Terror on the trail: Bear attacks teen bike racer- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Terror on the trail: Bear attacks teen bike racer

    I read about that griz attacking a mtn biker in Anchorage during a 24 hr race. I guess we need to be packing during those 24 hour races.

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  3. #3
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    Horrible news. I hope she recovers.

    What's the light like at 1:00am in that part of AK? How much darkness do you guys have at or near solstice? Tscheez??

    One ranger I read said it wasn't a very smart idea to have a night race next to a river known for fishing grizzlies. And I guess they moved the race this year? Damn, that's just terrible.

    thanks for the info.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by kcreative
    I read about that griz attacking a mtn biker in Anchorage during a 24 hr race. I guess we need to be packing during those 24 hour races.
    Or not have a 24 hour race in bear dense area...the light is dusky at 1:00 am. The unfortunate problem is that the bears that stay off of the trails during the day while there people all over them move around them at night uninhibited because they typically don't encounter humans.

    She was one of the youngest signed up for the race and thank god she is going to recover after multiple surgeries yesterday. Lets keep her in our thoughts.

  5. #5
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    A Truely sad event. I live close to the trails where the race was held. There were more bear than ever last year. I haven't heard the count for this year, but I sure its about the same. Late evening and night you need to be careful.

    I suspect that the bear are becoming urbanites just like the moose and that we will have more frequent encounters; which is a tough thing to deal with. We all like the outdoors and I'm all for letting nature and critters do their thing, but in cohabitation areas safety may dictate that some animals get relocated or put down. I've had moose, black bear, rabbits, & linx all over my property and have never had a problem. If the Grizzlies start hanging out then I'll feel that I need to do something.
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  6. #6
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    Authorities close Hillside trail where attack occurred:
    http://www.ktuu.com/global/story.asp?s=8579751

    Reading more about the injuries, I hope she makes it!

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    Quote Originally Posted by JordyB
    Authorities close Hillside trail where attack occurred:
    http://www.ktuu.com/global/story.asp?s=8579751

    Reading more about the injuries, I hope she makes it!
    Wonderfull ! Looks like the state people are covering themselves . I have a feeling this is going to get worse before it gets better. Why ? Because the government is going to get involoved, and as we all know , they know whats best for us.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeff1962
    Wonderfull ! Looks like the state people are covering themselves . I have a feeling this is going to get worse before it gets better. Why ? Because the government is going to get involoved, and as we all know , they know whats best for us.
    It is not the State - it is the Muni (City) and BLM (Federal) who manages the lands. The State has nothing to cover for. Are you suggesting that the State should be responsible because there are bears in the woods?

  9. #9
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    It would be nice if, when reporting that Rick Sinnott wasn't consulted before the race course was set, the media would mention that the municipal land managers were consulted and approved the course. It's the muni -- not Rick -- that has the authority to approve such events.

    Many people were involved and aware of the plans for this race, and they all share responsibility for the course. And let's not forget that about 60 experienced riders happily signed up without saying, "Uh, about this Rover's Run section ..."

    As I heard a friend say yesterday, "Hindsight is cheap." The bottom line is that everyone expected a successful race, and bear attacks can't be forecasted like the weather.

    This incident was terrible, but it could have happened anywhere on the Hillside and people would be second-guessing use of the trail on which it happened. The fact is, we share the Anchorage Bowl with bears and, 99.9% of the time, everything works out just fine.

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Valhalla
    It is not the State - it is the Muni (City) and BLM (Federal) who manages the lands. The State has nothing to cover for. Are you suggesting that the State should be responsible because there are bears in the woods?
    Look, don't put words in my mouth.I did not suggest that anyone is responsible.In fact I beleive when you go into the woods you are responsible for yourself. And the State, BLM or anyone else should stay out of it.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Valhalla
    It is not the State - it is the Muni (City) and BLM (Federal) who manages the lands. The State has nothing to cover for. Are you suggesting that the State should be responsible because there are bears in the woods?
    State biologist Rick Sinnott is quoted saying that they (Fish & Game) were not consulted by race organizers. The tone of the article makes it look like he is complaining about this fact -he is also quoted as saying that no no organized races should have been held in this area since it is prime bear country during the summer. Bears fall under the jurisdiction of the State -Fish and Game.

  12. #12
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    If the mauling wasn't bad enough....

    If the mauling of that poor girl wasn't bad enough, now we get to watch the bumbling, fumbling, boated municipal bureaucrats take over and blow this way out of proportion.

    This re-active closure to Rover's Run is purely emotional. It is yet another demonstration of our governments seemingly endless level of ineptitude. Let's be clear, this is not a public safety reminder nor does it make us more safe; rather it serves no other purpose that to implant in us xenophobic fears about the out of doors. It make so sense whatsoever to close just this one trail because of a non-fatal mauling.

