Public Document Collection: Be Beary Aware

Why is this important?

Most bear public documents are posted to promote safety, because studies have been done, and state that from 1980-2014 almost 100 million people have visited the park, and only 45 have been injured by bears (National Park Service).

 

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  • This is a sticker that was made by the Yellowstone Association for the general public. It is their job to promote safety as well as information about bear encounters. The sticker clearly states to never hike alone, and to make noise while hiking to ensure one never startles a bear.  The limitation that renders this propaganda’s effectiveness is the fact one must purchase it as well as it is small and hard to read especially when stuck on the bumper of a vehicle. This sticker was found in the visitor center in Mammoth Springs, WY.
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  • These two handouts are addressing bear safety and made specifically for tourists who are on the go, but need a crash course on what to do when encountering a bear. These forms of documents are easy to read and easy to carry. This is important because one can encounter a bear anywhere and should be ready for it. These handouts do not list the “what if” scenario and should offer more specific pointers for bear safety.  However, these handouts are beneficial because they can help an individual distinguish between a Grizzly Bear and a Black Bear. A distinguishing factor between them is Grizzly bears have a large hump on their upper back which is used to help dig for roots and bugs of all sorts, where as a black bear has no hump on it upper back.
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  • This document is a front and back flyer intended to inform tourists at the Grand Teton Visitor Center made by The National Park Service. It expresses safety information, as well as ways campers should store their food to prevent an unwanted guest. This flyer is intended to improve safety and awareness while being in the park or “bear country”. This form of propaganda is not as direct as the others are which makes it harder for individuals to pull the key pointers of how to survive a bear encounter when they need it most.
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  • This permanent post was made for campers to know what smells will attract a bear and prompt an encounter. It was made by J. L. Darling Corp and is made mostly to ensure the safety of campers that will be in the area. This public document was laminated to ensure its message stays clear as the years pass. The location of this public document is somewhere between Mammoth Springs and West Yellowstone, however there is more than just one posted across the park. The only limitation to this public document is that it is all one color, and will look unimportant when looking at a bulletin board causing the information to be overlooked.
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  • This public document was made by J. L. Darling Corp. and is targeted towards hikers and adventurers who are looking to explore. The main reason for this posting is to promote safety and ensure a good time. This was taken at the entrance to the Bunsen Peak hiking trail, and states that bears are frequent in this area, but a kindhearted individual wrote a message stating that there was a momma bear and cub sighting a couple days before our group ventured up the trail (May 5th, and we ventured up the trial on May 19th).  This posting has limitations because it is easy to be removed due to a large gust of wind, or a bear scratching its back. Stay vigilant EVERYWHERE in Yellowstone.

Photograph Collection

Our pack explored much of the area from Jackson, Gardiner, and West Yellowstone. Our pack issue is about grizzly bears, and the issue question is “Should the hunting of grizzly bears be permitted outside of the park’s boundaries?” After being in the area for quite some time, and talking to many of the locals and researching the issue, we came to the conclusion that grizzly bears should not be hunted. They were just taken off of the endangered species list within the recent years, and because of this, we feel as though we should allow time for their population to increase before we as humans interfere. We also found that grizzly bears are loved and admired in the Yellowstone National Park. The residents, as well as the tourists love the wildlife, and are in full support of protecting them.

