Two campgrounds in Wasatch (Northern Utah) closed until troublesome bears caught

It looks like the Forest Service is being super careful now. Story in Salt Lake Tribune.

.  . . and here is a Tribune editorial. Wildlife encounters: Develop and learn strategies for survival 






  1. Linda Hunter Avatar
    Linda Hunter

    In the Salt Lake Tribune editorial the author says to “If you see a bear, make noise. Back away slowly. Never run, or make direct eye contact, or get between a mother bear and her cubs” This is not necessarily the right advice. . I think that certain populations of bears are learning that humans are “wusses” , easily scared off so the bear can do what it wants with their stuff. I have made eye contact with many a black bear and stood my ground until they realized that it was MY stuff and they should leave it alone OR they might get a snout full of pepper spray. . the public gets SO much confusing advice about bears they have no idea what to do, and if they do get offical advice, it doesn’t always work because it is not always right. The bear experts know what to do in a bear encounter and many people live with bears daily with no problem, but the experts can’t tell other people how to do it because if the person doesn’t do it right, it could backfire and then more lawsuits!! You can’t stand your ground with a bear if you are shaking like a leaf. . . it’s a real catch 22 made worse by the press everytime someone gets hurt. Although, I am seeing a real improvement in the press’s efforts to tell the truth and get the right ideas across.

  2. john99 Avatar

    Linda: It seems the advice they are giving pertains more to grizzly encounters than black bear. Black bears very rarely attack in defense of cubs. You are correct, you need to stand your ground with a black bear and be intimidating if necessary which would include giving eye contact. Seems the author is confusing blacks and grizzlies.

  3. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    Black bear behavior seems to change as they get larger, and, of course with hunger too.

    Almost all predatory bear attacks in the Unites States and Canada are from black bears, not grizzly bears

  4. Linda Hunter Avatar
    Linda Hunter

    Ralph that is true. . . black bears need to have grizzly bears around in my opinion. Otherwise they become the top dog and they are not as resonable as grizzly bears in my experience. Black bears get more “pushy” if they think that humans are scared of them. When they live with grizzlies they get their clock cleaned once in a while. I wholly advocate grizzly recovery in the lower 48 state, not just for this reason, but whereever there are grizzly bears people don’t seem to liter as much . . perhaps fear of death is the only thing that can make some people clean up after themselves.


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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Ralph Maughan