    The circus has now officially started…

    Regards,

    EndUser
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  13. #13
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    I wish her the best. There are bears at Kincaid Park too, so it could have happened there. More moose attack people than bears, so it could have easily been a moose stomping. Not consulting Rick Sinnott doesn't make a damn difference. Reading some of his quotes in ADN and other places has kind of pissed me off at times. Be careful out there and keep this young girl in your prayers if that's your kind of thing.

  14. #14
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    I don't think any of you know what you're talking about...except for Tim.


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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Valhalla
    Or not have a 24 hour race in bear dense area...the light is dusky at 1:00 am. The unfortunate problem is that the bears that stay off of the trails during the day while there people all over them move around them at night uninhibited because they typically don't encounter humans.

    i'm very new to the state, so give me some slack, but you're basically saying don't have a 24 hr race in alaska with that statement is seems. what about the joggers that were attacked in the daytime away from the river two weeks prior? should jogging in the daytime be banned since it (sic) obviously increases the risk of a bear attack? i really hate to be getting drawn into the mudlsinging going on over this, but this seems to me to be the biggest misconception running around about the tragedy.

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    Prayers

    Thank God she's alive and to Pete for having the balls to stick around and help her knowing a bear was in the area.

    My thoughts and prayers go out to her and her family, and to Pete, and to all of us who are effected by this.

    Pat

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    You can't come in here and....

    Quote Originally Posted by akdeluxe
    I don't think any of you know what you're talking about...except for Tim.


    akdeluxe
    lay down that law. So, what exactly are you talking about?

    I'm not reading anything that might be considered out of order.... I think most here are in agreement. Summary, girl gets mauled.... city closes trail to save face.... blame game starts.

    I could swear you're implying Tim is our omnipotent outdoor rep.... errrr something like that. I trust this is not the case??

    Regards,

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  18. #18
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    Gasline to roversrun to the BLM parking lot is my favorite shuttle run. I have seen plenty of bear sign and have been very close to bear. Moose are also a big problem thru out Anchorage. On a ride last year I could hear a bear rooting around and I elected to change course and ride out a different trail. On my new course I ran into a moose calf that was also avoiding the bear and acting skittish. We had a stand off for about a minute and the calve moved off trail enough that I could get by.

    In the last 34 years I've lived all over Alaska. I've had more potentially dangerous encounters with moose than bear or wolves. I accept the risk of animal encounters when I go out on my bike, my 4-wheeler, my snowmachine, or hiking. This is Alaska and I love getting out and the easy ability to get out keeps me in Alaska.

    This incident reminds me of the increased encounters between park users and cougers in Oregon, California, Washington, Idaho and other states. As we continue to absorb more natural habitat; we encounter more animals and the critters become more tolerant of us. Most of us like being close to nature and must accept the risk involved. We will have to continue to educate park users on the risks and strategies for dealing with encounters. The trails here on hillside always have postings on bear sightings, so the effort is made to keep the users aware. Last spring there was a moose kill that a bear was very protective of and everyone was advised to steer clear that area.

    This attack really bothers me because she was 14. No one wants to see a young person lose their life or sustain injuries that haunt them for life. My prayers are with her and her family.
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  19. #19
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    The risks are always the same....

    Quote Originally Posted by sean salach
    i'm very new to the state, so give me some slack, but you're basically saying don't have a 24 hr race in alaska with that statement is seems. what about the joggers that were attacked in the daytime away from the river two weeks prior? should jogging in the daytime be banned since it (sic) obviously increases the risk of a bear attack? i really hate to be getting drawn into the mudlsinging going on over this, but this seems to me to be the biggest misconception running around about the tragedy.
    race or no race. Some here will argue it was a bad idea to run the race at night. Fine... great. The simple fact is the risks are always there, day, night, near the river or not. It is just ONE single risk. Yet some will question it. We will come to a point, unable to mitigate every single risk.... then what??

    Regards,

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  20. #20
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    Are you the Bear whisperer or something???

    Quote Originally Posted by Valhalla
    Or not have a 24 hour race in bear dense area...the light is dusky at 1:00 am. The unfortunate problem is that the bears that stay off of the trails during the day while there people all over them move around them at night uninhibited because they typically don't encounter humans.
    Give me a phuggen break, man. If you're suggesting a higher probability of bear attack at night then I want some of what you're smoking. This simplistic cause and effect may seem reasonable, but it's lame conjecture. Get the data and show us.

    Frankly, this is a terrible yet unremarkable event. The outcome is as good as it could be.... nobody was killed thank god.

    PS... I wish this tread would die.... it serves no purpose.

    Regards,

    EndUser
    Last edited by EndUser; 06-30-2008 at 09:43 PM.
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  21. #21
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    Well...

    Quote Originally Posted by EndUser
    lay down that law. So, what exactly are you talking about?