This picture is of a bear proof trashcan. This is used to help prevent bears, as well as other wildlife, from digging into the trash and becoming dependent on humans for food and resources. Using these types of trashcans help prevent bears from smelling the food as well and coming into the area, keeping bears away from humans.
This picture is of a bear proof trashcan. This is used to help prevent bears, as well as other wildlife, from digging into the trash and becoming dependent on humans for food and resources. Using these types of trashcans help prevent bears from smelling the food as well and coming into the area, keeping bears away from humans.
This is a picture of a pelt from a grizzly bear, as well as the paw print of a grizzly bear to show humans just how massive these animals truly are. Displays about grizzly bears are in many of the museums that we visited along the Yellowstone area. Grizzly bears fascinate people and are a very famous attraction, they are, in fact, the number one wildlife attraction in Yellowstone National Park.
This is a picture of a pelt from a grizzly bear, as well as the paw print of a grizzly bear to show humans just how massive these animals truly are. Displays about grizzly bears are in many of the museums that we visited along the Yellowstone area. Grizzly bears fascinate people and are a very famous attraction, they are, in fact, the number one wildlife attraction in Yellowstone National Park.
This picture, taken in Albertson's grocery store in Jackson, Wyoming, is a great example of how popular grizzly bears are in the area.
This picture, taken in Albertson’s grocery store in Jackson, Wyoming, is a great example of how popular grizzly bears are in the area.
This last picture is a great example of why grizzly bears should be protected outside the borders of Yellowstone National Park. This picture was taken while driving down the road on the way to Gardiner, Montana. This mother grizzly bear and her two cubs were just a few yards away from the road, along with the on coming traffic and people that got out of their cars in order to get a better look at the sight. Although the bears were in very close range from the people, they did not seemed bothered by the people in the least bit. This shows that grizzly bears are not the vicious and aggressive animals that we expect them to be.
This last picture is a great example of why grizzly bears should be protected outside the borders of Yellowstone National Park. This picture was taken while driving down the road on the way to Gardiner, Montana. This mother grizzly bear and her two cubs were just a few yards away from the road, along with the on coming traffic and people that got out of their cars in order to get a better look at the sight. Although the bears were in very close range from the people, they did not seemed bothered by the people in the least bit. This shows that grizzly bears are not the vicious and aggressive animals that we expect them to be.

 

About Us: Mary Denaro

My name is Mary Denaro, and I am a twenty year old from Farmville, VA. I was born and raised in Farmville my entire life. I absolutely love whales, and I have an obsession with dogs. Jenny and Wiggles are the names of my two adorable dogs. I am a rising junior with a passion for nursing. Hopefully one day I will have the opportunity to be a pediatric nurse.

Coming back from the Yellowstone trip, I took away not only knowledge from the class itself, but also a lot of knowledge about myself as well. Going on this trip was something very hard for me to do. I have never been on a trip by myself, especially not a trip to a place that is new to me. Not knowing any other student going on this trip, I was concerned about having a hard time making friends. Being extremely shy and introverted is hard, especially in a situation like this. I learned that I need to have more faith in myself. I survived hiking up to Bunsen’s Peak in a storm, waking up at 4:30 in the morning to go wildlife watching, and also going whitewater rafting in 40 degree water temperatures. This trip was very eye opening and so rewarding. It is an experience that will live with me forever, and I will be forever grateful for the memories that I have made on the trip, and for the new friends that I have met and formed relationships with.

About Us: Chris Mountcasel

Chris Mountcasel in his natural habitat  #itslit

Chris Mountcasel in his natural habitat

My name is Christopher Mountcasel my favorite color is blue and i thoroughly enjoy snow. I am 21 and an Environmental Science major and this is a little bit about me and what I took away from this experience. I decided to come on this trip because I wanted to visually see the things I have spent my time at college studying. When I got here it put it in more of a perspective because seeing it in a book doesn’t give it a sense of size. I was excited to be able to experience things in a new way. First it was flying by myself, and then it was the wilderness that is found in the areas of our travels. I am glad that there was a chance for all of the students to be able to commingle because I gained perspectives in areas I had not yet thought of. With this mixture of students that ventured on this trip, we all have a gained valuable friendships, and valuable ideologies that sculpt us into better citizens. That is logwoods goal, to sculpt citizen leaders, and having students attempt to understand these complex issues. It showed that you cannot just look at an issue from just one perspective, but you should look at issues from many different perspectives.

Coming away from this trip, I gained a large family that I can never forget, and memories that will last a life time. But most importantly, I learned that everything is connected. By this I mean that there is always a story for everything and how it got to its current resting place. Whether it be a rock, or lichen that is growing on a rock.  I would like to wrap up my text by expressing that everyone should attempt to have a complex understanding of things that seem simple. I am thankful that I made the choice to come to Longwood, and this experience made me understand exactly how much I am thankful for the professors, and each and every student that made this trip even more special.

