"I think bear spray is actually illegal in Yosemite and Sequoia NPs."
Seriously? Illegal? Why?
"Almost all Fish and Game wardens and FS rangers in Wyoming carry bear spray and highly recommend it and carry it in ADDITION to their firearms."
This is how I see it. First line of defense is the bear bells. After that is spray. But I'll have something if the spray does't work, which it doesn't always. But I'd prefer it be deterred than to have to physically deal with it.
Bear Bells? Dinner Bells! They are useless here. Bears in California rarely, as in a handful of times in the past decades since the grizzly went extinct, even attack a person.
Bear spray is a weapon and illegal in Yosemite NP as all weapons are - although, if you are in compliance with California state regs, you can carry (NOT use, that's still illegal) a gun. It's the facts, jack. And bear spray is pointless as the bear bells since again, the bears don't want you. Just the sandwich, granola, clif bars, trash, etc you are carrying.
Bear bells are 100 times more likely to get you hurt - by me. They are #$@#%%$@@##$ annoying. I will sing all the show tunes in the universe before I will carry some #$%# jingle bells that can't be heard over the wind in the leaves.