    I'm not reading anything that might be considered out of order.... I think most here are in agreement. Summary, girl gets mauled.... city closes trail to save face.... blame game starts.

    I could swear you're implying Tim is our omnipotent outdoor rep.... errrr something like that. I trust this is not the case??

    Regards,

    EndUser
    To me,it looked like this thread was turning into a battle of who knows more. a la ADN.When,where,why the gov.etc. Yes,I know,if I don't like it...bla bla bla. The Tim comment was kind of a friendly jab at him. I had to look up "omnipotent" At first I thought it had to do with that lame science fiction mag from the 80's. Big word.

    akdeluxe
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    OK... all clear

    Quote Originally Posted by akdeluxe
    To me,it looked like this thread was turning into a battle of who knows more. a la ADN.When,where,why the gov.etc. Yes,I know,if I don't like it...bla bla bla. The Tim comment was kind of a friendly jab at him. I had to look up "omnipotent" At first I thought it had to do with that lame science fiction mag from the 80's. Big word.

    akdeluxe
    Use next time. I thought you were serious for a couple of hours.

    This is still a Charlie Foxtrot.

    This discussion should just die..... a sad, but unremarkable event.

    Regards,

    EndUser
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    You should know by now to never take anything AKDeluxe says seriously.

    As for the night thing, I certainly don't have any "data" to back it up but I think night did play a big part in this. You take out all the day-time recreational users, drop the 12-hour racers, slow down the ones still going, and you have a lot less traffic. Wildlife starts becoming more active and chance of an encounter such as this goes up.

    My girfriend came through 2-3 riders before and when the guy behind her passed near the start of Rovers, he said he'd seen a bear at the bottom of Spencer's. Wouldn't take long for a bear to get from there to the head of rovers. That's a pretty big clearing before you hit Rovers, where the attack happened. If it's light out, there's a much better chance of seeing that bear and avoiding the encounter all together. I doubt this was a bear ambush or deliberate attack. From what we know it sounds more like it was a surprised bear reacting to a sudden encounter. Chance plays a big role, yes, but so did the conditions.

    Nobody knows exactly what happened and we probably never will, but I do know that there probably aren't anymore midnight laps in my future. No one is to blame, that one just hit too close to home for me.
    Last edited by SkiMonkee; 07-01-2008 at 01:09 AM.

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    Who let Leonard out of his cage? :-)

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by sean salach
    i'm very new to the state, so give me some slack, but you're basically saying don't have a 24 hr race in alaska with that statement is seems. what about the joggers that were attacked in the daytime away from the river two weeks prior? should jogging in the daytime be banned since it (sic) obviously increases the risk of a bear attack? i really hate to be getting drawn into the mudlsinging going on over this, but this seems to me to be the biggest misconception running around about the tragedy.
    What I am saying is that with each variable added the chances of having a bear encounter increases.

    A place with no bears has no risk. A place with bears has a certain level and people should act accordingly. Biking adds a risk, biking on a salmon stream increases that risk, biking on a salmon stream at night steps it up even more. Biking fast at night on a noisy, salmon stream with the wind blowing loudly so that a bear cannot discern the direction of smell or sounds, while exhausted and distracted as a result of the pressures of a race, giving very little time for either to react, increases the risk by many, many fold.

    I run, I bike, and I have raced. With that in mind take a step back for a minute and examine what these activities invoke. Would you run from a bear? Would you bike by a bear really fast to avoid it or to quietly get around it? Would you go biking along a salmon stream on the Alaska peninsula? Don't these high speed activities go against all of the knowledge we have about staying safe in bear country? Carrying a .44 mag to ride a bike? It is all pretty insane when you think about but with the amazing country we have surrounding us it is still so hard to resist!!

    The fact is that these are our passions and we have the difficult challenge of weighing the risks of where and how we do these activities. The fact remains that although FNB, CSP, and Campbell Tract are in Anchorage or as some would suggest in urban areas they are also in at least 20 brown bears' home range. Further it has been documented that a minimum of 36 individual brown bears use these same areas for some time during the summer. There are very productive salmon streams all through Anchorage, berries, garbage, sheep, and moose mcnuggets everywhere. Bears congregate where the food is. In June (kings), July (reds/pinks), and August (pinks/silvers) are in Ship, Eagle River, Potter/Rabbit Creek, and yes, all forks of Campbell creek. This is where the food is for large anchorage area brown bears (one in arctic valley is 1000 lbs!). It may feel like a safe bear-free urban environment because of people, roads, and infrastructure but it is Alaska.

    And that is the bottom line to me. This is Alaska and when travelling in bear country it is important to always weigh the risks whether you are running or biking or even skiing by a moose in winter. Taking some measure to reduce the risk such as making significant noise on a trail or staging a 24 hour race away from streams when the salmon are running seems like a great way reduce at least some of the risk.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by EndUser
    Give me a phuggen break, man. If you're suggesting a higher probability of bear attack at night then I want some of what you're smoking. This simplistic cause and effect may seem reasonable, but it's lame conjecture. Get the data and show us.