West Yellowstone: A Visitor’s Paradise

Upon arriving in West Yellowstone, it was easy to identify that there was a specific architectural identity that was specific for this region. A modernized version of a frontier town is basically what West Yellowstone is. The McDonald’s in the town does not look like your everyday McDonald’s, it had a different architectural style than you would see in Jackson or Gardiner. The town management is very creative with the way that they maintain the town. Trashcans throughout the town are disguised by beautiful pictures and paintings on them. The town itself is very clean, and very little litter was to be found on the streets. Before going into our first destination, we noticed that the town is very wildlife friendly, as there was a wolf and grizzly bear paw print in the concrete on the sidewalk.

The gift shop that Andrea worked in.
The gift shop that Andrea worked in.

At the West Yellowstone Gift Shop, we had the opportunity to interview Andrea, a cashier in the store. She was very open and willing to talk to us about the town and all of the questions that we had to ask. She had several insights that were very helpful to our knowledge of how West Yellowstone really is from an insider’s perspective.  She stated that the seasonal differences are noticeable, the main difference being the type of tourists. In the summer, the tourists are mainly visiting the park, but in the winter, the tourists are there to go snowmobiling and skiing in the area as well. Even with the large amount of tourism, the community feeling is still very strong. The managers of businesses try to hire locals over outsourcing their work, keeping the community economy stronger. Similar to that of the workers in Jackson and Gardiner, housing is an issue as well. The average cost of rent for a one bedroom apartment is between $450-700 a month.

Outside of Gift Shop

The next location that we stopped at while exploring West Yellowstone was the IMAX theater. Here we had the chance to interview a married couple that both worked as cashiers in the gift shop. Bob and Sandra are both seasonal employees that have came from Texas for the past fourteen summers because they love the area as well as the park. They stated that they visit the parks as frequently as they can because they have a deep love and affection for the wildlife found there. When asked about encounters with wildlife, Sandra was very excited to tell us her share her experience with a run in with a grizzly bear outside of her work. She came within 25 feet of a large grizzly bear and her two cubs. The bears did not want any trouble with her, and just went right along on their way. As far as the housing aspect of West Yellowstone, Sandra and Bob felt as though it was a large issue. They continued to state that there are many jobs available in the area because nobody can afford to live in West Yellowstone in order to work there. The wrapped up the conversation stating that over the past several years that they lived here, the cost of living has increased and will continue to be a deterring factor that influences people to not live there.

Map of West Yellowstone

 

Gardiner, MT: Yellowstone’s Northern Gateway

Today in Gardiner, we walked around town and noticed the increasing amounts of busses shuttling tourists around to see what Yellowstone and the area has to offer. Upon our exploration we entered The Yellowstone Gifts and Sweets shop found on Second St. and interviewed a worker named Abigale. While we were talking to her she expressed that it was easy to get a job, and for most people, depending on the employer there is be employee housing. She continued to say that at the gift shop she works at, they sell more bear and wolf related items compared to other wildlife found in the area. The discussion revealed that there was pretty cheap rent found in the area, which ranged from 200-250 a month.

Yellowstone Gifts & Sweets
Yellowstone Gifts & Sweets

On our walk to the next location, we noticed that the entire town is basically surrounded and centered upon the Yellowstone River, which puts everything in one small area. Gardiner itself is surrounded by the Gallatin National Forest as well as Yellowstone National Park. As far as the maintenance of Gardiner, the past several days that we have been here, none of us have seen any town maintenance workers. Therefore, the town itself is not as well-kept as Jackson or Farmville. Very few trashcans are to be found around the town, and so the amount of liter on the roads and sidewalks are higher than in other locations that we have been in. The town is maintained by the county, and not directly the town, and so that is the reasoning behind why it is not as well maintained.

After the shop, we walked up to Park St. and entered a shop called The Flying Pig Adventure Store and talked to a man named Ryan, who has been in the area for about 10 years. He discussed how the majority of restaurants and businesses close during the off season, and that the tourism is the only way that this area stays afloat. He stressed how the town of Gardiner could crash simply because there is not enough employees around the town. With this, people coming into the area to work is very common. There is an issue of health concern because the nearest hospital is roughly 55 miles away in Livingston Mt. Lastly, he discussed the planning of the construction of the apartment complex in town.

