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Thread: Offical Bear spray News!!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    546

    Default Offical Bear spray News!!

    I finally recieved this response this morning from GSMNP headquarters. It looks like an exact copy of what I remember from '06. This is not someone's Blog!!

    "Sorry for the slow response time -- we were waiting for clarification from
    Washington about whether or not bear spray is legally considered a weapon,
    but finally gave up and decided to apply the regulations as we have in
    previous years. In this park we are not prohibiting carrying bear spray at
    this time. However, please be aware that pepper spray requires specific
    training to use effectively. When used improperly, pepper spray may act as
    an attractant to bears, or may incapacitate the visitor, making fending off
    an attacking bear difficult. Therefore we do not recommend the use of
    pepper spray in Great Smoky Mountains National Park."

    Again, Don't put yourself in a position where you have to use it. Follow good bear protocol, etc. The Spray is for WHEN AND IF all else fails. If you carry it, learn and follow directions before going out. I'VE HEARD AND READ SO MUCH FALSE INFO OUT THERE IN "CYBERLAND" ABOUT IT!

    Randall Sale
    the Kytroutbum

  2. #2
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    Apr 2006
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    Thanks for following up with this Randall. In lieu of waiting for the federal response, the Park Superintendent made his own decision, which is wise. Hopefully this will be communicated to the Rangers as well to avoid any conflicts with the CFRs and what the Superintendent has allowed.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    2,516

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    Save this...Someone may have to legally defend themselves at some point since this their stance is so vague as a government entity.

  4. #4
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    Louisville KY
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    Randall,

    I got the same email today as well. I'm printing it off and taking it with me next trip.
    David

    "My Biggest worry is that when I'm dead and gone, my wife will sell my fly-fishing gear for what I said I paid for it."

  5. #5
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    Mar 2006
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    This was almost an exact copy of my march of '06 email from them. My wife and I have had our licenses checked, been in Ranger Stations, talked with Rangers (not volunters) about a problem bears sitations, paused to talk with back country Rangers patrolling, etc. We've always carried it openly in all situations, I off a wading belt, she in the mesh on the side of her daypack. I've never had anyone even question it. I've noticed that Head Rangers in different parks have the latitude to alter some policies.


    Randall Sale
    The Kytroutbum
    The finest gift you can give to any fisherman is to put a good fish back, and who knows if the fish you caught isn't someone else's gift to you?---Lee Wulff

  6. #6
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    Jan 2007
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    Smokies and South Florida
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kytroutbum View Post
    I finally recieved this response this morning from GSMNP headquarters. It looks like an exact copy of what I remember from '06. This is not someone's Blog!!

    "Sorry for the slow response time -- we were waiting for clarification from
    Washington about whether or not bear spray is legally considered a weapon,
    but finally gave up and decided to apply the regulations as we have in
    previous years. In this park we are not prohibiting carrying bear spray at
    this time. However, please be aware that pepper spray requires specific
    training to use effectively. When used improperly, pepper spray may act as
    an attractant to bears, or may incapacitate the visitor, making fending off
    an attacking bear difficult. Therefore we do not recommend the use of
    pepper spray in Great Smoky Mountains National Park."

    Again, Don't put yourself in a position where you have to use it. Follow good bear protocol, etc. The Spray is for WHEN AND IF all else fails. If you carry it, learn and follow directions before going out. I'VE HEARD AND READ SO MUCH FALSE INFO OUT THERE IN "CYBERLAND" ABOUT IT!

    Randall Sale
    the Kytroutbum
    I need to know who sent this to you and I would like a copy of the email if that is possible.

    This is 100% not what I was just told by Steve Kloster the TN District Ranger yesterday after being ducked for 2 weeks by him. He backed up Kim Delozier who was the first to tell me the spray was illegal.

    When someone from the backcountry office said some bear sprays were legal I immediately asked asked for clarification at which time I was turned over to Steve Kloster who took more than 2 weeks to answer me.

    The deeper I am looking onto this the more disgusted I am getting especially after the US fish and Wildlife reports I have been reading.

  7. #7
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    Apr 2006
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    The CFRs (Code of Federal Regulations) state that the repellent (or any pepper spray) is illegal in the national park systems. There are exceptions to these rules for those parks in AK and areas of Yellowstone are excepted by the Park Superintendent. From reading the CFRs, there are some latitudes granted to the Park Superintendents to make exceptions to the regulations on a limited scope basis, such as the repellent issue. From what Randall was able to obtain, it is apparent that the GSMNP Superintendent has exercised some of that latitude to allow the possession but in the same breath, states that it is not recommended.

  8. #8
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    Jan 2007
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    Smokies and South Florida
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    Quote Originally Posted by kytroutman View Post
    it is apparent that the GSMNP Superintendent has exercised some of that latitude to allow the possession but in the same breath, states that it is not recommended.
    Need the source of the email.