    Frankly, this is a terrible yet unremarkable event. The outcome is as good as it could be.... nobody was killed thank god.

    PS... I wish this tread would die.... it serves no purpose.

    Regards,

    EndUser

    It ain't conjecture and I do have the data - you do too. It has been published in ADN on at least 2 occasions, numerous tv news articles, and about 25 talks that ADFG biologists have given to a variety of audiences in the Muni. A full project report was released earlier this summer.

    The gps data that came off of brown bears collared on military lands and in the anchorage bowl shows that the distance of brown bears to salmon streams decreases to some degree at night but more notably that amount of time spent along streams is almost constant and that distance of bears to salmon stream when salmon are running is next to nothing (in some cases to the resolution of the gps collar). That is significant when the 4th grade science camp is running up and down the stream and Aunt Mable from Spokane is taking a nature walk at the Botanical Garden.

    Actually this thread does serve a purpose and it is a remarkable event. It is too bad that your apathy negates the importance of a near death bear mauling of a 15 year old mountain biker in the Anchorage bowl. This is the first such attack for bikers in Anchorage and the first mauling in many years. It,at the very least, should raise questions about this tragic event (as uneventful as you may think it is), the new understanding of Anchorage bear movements and numbers, and the new winding, single track that STA wants to build right through prime bear habitat. If you get a chance pull up some ADN articles or come by fish and game to see pics of a 1000lb boars off North Bivouac or the sow that raised 3 cubs a couple of hundred meters off of Tudor and Muldoon. I will be happy to share the data - it is not proprietary. It belongs to the people of Alaska.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by EndUser
    If the mauling of that poor girl wasn't bad enough, now we get to watch the bumbling, fumbling, boated municipal bureaucrats take over and blow this way out of proportion.

    This re-active closure to Rover's Run is purely emotional. It is yet another demonstration of our governments seemingly endless level of ineptitude. Let's be clear, this is not a public safety reminder nor does it make us more safe; rather it serves no other purpose that to implant in us xenophobic fears about the out of doors. It make so sense whatsoever to close just this one trail because of a non-fatal mauling.

    The circus has now officially started…

    Regards,

    EndUser
    What else can you do. It is an attempt to handle liability. In this litigious society what would happen if the Muni/BLM knew of a mauling, did not post the trail, and another person got mauled on it. BIG LAWSUIT!! And why isn't it a safety reminder. Just because you know of this event doesn't mean that everyone does. How about tourists?
    Last edited by Valhalla; 07-01-2008 at 01:23 AM.

  28. #28
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    muni park managers have their head up their a**

    Anybody want to see the email I sent to John McCleary at the Muni complaining about the original 24 hour race route, for putting it onto hardly used, sensitive trails, and for putting it in heavily used bear country? I never heard back from him (after emailing a couple of times), but did notice the route got changed a bit, but not away from Campbell Ck. Don't expect the muni to have more than the slightest shred of how to manage wildland parks that have as many BFB's running around as Katmai Brooks Camp...you're really on your own when dealing with the Muni!

    And yeah, riding at nite increases the probability of bear encounters in FNBP (along with riding alone), making it much higher than daylight rides, because the animals are (ADFG won't use this word because I've asked 'em, but it's almost correct) habituated, or perhaps more accurately tolerant of all the human use that happens in the daylight hours, knowing that they get the evenings to themselves.

    If I had to spend time at 1AM along that part of Campbell Creek I think I'd want my gun, and I'd be making a hell of a lot of noise, and have a bunch of folks with me. It's possible that the various bears in the area were already stressed out by getting pushed around in the woods by a bunch of breakneck bikers at all hours, and then one finally got pushed too far, or surprised a little too much. Think of how that moose at UAA reacted a bunch of years back after getting pummeled by snowballs and finally getting cornered by some old clueless guy, who s/he ultimately kicked to death. And then apply a similar situation to an brownie, perhaps with cubs, who has been already pushed around earlier...

    The current training on bear safety/conflict avoidance, etc is there are mainly two kinds of bear "actions" or reasons that lead to human attacks: defensive and offensive. Defensive bears are just doing whatever it takes to neutralize a threat that has come into their personal space, and won't usually kill whoever has done this, so the technique if (one doesn't have a deterrent) is to play dead. Offensive bears on the other hand are looking looking to kill their quarry, so it's recommended that one fight like hell. They're the old boars that can't make a legit kill anymore, have rounded off teeth, or perhaps are a youngster that is starving because it keeps getting kicked out of territories already occupied.