Map of Gardiner, MT
Map of Gardiner, MT

Finally, we talked to the front desk clerk of the Absaroka Lodge and she discussed that there was issues with pollution coming specifically from tourism. She continued to say that the bookings for the lodge have been pouring in year round, and no specifically during one season. The local schools are set up having school Monday through Thursday, with longer school hours. On Fridays, the athletes that attend these high schools drive upwards of two hours to play neighboring schools. From this, we found that the schools prioritize sporting events over education.

 

Jackson Hole, WY: West Broadway to Buffalo Way

Today our pack had the opportunity to explore the west side of Jackson Hole and talked to the community members. We asked individuals questions about the town of Jackson Hole, how they perceive the town, issues they are involved with, and how they would like to improve the town. The three main findings from our interviews and conversations are:

  • The cost of living in Jackson Hole is very expensive. We found out that the cheapest rent in Jackson Hole for a one bedroom apartment is upwards of $1500, not including utilities. This causes a lot of people who work in Jackson Hole to move out of the town and commute up to two hours each way.
  • Tourism has caused a large influx of people into the area, which has led to congestion of streets. Community members found that it is easier to use bikes and the bike lanes are well maintained.
  • After talking to multiple people across the area, all of them seem to think that housing is the number one issue in Jackson Hole. Housing is hard to come by and expensive when available. This causes a lot of them to think that the local government cares more about the tourist community than the locals. The Virginian Lodge
  • Map of Jackson

Should the killing of grizzly bears be permitted outside the Yellowstone borders?

 

​After reading the article “Should Grizzly Bears Be Delisted,” I feel as though grizzly bears should not be killed outside of the Yellowstone borders. For years, grizzly bears were trapped, hunted, and killed so much to the point that they became an endangered species. Their population decreased to 136 bears in the 1970’s.

Since then, grizzly bears have been on the endangered species list, and so they have been protected, but recently, they have been delisted, and are no longer protected from being killed. In the article, the author discussed the problems that the bears are facing of having their habitat reduced, as well as their food supply, and so some scientists believe that their population will become at risk within the next few years. Because of this, I feel as though the bears should not be hunted, unless they are causing harm to people or their livestock. Between the human residents and the mountain peaks, the bears are caught in an area that is far too small for their needs.

A recent event that has brought attention to this debate is the murder of the celebrity grizzly bear “Scarface”. Scarface was killed while wandering close to the Yellowstone borders by a big game hunter. There are other celebrity grizzlies that live along the border, Grizzly 399 being included, that could easily be spotted by game hunters. These grizzlies could be in immediate danger if hunting rules become more relaxed.

Grizzly Bears have been in the United States since their immigration which was thought to happen roughly 80,000 years ago. It has been determined that they migrated from Asia to the U.S. via land bridge that was exposed due to the growth of the glaciers that covered roughly half of the world. Since their arrival, their population had dramatically increased reaching almost 50,000! However, during the 1800’s it became a common thing for grizzly’s to be hunted which lead to a dramatic reduction in the bear population in the lower 48 states. Realizing that there was a chance that the bears could go extinct, the government took action by placing the grizzlies on the endangered species act in 1975. In the Yellowstone area it was said to be as few as 136 bears that roam in and out of the park. Today, the bear population is thriving which poses the question of if they should be permitted to be hunted outside of the park, in the greater Yellowstone ecosystem.

 

Should the killing of grizzly bears be permitted outside of the Yellowstone borders?

 

Additional readings:

http://www.humanesociety.org/news/magazines/2016/07-08/grizzly-bears-under-the-gun.html?referrer=https://www.google.com/ – This source talks about the history of the grizzly bear and how the federal government is handling this issue.

http://phys.org/news/2016-01-states-divvy-yellowstone-area-grizzly.html – This source talks about the way the state is attempting to handle this issue.

Herrmann, F (2008, April 17). Should Grizzly Bears Be Delisted. retrieved May 13 2016, from ​Yellowstone Park Web Site: http://www.yellowstonepark.com/grizzly-bears-endangered/

Willcox, Louisa. “National Park Service Stands Up For Grizzly Bears, Yet Again.” Counterpunh. 13 Mar. 2016. Web. <http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/05/13/national-park-service-stands-up-for-grizzly-bears-yet-again/>.

 

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