  9. #9
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    Mar 2006
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    THE PROBLEM WITH WHO SAID WHAT MAY BE THE SOURCE. The US Forest Service is under the Department of Agriculture, The National Park System is under the Department of the Interior. Two different Branches of Government with different policies. Juristictional Boundries for GSMNP lie with the National Park System- Department of the Interior.

    I am NOT SURE of the working relationships between Tenn Fish and Wildlife, US Fish and Wildlife, and GSMNP-Dept. of Interior but assume that they overlap greatly. With my knowledge of Governmental Agencies I also, feel safe in assuming that in the Park proper Dept. of Interior policies would be followed.

    Aside, I find it extremely ironic that Forest Service personnel are telling you its illegal, when it was Forest Service personnel at the Headquarters Shoshone National Forest in Cody, Wyo. that very very strongly reccommended I carry it backpacking in their forest and require their personnel in the field to carry it. The USFS Ranger even went as far as suggesting the brand and giving the location of store to purchase it.

    I believe what is preceived as a "run around" and the warning language is C__ Y___ A___ carefully worded by a legal consultant someplace to reduce liability, etc. I know there was some legal action taken against the Park, and /or (MAYBE?) park personnel from the mauling death above Elkmont, approximately 10 years ago. Remember we live in a "sue" crazy world where most liability insurance companies have found it less costly to settle out of court.

    It is my belief if Bear Spray were made illegal, we would have some folks exercising their "right to bear arms" whether or not they have had the training. Bear Spray, with all its issues, IS NON LETHAL, where someone untrained, and undergunned weapon in their vest is LETHAL. I wish Yogi and Boo Boo were wild and all park visitors treated them properly. But having been indirectly the recipient twice, of someone else's interaction with the bears, I feel we need to be realistic about bear spray.

    I contacted Park Headquarters both times through their OFFICAL website www.nps.gov/grsm
    Where upon I used the "contact us" on the side bar. Below is an exact copy of what I recieved! It appears to me to exactly or almost exactly what I recieved in March of '06.

    As I stated in my earlier post on this thread, we've carried it openly "VISIBLE" around the park, had contact with rangers, trail crews, etc. and NEVER EVER been challenged. I've seen others carrying it openly also. I would believe I had some credability looking at my history of accuracy and high quality posts of my many years on this forum. I have to wonder if it is not, nor has not in the recent past been an issue for GSMNP-NPS personel, is there some other underlying motivation behind this issue?

    Randall Sale
    the Kytroutbum




    From: GRSM_Smokies_Information@nps.gov

    To:
    Subject: Re: From NPS.gov: Bear Repellant Legality
    Date: Tuesday, May 5, 2009 8:16:34 AM [View Source]
    Hello,

    Sorry for the slow response time -- we were waiting for clarification from
    Washington about whether or not bear spray is legally considered a weapon,
    but finally gave up and decided to apply the regulations as we have in
    previous years. In this park we are not prohibiting carrying bear spray at
    this time. However, please be aware that pepper spray requires specific
    training to use effectively. When used improperly, pepper spray may act as
    an attractant to bears, or may incapacitate the visitor, making fending off
    an attacking bear difficult. Therefore we do not recommend the use of
    pepper spray in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

    The most effective defense to protect yourself (and bears!) is to read and
    carefully follow all food storage regulations listed at
    http://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/campregs.htm and
    http://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisi...untry-regs.htm. (It will also
    save you a hefty fine because food storage regulations are strictly
    enforced in the park.) Bears learn to associate humans with food when
    visitors accidentally leave backpacks or food in reach of bears. Once bears
    learn that humans are a source of granola, apples, and sandwiches, they can
    become dangerous and may have to be destroyed.

    The park's trail map contains information about food storage in the
    backcountry. If you don't already have a copy, I will be happy to send you
    one -- just reply to this email with your postal mailing address.

    Best regards,
    C. Bloom
    Great Smoky Mountains National Park


    EXPERIENCE YOUR AMERICA
    The National Park Service cares for special places saved by the American
    people so that all may experience our heritage.




    To
    04/25/2009 05:07 GRSM_Smokies_Information@nps.gov
    PM cc

    Subject
    From NPS.gov: Bear Repellant
    Legality

    Email submitted fro[/email] at /grsm/contacts.htm
    Last edited by Kytroutbum; 05-08-2009 at 09:44 AM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Smokies and South Florida
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    Can't believe it but it's right there in black and white.

    Please edit your post at once to remove part of your email to avoid you getting tons of spam or have the mod do it at once.

    There has already been an employee in back country giving out what the called "bad information" this cliches it in my book.

    If bear spray is not legal , based upon all of the documents I read from the US Fish and Wildlife Service as well as other government sources, I will do all in my power to to get it so in a park where the density of bear is 2 per mile.

    Proper bear behavior is far more important than bear spray. Though I drive carefully I still wear a seat belt, have anti lock breaks and airbags.

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