    And you think the situation at FNBP is bad? Wait until all the habitat rehab is done on Chester Creek, and bigger populations of salmon can get up it...we'll have monthly maulings of trail users, plus we'll be killing a bear a month. Campbell Creek didn't use to have as many salmon as it does now 50 years ago; guess who got those salmon back in there? ADFG. How wise is it to reintroduce a new food source in an urban area that will always be surrounded by hungry brown bears?

    My prayers are with the girl, her family, and I hope this hasn't been too hard on the race organizers, who are trying to do something good for our community.

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    Risk

    If you drove a car to the event you were at far greater risk of injury than the risk of bear attack. It's just that we drive all the time and nothing happens, so we accept the risk.

    To me, a life without risk would be a life not worth living. Different people have different levels of risk that they'll tolerate, or (unfortunately) allow.

    To Pete and Greg, good job and thanks for keeping a level head. You likely saved her life.

    To the armchair quarterbacks about to comment about the need to save her life, this is still the land of the free and the home of the brave, and we make our own decisions, and live with the consequences. With freedom comes responsibility, and with responsibility comes reduced risk.

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    OK.... so we know this....

    Great... so the data says lots of bears during the salmon run, day, night, morning, dusk, whenever... they are omni-present in the drainage this time of year. But how does this relate to the probability of a mauling? This is first mauling in the Anchorage Muni in what 13 years.... since what... 1995-96???.... which was a day time mauling if I recall.... not on a salmon stream. So, let's do the math... let's say Rovers run gets traveled on 50 times a day during the month of June and lets use a period 13 years (the last data point). That's (conservatively) about a 1 in 20000 chance of a mauling to occur during the height of feeding (in a high density area) during a 13 year period ( or 8 attacks in a hundered years). How many maulings have occurred on on Rover's Run?? Is this the first? How long has Rover Run been used by humans?? What 50 years??

    Face it.... maulings are exceedingly rare (even in Alaska).... the probability of one occurring is so low it's just inside of getting struck by lightening. There was a greater risk of an athlete dying from a massive MI than an bear attack!! So, what happens.... they close Rover's Run?? If they, the muni, really wants to protect us from the bears, why not just close the entire park down for the summer?? It's a supreme act of complete retardation on the part of the Muni to mitigate such a low probibility risk.

    And why is this attack remarkable? It is a known and accepted risk not out of the norm for the given activity on the hillside. What would have been remarkable and equally tragic is if she would have been struck down by a toilet seat falling from an Air Korea air bus. Now that would have been remarkable.

    And don't be confused about my concern for this young woman. What we are discussing here is the risk, probability, and the total and complete ineptitude of the Muni and how it might react to this bear mauling. Will they be ushering in more nanny state rules to protect us from ourselves?? Here in lies the rub.

    Regards,

    EndUser
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  31. #31
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    I understand your point, but the risk of mauling remains low even when encounters increase. Maulings are exceedingly rare events even with our dense bear population. The only way to mitigate such a random, low probability event is to totally eliminate trail usage during the summer months since the entire hillside is bear habitat. But, of course this is obsurd.

    The facts are we have lots of bears and lots of encounters (myself included).... but what is the probability of a mauling. This is the issue. I'm not a stats guy, but 2 mauling events in the Anchorage Muni in the last 13 years seems rather low to me given the amount of bears and the high summer usage of our parks and trails.

    Edit: I re-read your post... I think whatever habitat restoration occurs on the Campbell the risk of maulings remains the same. Bear country is bear country is bear country. Look at the Russian River Trail during the runs, man and bear together in greater numbers (day and night).... yet maulings rarely occur.... and that place is spooky at 2 am.

    Regards,

    EndUser
    Last edited by EndUser; 07-01-2008 at 11:31 AM.
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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Valhalla
    What else can you do. It is an attempt to handle liability. In this litigious society what would happen if the Muni/BLM knew of a mauling, did not post the trail, and another person got mauled on it. BIG LAWSUIT!! And why isn't it a safety reminder. Just because you know of this event doesn't mean that everyone does. How about tourists?
    I could rip this apart in so many ways and have it spinning on it's head. Not even worth a reply.
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    Quote Originally Posted by EndUser
    What else can you do. It is an attempt to handle liability. In this litigious society what would happen if the Muni/BLM knew of a mauling, did not post the trail, and another person got mauled on it. BIG LAWSUIT!! And why isn't it a safety reminder. Just because you know of this event doesn't mean that everyone does. How about tourists?
    I could rip this apart in so many ways and have it spinning on it's head. Not even worth a reply.
    What's the big deal with closing the trail? Wildlife officials always close trails after a mauling - be it in Denali, Eagle River or along the Russian. There's a problem bear running up and down Campbell creek - close the trail and the probability of another bad encounter decreases. How is this an emotional reaction any more than closing the Russian or the Crow Pass trail?

