Bears in Yellowstone: eat, sue, warn

“The decision was reversed on appeal, but it spooked the Park Service into trying to lawyer-proof Yellowstone. Walker’s folks insisted that there was no way their son could have known about the danger of bears, or hiking off trails, or pitching camp in the middle of nowhere, or leaving food and trash next to his tent. So officials in Yellowstone set out to make sure that you’d have to be dumb as a rock not to understand the risks of the park. And they got the job done.” [Jonathan Last, Weekly Standard]


  • A bit unfair since bear feelings were part of the culture that developed in Yellowstone in the early years. And they were dangerous and many were injured/killed.

    If you want to reverse dangerous conduct you need to educate.

  • You know, feelings and feedings is a very funny typo. Next time I’ll actually try to do it.

  • I make plenty of typos myself, so I know there’s a 99.9% chance that “feelings” above is a typo or autocorrect glitch for “feedings.” But what a great typo.

  • This article was written on September 5th. My calendar must be running slow.

  • In re the article comment about bear spray in Yellowstone = Good and in Yosemite = Bad.

    It’s Grizz vs. Black bear, respectively.

    The bears in Yosemite are only after your food – they don’t attack people generally speaking – Black Bears are, at worst, opportunistic hunters that will only go after super easy prey (think stumbling across a deer fawn) or attack defensively (don’t get between mamma bear and cubs unless you are looking for a mauling). I had a hiker friend have her pack swiped by a bear there – the bear literally snuck up behind her and snatched it from the ground next to her, dragged it off 30′ or so, stuck it’s paw into the pack and scooped out the contents. It happened to grab the most smelly thing – her trash bag, took that and wandered off another 20′ and started to gnaw on that. She was able to scoop up everything else without problem and get it all away.

    The Grizz in Yellowstone on the other hand are full on predators that actively hunt.

  • A fine article. I learned about fear on a river bank with my Mom and Dad. On the other bank we could see that bobcat’s eyes gleaming in the darkness. I know now that he was just watching, but I didn’t know that then. My dad, and this dad, did just fine.

  • I recently read an unsubstantiated report that the bears in Jellystone are particularly clever.