themsevles and not leave shit out others wouldn't be penalized. It's BS that people neglect the rules in place and ruin it for everyone else.
We have floated the river every year for the past 7 years, sometimes twice a year, and never had a bear in camp.
Maybe they should monitor the river more, as we have only seen rangers come down once.
Pretty soon regulations will be more stringent.
 

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Renaissance Redneck
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That bear smelled Flaco's feet and thought they were a couple of carp carcasses that someone tossed on the bank.
 

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Not saying it was you, El Flaco, but if people would pick up after themsevles and not leave shit out others wouldn't be penalized. It's BS that people neglect the rules in place and ruin it for everyone else.
We have floated the river every year for the past 7 years, sometimes twice a year, and never had a bear in camp.
Maybe they should monitor the river more, as we have only seen rangers come down once.
Pretty soon regulations will be more stringent.
You hit the nail on the head Drooler, they're already way more stringent than they used to be... MFWP's answer to problems is to restrict more use. Actually applying brain power, or god forbid money, to the problem is not on their radar. It's that way all over the state. Look at all the shitty ramps that wash out every few years or the way they fence off every square inch of riparian area surrounding the ramps leaving no room for actual access, staging or even loading of passengers.

They unintentionally promote these problems. For instance, there have been bear issues at the Scotty Allen camps since at least Y2K, they rarely caused any real problems because either the rangers warned people and they skipped the sites or people that used them had dogs. Last year it seems the rangers just closed sites when bears were sited. And now with no dogs, means bears are becoming less wary. I also believe the whole belief in "bear proofing" everything and "always carry your pepper spray" has made people complacent. Bears used to scare people, now folks kind of hope they'll run into one so they can test their pepper spray or worse yet the 44. I know it's not all MFWP's fault, but they sure promote the "babysitting" mantality - and we as Montanan's just look at the ground, kick a rock and so "ok, I guess you know best, I guess I'll quite playing in the sand box".

Bunch of wansies we are!!!
 

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Is there a reason that Engel's 65 quart cooler is rated, but their other sizes are not?
I didn't research this to any great detail so I could be wrong, but my guess would be that that's the only one that they submitted for certification...maybe because the others aren't lockable or are missing some other key attribute.?...? "shoulder shrug"
 

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Anyone ever do the "courtesy inspection" for homemade containers?
I have not been through the process.......but I did talk with the rangers a bit last year. Essentially what the process needs to show is that the box is crush proof, has multiple latching points, is lockable (to a bear, i.e. bolts work) and needs to be made of a durable material (no wood, thin plastics, etc). They showed the example of a horse panier, made of aluminum that had a cross bar added (with rivets if I recall correctly) spanning the narrow dimension near the lid and two additional butterfly latches on each side. This in essence made it impossible (sufficiently difficult?) to smash one side and and break the latches or get claws inside to rip off the lid. They made a point of saying it was no where near the degree of testing required to certify a product with IGBC.

At the time they had a list of the sites doing the testing - I forget the details but it seemed to be most of the FWP regional offices and/or maybe regional USFS ranger stations. You should be able to call them, I'm sure either of them would give you details on the criteria being examined.
 

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Is there a reason that Engel's 65 quart cooler is rated, but their other sizes are not?
Not sure where you were looking but, all sizes of the Deep Blue series are IGBC certified. I have a few different sizes and "IGBC Certified Bear Resistant Container" is actually stamped/molded into each cooler.
 

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The bear issue on the Smith is not a new thing. The black bears have always been there and it is their home. Bears do what bears do, they look for the easiest food source. Unfortunately, people have corrupted the natural feeding behavior of bears by their shitty camp practices. If your group has a camp full of easy pickings for a bear what do you think will happen? This isn't rocket science folks. Now people are pissing and moaning over the fact that the state stepped in an set up some new regulations that are designed to help the problem. The problem being protecting the bears from sloppy, inconsiderate assholes. This is not the bears fault. A couple of years ago the state parks people had to go in and kill several bears that were "raiding" camps. The bears behavior was brought about by sloppy river camps and land owners (rumored, one outfitter in particular) who were feeding the bears. On a more important note, if you actually read the new regulations they want bear proof coolers and dry boxes(most of which are) or bear fences for those who plan on a sloppy camp or you can still use the old tried and true hang food from a tree in an appropriate manner. It may not have been you but it was your friends actions that brought this about. So, in a way, every time you allowed slop to happen you contributed to the action.
Later, Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Are you yelling at everyone or just me? You don't know me or my friends and calling any of us "sloppy" or "assholes" is way out of line.
I didn't see anyone "pissing and moaning" about the state or new regs and I'm pretty sure everyone here knows that a bear poops in the woods. :p I posted this so that others wouldn't find out about the new regs at the launch and I thought I said that in the original post. I meant to. Yes the reg includes coolers AND dryboxes because they assume people will store food in both, but if you don't have any food in your drybox during the inspection, you will be okay if it is not bear rated. That is directly from the mouth of one of the rangers at Camp Baker last year.

I've seen a lot of rafters in the last three years and river folk seem especially mindful of camp and camping etiquette. I can honestly say that I have never seen a rafting group that was "sloppy" although I'm sure that it happens. But one thing to keep in mind is that bears will come into camp and search for food even when campers are being very careful. (Keep in mind that WE are food) No that doesn't make it their fault, it's just the nature of the beast, again, bears poop in the woods. And of course "sloppy" campers have made it worse I'm sure.

These regs are being adopted because that is the direction EVERYTHING is going. All Outdoor agencies are under increasing pressure to adopt regs that protect the rivers and people. At some time in the future ALL overnight trips will be bear proof, grooved, fire-panned etc, with the strictest of guidelines. Safety and Leave No Trace is the idea and it is a good thing but my point is that everything is heading that way and that is what were seeing here.

I don't know if you meant your reply as personal as it looks. The tone of a person is very hard to read in an anonymous forum and your last one reads very much a certain way.
 

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No ob1 that was not an attack toward you and I sincerely apologize if it came off that way. Some of the feeling expressed in that post was over flow from other conversation on other sites. Once again I'm sorry that post had such a negative tone and it was not ment at you in any way. Thank you for posting about the new regs for the general info to the group.
Have a great day!
Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #18
AirEms after reading your reply again this morning I figured you were venting some frustration in general. I'm not usually over sensitive and I probably should have waited until today to reply.
You are obviously passionate about this stuff which is good. If everyone were like that there would be less problems so thank you.

On a separate note, this last spring you mentioned that you had a 155 Yeti stolen from you. Since we boaters are a small group here in GF I'll keep an eye out. Did you have any identifying marks or labels or ???.
 

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Let me tell you this about that. Bears were not a problem on the Smith until one specific land (lodge) owner on the Smith started actively feeding the bears for the enjoyment of his idiot clients. This included having the bears walk up on his deck and INTO the lodge to be hand fed. The problems at river camps started only AFTER this shit show. Montana Fish W&P is/was well aware of this activity but acting on this information would require work and some basic level of competence. Both of which are non-existent and the government level. They, FW&P, Forest Service et al actively look for and intentionally create conflict at every opportunity. They then use said conflict to write up some regs. because that is what lets them justify their so called jobs.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
They, FW&P, Forest Service et al actively look for and intentionally create conflict at every opportunity. They then use said conflict to write up some regs. because that is what lets them justify their so called jobs.
"Never let a good crisis go to waste" Rahm Emanuel.

And if you don't have one, create one.

That must have been the Lodge (idiot) that AirEMS was talking about.
 
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