This is a partial reponse to my email requesting clarification to the Sam's memo. Thanks, Sam- I couldn't determine, with my aged brain, what was meant. I read it as a the buck being passed down to the individual ranger's descretion.

We have recently received clarification on the issue from Washington and
bear pepper spray is now allowed in the park. Please read the information
near the bottom of the page at"

Quote from above publication
"Bear pepper spray may be carried by hikers within Great Smoky Mountains National Park for the strict purpose of protection against bodily harm from aggressive wildlife. It should not be applied to people, tents, packs, other equipment or surrounding area as a repellent. Bear pepper spray is a chemical formula designed specifically to deter aggressive or attacking bears. It must be commercially manufactured and labeled as “Bear Pepper Spray" and be registered with the Environmental Protection Agency and individual states. Bear spray must contain between 1% to 2% of the active ingredients capsaicin and related capsaicinoids"

Check out for info on use , etc. As always, this stuff is not a toy, and should be used as a last resort by a knowledgable individual.

Randall Sale
the Kytroutbum
(Heading west in less than 36 hours)