    Also... there have been 2 deaths and 3 maulings in Anchorage in the past 13 years. 2 in Eagle River, 2 (dealths) on the Turnagain trail and now Petra.

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    To Petra, we're all pulling for you! And hats off to Mr. Basinger - a hero.

    But, close the trail to protect me? Reduce my probability of a mauling? No thank you.

    Now closing the trail to protect the bears, I could see that. Our place borders FNBC Park, and we're glad to let the bears have their space and salmon and berries and such. I love Rover's Run, but there are lots of great trails in the Great Land. Had a great time yesterday on Moose Ridge just across the road from Rover's.

  35. #35
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    an idea

    Personally, I can't stand upper Rovers. It's not even called Run Rover Run anymore. I have always thought the current trail should be permantly closed and a better route/trail built. Rovers is almost always the last one to dry out in the spring. It has low spots that fill with water when it rains. It's getting wider and wider every year due to people riding,walking/runnig around the mud. Lots of blind corners. It is unsustainable and will only get worse.Ten years ago it was primo. Now,it's just ugly. Really,why are we clinging so hard to 150 yards of muddy double track when a much better trail can and should be in place. Is it because the Nordic Club/Veiwpoint affair from a few years ago still stings a little? Yes,I think upper Rovers should be shut down. Not because of bears,but because it sucks.
    Kind of off topic. Sorry, I hit the reply button with something to say, had a revelation,and was too lazy to go back and start a new thread.

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    Quote Originally Posted by akoiler
    But, close the trail to protect me? Reduce my probability of a mauling? No thank you.

    Now closing the trail to protect the bears, I could see that. Our place borders FNBC Park, and we're glad to let the bears have their space and salmon and berries and such. I love Rover's Run, but there are lots of great trails in the Great Land. Had a great time yesterday on Moose Ridge just across the road from Rover's.
    Whether you choose to say "closed to protect humans" or "closed to protect bears" the desire is the same: to limit bear / human incidents. A mauling equates a dead bear -- and most of the time many dead bears. Public sentiment turns against the bears and eventually they'll be shot either in "self defense" (like the guy who walked past the clearly posted moose kill sign a couple years ago on the Bivouac trail and plugged a brown bear) or some sort of legal hunt will open. Think of the Soldotna area where illegal kills of brown bears are at an all time high after a series of maulings.

    It's interesting how folks in the "the other forum" (as they like to call it) are saying that this incident will be used to force an agenda and that we will suffer the most. That's a rather egocentric viewpoint... a closed trail impacts the few people who use that trail - but a mauling impacts an entire community on all levels - from personal emotional viewpoints (co-workers are telling me they're scared to go to the park) to legislative action (local planners could argue that a road across Bicentennial would limit bear migration). If a trail closure limits the potential of future conflicts then everyone benefits.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by hillsidetracks
    If a trail closure limits the potential of future conflicts then everyone benefits.
    Show me the data that supports this claim.... and what is a conflict?? This certainly sounds like a reasonable action, but from a statistical standpoint is makes no sense at all. It was a decision make on emotion... not fact. What you are saying is there is a higher probability of getting attacked and mauled on this particular trail when the data does not bare this out. There have been two maulings in the Anchorge Muni in 13 years. Two different trails and at different times of the day and different times of the year and situationally very, very different.

    Explain this to me: Our trails have never been more popular and our parks are full of bears, yet maulings / deadly encounters are not trending with increased human-bear encounters. And when I say encounter I mean you see the bear and the bear sees you.

    So, why again should the muni close that particular trail when bears have been seen everywhere in the park and in greater and greater numbers? Post warnings for sure. Like I said before, maulings are exceedingly rare events even with our dense bear population. The ONLY way to mitigate such a non-predictable, low probability event is to totally eliminate trail usage during the summer months since the entire hillside is bear habitat.

    Now, when the frequency of maulings goes up.... then you'll have my full attention.

    Also, what about this problem bear??? Where did you come up with that idea???

    Regards,

    EndUser
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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by EndUser
    Show me the data that supports this claim.... and what is a conflict?? This certainly sounds like a reasonable action, but from a statistical standpoint is makes no sense at all. It was a decision make on emotion... not fact. What you are saying is there is a higher probability of getting attacked and mauled on this particular trail when the data does not bare this out. There have been two maulings in the Anchorge Muni in 13 years. Two different trails and at different times of the day and different times of the year and situationally very, very different.

    Explain this to me: Our trails have never been more popular and our parks are full of bears, yet maulings / deadly encounters are not trending with increased human-bear encounters. And when I say encounter I mean you see the bear and the bear sees you.

    So, why again should the muni close that particular trail when bears have been seen everywhere in the park and in greater and greater numbers? Post warnings for sure. Like I said before, maulings are exceedingly rare events even with our dense bear population. The ONLY way to mitigate such a non-predictable, low probability event is to totally eliminate trail usage during the summer months since the entire hillside is bear habitat.

