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#183011 - 02/18/14 08:06 PM Ursack is now approved in the Inyo Nat. Forest.
rockchucker22 Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/12
Posts: 749
Loc: Eastern Sierras
I had heard that they were recently approved in CA, so I went to the ranger station here in Bishop and asked. Of course they didn't know, then a ranger came in and they asked her. She said "no" they are not allowed. So I stated that I read they have been approved and directed to ursack web page. They then got on the phone and asked someone higher up. Hung up the phone and said they ARE legal in CA but not recommended.

Funny I did ask what they recommend, but what was legal!
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#183014 - 02/19/14 12:09 AM Re: Ursack is now approved in the Inyo Nat. Forest. [Re: rockchucker22]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Where did you find this? all I've seen says they are still not approved...
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#183016 - 02/19/14 12:35 AM Re: Ursack is now approved in the Inyo Nat. Forest. [Re: rockchucker22]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Well, color me skeptical.

I'm a bear canister convert. I tried to buy an ursack and the store owner absolutely refused to do it. He was sick of refunding people who brought them back from the Sierra all torn up.

Seen too many trip reports with pictures of the bottoms torn out of the things. I do not believe there will ever be a bag capable of withstanding a habituated black bear - if they can get teeth into it, they will work it until it's done. A Yosemite ranger told me about the time he had to hike bolt cutters into the wilderness to cut the ropes after a bear tore an ursack in two - the bear worked it alllllllll night and the knots were so tight the hiker couldn't get the bag remnant off the tree.

I do not care if they are ever approved anywhere. I'll use the canister. Let the bears bother the ursack users. I will be asleep, not listening to the bears get my food.
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"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

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#183018 - 02/19/14 01:03 AM Re: Ursack is now approved in the Inyo Nat. Forest. [Re: lori]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada

I guess I'm less than skeptical because I have had them after mine up here. They chewed on it and stuff and crushed what I had in it and slobbered all over it, but never got into it.. my food was still edible, if messed up a bit.. I had it tied to a tree with the figure 8 knot, and didn't have any issues undoing it.

I honestly don't know if it was a griz or a black bear, could have been either where I was..

Of course, I've also heard stories of Yosemite black bears breaking car windows and stuff.. even Mr. Griz doesn't do that up here.

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#183019 - 02/19/14 01:14 AM Re: Ursack is now approved in the Inyo Nat. Forest. [Re: phat]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
That's kind of my point - habituated bears are at their worst in the places I tend to go, Yosemite south to Sequoia NP. Especially Yosemite.

I'm sure it would discourage a bear that's merely curious. But these bears do kamikaze dives out of the tops of neighboring trees to get properly hung food, get into cars and shred the interiors for crumbs, walk up behind people who are getting into their bear box and look right in - yeah, no thanks.

There's a bear in Yosemite valley that can open a car door, and when she slides back out, her weight tips the car then throws the door shut behind her. So when the person comes back the interior is trashed and no indication of how the bear got in.

They used to relocate the bears - as far away as Sonora Pass. The bears always returned, over the many miles, to resume their food-obtaining shenanigans. There is no bear so determined as these.... I might try an ursack or similar somewhere else, but, no. The Sierra is home and the canister is my best friend. Long live the Bearikade.
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#183020 - 02/19/14 08:05 AM Re: Ursack is now approved in the Inyo Nat. Forest. [Re: lori]
bluefish Offline
member

Registered: 06/05/13
Posts: 677
They are currently approved for Inyo NF, and other areas of the Sierra, specifically NOT approved for all of Yosemite and 3 areas in SEKI. I'll look forward to using them in areas with non-habituated bears. There's a bear in the Adirondacks that has figured out how to open a Bear Vault, and I've heard of bears smashing open canisters on rocks. I've had my heavy Garcia poked around and licked, but never really moved far or tested.
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#183021 - 02/19/14 09:54 AM Re: Ursack is now approved in the Inyo Nat. Forest. [Re: bluefish]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Yellow Yellow is actually dead now, but her cubs may have picked up her technique....

There is a bear in Kings Canyon that will turn the Bear Vault on its side and bounce on it to pop the lid off. Very different than biting off the tabs the way Y-Y did. The rangers will warn you to put the BV inside bear lockers while staying in Paradise Valley.
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#183022 - 02/19/14 11:22 AM Re: Ursack is now approved in the Inyo Nat. Forest. [Re: bluefish]
BZH Offline
member

Registered: 01/26/11
Posts: 829
Loc: Torrance, CA
Originally Posted By bluefish
They are currently approved for Inyo NF, and other areas of the Sierra, specifically NOT approved for all of Yosemite and 3 areas in SEKI. ...


This has been my understanding for some time. I believe the national forests didn't have the resources to fight the lawsuit with ursack so they wrote vague requirements without specifying actual acceptable equipment. I take it to mean they don't want you to use the ursack but if you throw a big enough stink they will allow it.