    Now, when the frequency of maulings goes up.... then you'll have my full attention.

    Also, what about this problem bear??? Where did you come up with that idea???

    Regards,

    EndUser
    You are right - maulings are fortunately very rare. Since you seem to be a statistician then review the real stats before making them up.

    One mauling this year (in Anch) compared to zero maulings in the previous years ( I will use your figure of 13 years) is an increase how ever incremental (and the summer is less than half over). Don't forget a runner got bit last year on the Eagle River trail too. You yourself made that calculation; and bear encounters in Anchorage HAVE followed a general increase over the last few years too - look up the numbers up. The majority of encounters as you have described are never even reported so the stats will be underestimated. Does that have your attention?

    Rover's is essentially a bear trail on a salmon creek that is also a popular hiking/biking trail. You may not encounter the bears as much as one would think because yes, they are adept at moving around a human population without encounter. It is in their best interest to do so (which brings back up that basic ecological concept of temporal niche partitioning that you don't believe in - trail use at night when humans are less present). I know that you don't believe in risk management either (which is also based on stats), but that is the basis the land managers are operating under not emotion. Pathetically, there has already been lawsuit talk in the media. The fish are in and we have had 2 notable incidents in very close proximity from high speed backcountry activities in the last 3 weeks with some evidence it could be the same bear/bear group.

    So why not divert activity off Rover's for a little while after a mauling and while the fish are in. There certainly are many more trails to occupy yourself with in the interim. No one in Anchorage is screaming for over the top measures like culling bears or closing the park; and no one is running around screaming that the bears are taking over the city. In the end my guess is that many are not going to change their habits or even be more vigilant on the trail.

    My understanding is that you don't want gov't dictating what you can and can't do and I digg that, but what if you or a relative was on that trail this week and got mauled too. Would you write it off BLM/Muni's mild action so easily. As I mentioned before, and you threatened to tear up, the muni or blm or would get sued big time (I bet they could get sued regardless). Is there a chance that maybe these land managers don't want a mauling regardless of potential lawsuits and are trying to provide a safer environment for their trail users or are they just trying to supplant their "xenophobic" agenda? Besides, Rover's isj ust a giant mud pit anyways.

    The bottom line - ROVER'S RUN IS NOT CLOSED. The use of Rover's Run is discouraged and if you decide to use it they are asking to be vigilant and mindful of the recent events.
    Last edited by Valhalla; 07-02-2008 at 03:44 PM.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Valhalla
    You are right - maulings are fortunately very rare. Since you seem to be a statistician then review the real stats before making them up.
    I'm not a statistician. Where are the stats? I found some over arching bear attack report on the USGS. It does not address risks and probability of attacks. In summary, encounters are increasing, but attacks / maulings / death to humans are inexplicably low. Direct us to the stats.... I don't know what your looking at.

    Quote Originally Posted by Valhalla
    One mauling this year (in Anch) compared to zero maulings in the previous years ( I will use your figure of 13 years) is an increase how ever incremental (and the summer is less than half over). Don't forget a runner got bit last year on the Eagle River trail too. You yourself made that calculation; and bear encounters in Anchorage HAVE followed a general increase over the last few years too - look up the numbers up. The majority of encounters as you have described are never even reported so the stats will be underestimated. Does that have your attention?
    Personally, I've never reported a bear encounter, but then again I've never been on the recieveing end of an attack / bluff charge / stalking etc. I will add that I've ridden conservatively 20,000 off-road miles in Alaska (95% in Anchorage) and never once a negative animal encounter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Valhalla
    The fish are in and we have had 2 notable incidents in very close proximity from high speed backcountry activities in the last 3 weeks with some evidence it could be the same bear/bear group.
    This is the way the law of probability works. A river can have a 100 year flood 10 years apart. This does not violate law of probability and the same goes for these incidences. The fact remains that the probability of a bear attack is still very, very, very, very low. Go running, hiking, walking, ride your bike anywhere on the hillside.... the odds are in your favor even during the fish runs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Valhalla
    Is there a chance that maybe these land managers don't want a mauling regardless of potential lawsuits and are trying to provide a safer environment for their trail users or are they just trying to supplant their "xenophobic" agenda?
    This is my fear... government to the rescue. Terrible events more than not lead to terrible laws. There are only two ways to truly mitigate this low probability non-predictable event. Root cause analysis will tell you that the only way prevent a mauling, on paper that is, is to remove the people or remove the bears. No other combination works.

    In the end, bear education is working. More encounters do not result in more attacks statistically. It seems to me most users are aware of the dangers and mitigate them accordingly and are using common sense when traveling in the back-country.

    I'm riding tonight.... I'm not concerned.... I understand the issue and I'm taking a calculated risk. I suspect I'll be fine, but if not.... it will be in the news.

    Regards,

    EndUser
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  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by EndUser
    I

    In the end, bear education is working. More encounters do not result in more attacks statistically. It seems to me most users are aware of the dangers and mitigate them accordingly and are using common sense when traveling in the back-country.

    I'm riding tonight.... I'm not concerned.... I understand the issue and I'm taking a calculated risk. I suspect I'll be fine, but if not.... it will be in the news.

    Regards,

    EndUser
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  41. #41
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    I haven't seen any fish in the creek yet. Normally I'd see lots of spawning Kings by now. There are no dead salmon carcasses lying around. I'm also wondering that if Fish and Game says the bears come to Campbell Creek for the fish, then why are they stocking Campbell Creek with thousands of salmon? Is this not encouraging more bears in the area? I went for a long ride all over the Hillside (from Flattop over to the Dome) last night and I have NEVER (in the last 30) years seen that much scat. FNBP and Kincaid are two of Anchorages biggest assets. Trail usage is on the rise. Instead of talking to attorneys about lawsuits, the discussions should be about whether or not we have a bear/moose population problem and a reasonable solution.
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  42. #42
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    The big white elephant

    Quote Originally Posted by thirstywork
    FNBP and Kincaid are two of Anchorages biggest assets. Trail usage is on the rise. Instead of talking to attorneys about lawsuits, the discussions should be about whether or not we have a bear/moose population problem and a reasonable solution.
    This is the big white elephant in the room nobody likes to discuss.

    Here's what I know. There are very progressive nations in Europe with similar urban-wilderness interfaces.... same latitude as Alaska.... that choose to control wildlife populations within urban centers (relocate and destroy) to protect both people and wildlife. These models and programs have been in place for decades.... and are considered successful. There is a strict belief, in these progressive nations, that it is better to eliminate or at least reduce human-wildlife encounters (habituated animals) in their urban areas.

    I don't know what the right thing to do is.... I'm torn.

    Regards,

    EndUser
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    Quote Originally Posted by EndUser
    This is the big white elephant in the room nobody likes to discuss.

    Here's what I know. There are very progressive nations in Europe with similar urban-wilderness interfaces.... same latitude as Alaska.... that choose to control wildlife populations within urban centers (relocate and destroy) to protect both people and wildlife. These models and programs have been in place for decades.... and are considered successful. There is a strict belief, in these progressive nations, that it is better to eliminate or at least reduce human-wildlife encounters (habituated animals) in their urban areas.

    I don't know what the right thing to do is.... I'm torn.

    Regards,

    EndUser
    After running into a bear on the Campbell creak paved trail last week I firmly beleive that something needs to be done.

    I both ride and hike and have seen more bears in the last couple years than I have almost the entire 14 years I have lived in Alaska. This may be just coincedence but it certainly makes you think.





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    This year the salmon runs are really low everywhere but Bristol Bay, so there are almost no fish in the creeks. I'm thinking the bears are hanging around watching and waiting for fish. They're eating lots of grass (roughage) while they wait which explains the scat.

    Given a limited food supply, competition for those calories goes up. If the salmon runs don't pick up significantly, I can only see the bears getting more cranky and protective. Let's give them room and remember they're in a competition for survival.

  45. #45
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    Keep your eyes open....sightings are up.

    Quote Originally Posted by jeff1962
    After running into a bear on the Campbell creak paved trail last week.....

    ....I both ride and hike and have seen more bears in the last couple years.....


    I ran an errand by bike yesterday evening. I was heading north on the new Elmore path, crossed over the North Fork of Campbell Creek, and headed west toward Lake Otis on the bike path that parallels and crosses the creek. I ran into a pair of healthy black bears right next to the educational sign about the creek and its salmon, maybe fifty or so yards east of the end of Piper.

    They looked like prime two year olds, siblings I'd assume, but already had pretty big heads and bodies. Just couldn't get my camera out fast enough. They were pretty curious, one stood on its hind legs behind a large spruce tree, leaning into it. I could hear his claws scrape bark. He peeked his head around the trunk to watch me, then scurried off to catch his brother. They were heading toward some apartments, possibly dumpster diving. If they're garbage bears they're developing bad habits and will be into trouble soon. Keep your eyes open folks, like Jeff said, this year there seems to be quite the increase in sightings.
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  46. #46
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    Thought you might want to know

    That Petra is doing great! She is far exceeding her doctors' expectations for recovery--she's had some 8 to 10 doctors involved in her care. The speed of her recovery has been remarkable. She might even make it home before her 16th birthday next weekend! She's been working hard at her physical therapy (of course--she is a fine athlete) and shows huge daily physical progress. Petra and her family appreciate the positive thoughts and well wishes.

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    YAY!! Thanks for the update!!

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    Bear spray at a minimum, especially in Griz country..

    Seems like a no brainer to me.

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