The problem is, if you hike in from the eastern side of the Sierra's I think Inyo NF stops around the pass then your into a different jurisdiction that may not allow ursack.

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#183024 - 02/19/14 11:48 AM Re: Ursack is now approved in the Inyo Nat. Forest. [Re: BZH]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
I am pretty sure that you have to counterbalance it in SEKI to be legal. And the Whitney zone is one of the canister mandatory areas, along with Rae Lakes and Dusy/Palisades.
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"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

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#183040 - 02/19/14 11:39 PM Re: Ursack is now approved in the Inyo Nat. Forest. [Re: BZH]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2742
Loc: California
I have both Ursack and Bearikade and use them together on long trips. By the time I get to NP I can get all the food into the Bearikade. I am glad to hear this news.

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#183049 - 02/20/14 08:55 AM Re: Ursack is now approved in the Inyo Nat. Forest. [Re: lori]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
If using a canister, I place it in some rocks or blow downs, but close enough that I can hear if anything is trying to get at it. More issues with slobbering deer than bears. If a bear has torn a Ursack up that much, it was placed too far from the owner.
After all, they are only worded as being bear resistant, not bear proof.
Duane

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#183051 - 02/20/14 10:08 AM Re: Ursack is now approved in the Inyo Nat. Forest. [Re: hikerduane]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
I don't think you have ever tried to get anything back from a habituated bear. You just have to consider it a total loss and pick up after the bear.Once they get teeth in and have a taste, it's all over. Canisters can't be picked up or bitten, so they lack the same level of investment for the bear. You can drive them off canisters.

Observe:
http://giantdumpster.wordpress.com/tag/ursack-failure/

No "properly tied knot" would have prevented that. In fact, the knot didn't fail.
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"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

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#183057 - 02/20/14 01:37 PM Re: Ursack is now approved in the Inyo Nat. Forest. [Re: lori]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
I've heard that Lori. An instructor I had at our local community college used to play football at Stanford, an avid bper. He was a long ways from civilization and said he had to tackle a bear one time to retrieve his food. I don't think I would venture that close, may try to harass it would be all, up to a point. smile
Funny, I know you work with SAR, I saw more bears when my dog was alive, then I've seen since. Never had trouble in any case with bears.
Duane

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#184497 - 04/14/14 04:55 PM Re: Ursack is now approved in the Inyo Nat. Forest. [Re: hikerduane]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6370
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Ursack just reported on their website that the latest Ursack version just passed the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee tests. Of course that doesn't mean every agency has to accept that, and I'd want to see something official from the IGBC before getting at all excited.

If this report turns out to be accurate, it will mean we can use Ursacks legally in Wyoming's Wind Rivers. Oddly, the national forests there require either an IGBC approved container (BTW, Bearikade is not IGBC approved) or hanging via a method that would cause anyone at all familiar with Yosemite bears to go into hysterics laughing. Since I can't hang (shoulder arthritis and lack of skill), I was using my Ursack illegally in the Winds.
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#184500 - 04/14/14 09:28 PM Re: Ursack is now approved in the Inyo Nat. Forest. [Re: OregonMouse]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6370
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
The test Ursack claims to have passed is only the first step in getting approval. From the IGBC:

Quote:
Q: If my product passes the required tests, does it mean that the product is automatically approved by the IGBC?
A: Successfully passing the required testing at the GWDC is the first step toward IGBC approval of a product. After a product passes GWDC testing, results are forwarded to the US Forest Service (USFS) in Missoula, Montana where test results and product information are collated and reviewed. Products are not officially approved until the USFS has received all the necessary data and issued an IGBC Certification Number. Manufacturers will be notified of product approval through written correspondence from the USFS. Approved products and their assigned IGBC Certification Numbers will then be added to the list of approved products on the IGBC website. The list of approved products can be accessed through the IGBC website (www.igbconline.org).


More here.

Translated, don't hold your breath waiting!


Edited by aimless (04/14/14 09:34 PM)
Edit Reason: bbcode fix
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May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#186324 - 07/29/14 01:42 AM Re: Ursack is now approved in the Inyo Nat. Forest. [Re: OregonMouse]
ndwoods Offline
member

Registered: 01/26/02
Posts: 572
Loc: Santa Cruz CA, Sierra Hiker
But they did get their IGBC number....
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#186330 - 07/29/14 09:06 AM Re: Ursack is now approved in the Inyo Nat. Forest. [Re: ndwoods]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6370
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
But they won't be on the IGBC list until it's revised again--might be months.

And note that the approval is only for the 2014 S9 model--it doesn't cover previous models. In other words, if you already have an Ursack, it is not the approved model, unless you just bought it. Certainly my 2006 version is not approved!
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May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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