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Monday, October 23, 2006

A black bear I came across on one of my outings
He, presumably from his size and without a cub,
was up a big cedar tearing apart the bark. I think
looking for bug larvae or such.

Anyway, upon hearing the camera shutter and
thereafter spotting me below him, he started down,
moving quite quickly. I snapped off a few quick shots
and retreated as he descended.



bear said...

Hey Coyote...!

What a wonderful moment for you. That is a huge old cedar. Is there many old growth stands still around Revelstoke today? I saw quite a few OG trees near New Denver last summer. There was a stand of 8 impressive Elders of the forest that a friend of mine took me to. I also saw quite a few in the Great Bear this past summer, but there, sadly, many are being taken by the logging companies since the GBA. I guess NOW there is no doubt about WHERE they can log so they are, and right down to the creek beds... Pathetic.

So the bears are still out and about...cool. Another month or so probably eh?

Have a great day Coyote, and thanks for sharing this picture...

Peace for trees,Bears and Coyotes,


Coyote said...

My observations and from what my logger friends tell me is, there are still some stands of old growth cedar, especially in the country north of Revelstoke. Though, I would expect, this changes day by day, of course.

Peter Dimitrov said...

is it true Coyote ...that Revelstoke has a municipal tree farm licence...under local control...or am i dreaming...i know Mission, BC does and they have done great work growing yellow cedar on their Municipal TFL...who are the big forest companies in the area anyways, how many do they employ, what are their logging practices like...i like that 'black bear', fiesty creature...as we need to be these days!

bear said...

Hey Coyote,

The bear looks pretty thin for this time of year. He must be trying to fatten up asap. How high up was he bud? Was that a red cedar??


Coyote said...

Yes, it is quite an extensive, what we call "Community TFL". The name of the outfit which years again basically abandoned it, escapes me right at the moment. Though in its time was a huge TFL holder. (It got into trouble during the period of the great downturn in the economy in the late 70s, around but just prior to the Operation Solidarity period, when the Mrs and I similarly got into trouble with our own small logging and mill operation, and small cattle ranch. (Many resource dependant folks and businesses went down during that period.)

Anyway, out of that period it was, that Revelstoke picked up a big piece of their TFL here.

In fact, this photo was taken in a part of that forest which had not been logged for many years, and in which there was much wildlife from grizz through moose, to black bear etc., when I was in there this spring. When I went back into that country this fall, however, to do some more photography over a few days, the logs were just streaming out of there on logging trucks-, and I saw zero critters of course, who had doubtless moved out of the area due to all the disturbance and dislocation.

A guiding outfit I came across up there during this last trip, horses only, no vehicles allowed in there, seemed quite dismayed at what was going on and that it had caused such a change in wildlife behaviours and movement patterns.

Now logging has to go on, no doubt. It is the scale of it everywhere, not just here, and the longterm sustainability of it that worries me. But that's another story.

The community forest takes all species of timber, much of it "interior cedar", which is yellow I believe, though I could be wrong, lots of it really big, which it supplies to a local cedar "specialty mill", run by the Gorman Bros., I believe being the major investor. All other species it trades for, or sells on the timber market and buys cedar.(You gotta remember, a lot of this info I get through family and other folks, and don't really know too much detail myself, only having lived here for the last five years.)

This country, of course, is prime "interior rainforest" country, getting as much annual rainfall as the coast, and hence is primo timber growing country. (Though like everywhere, the signs that the usual weather patterns are changing abound. Hotter and drier.) The jobs the industry actually provides currently, of course, is pretty much confined to the logging and this single, to my mind from the coast, relatively small "specialty cedar" operation. That is to be compared to a multitude of smallish milling operations historically, and not even until that many years ago. (Most of the timber, I suspect, from all sources, leaves the country to high efficiency, declining labour milling operations elsewhere. (One comes across the skeletal remains of this early history heyday, here and there about the country.)

The need? In my view. Even greater community control of all the forests in the country, and community control and investment in the processing, into lumber AND the "chemical" and "secondary manufacturing" potential of this industry-, combined with improved "sustainable" husbandry of the resources.

The entire industry, in the huge vulnerability to which it is exposed and subject as a consequence of US market control, demand and dependancy, combined with all the insecurities and dislocation consequences of the soft wood lumber issue, and no small matter, deunionization of the entire workforce here, has created overall, I sense, a certain sunset or crisis atmosphere around all those dependant on these forests. I know, obseving the guys I know who work in the industry, and the incomes and conditions which accrue to them for all the labour and investment they put into it, makes me relieved I don't have to depend on forestry for my bread.

It is not a good time, even a particularly vulnerable and insecure time, for those folks and communities dependant on forestry right now-, is my overwhelming sense of it.

Coyote said...

And, ohhhhh, guessing now.... He was one hell of a long way up. Certainly 50 ft. or better. I had just come out of a meadow through which I'd been tramping, looking for moose, and, of course, hopefully grizz from a safe distance :-), when I spotted him up the tree.

He, on the other hand, didn't seem aware of me until the shutter went off on the camers. A couple more times and he and I could tell he decided he didn't feel secure up there, and started down.

He was a big bear, and it was still fairly early spring, so I suspect his fat resources were still some depleted. Plus, the was a big failure in the wildberry crop pretty much throughout this country, near as I could determine. Lots of bears, but not down low, not usually where they are at given times of the year.

I suspect a lot of this years cubs are going to be able to het the fat laid on they need to, as a consequence of this berry failure, and won't get through the winter.

In fact this guiding outfit, two guys and wagon with a team of horses, got into a bit of trouble near where I'd set up camp. After helping them settle and unhitch these horses, and "unstuck" their wagon, we got talking about this absence of wildberries everywhere one usually finds them, and they were of the same mind that there was going to be a collapse of bear numbers next year. (Which, of course was going to effect the grizz, which they depended on as a resources for their spring guiding. So they were worried, I could tell.)

bear said...

Hey brother Coyote,

Awesome, 50 feet up. "Early spring", his weight makes sence now. He is a little velcro-like to make that climb eh...

Moose and grizz spotten', my favorite thing to do. I went out last weekend for a hike up to Bourgeau Lake near Banff, and came across some bear scat (likely grizz). It was full of moss, and rotting wood... Man, they are hungry this time of year. The old log next to the trail a couple miles up, was completely destroyed with claw and teeth marks all through. Didn't see the bear though... ;-(

I was on the Arrow Lakes Ferry last summer, and there was 4 giant cedars on this logging truck. Could have been one or two trees cut up I suppose, but indeed they still are taking the old 'uns...sad. They should not be allowed to cut anything older than 100 years imo. No doubt we need logging, but as you said 'Yote, it has to be done sustainably. From what I have seen, "soft-touch" logging is NOT being practised enough in general. FN's on the Central Coast are attempting to do it, as well there are other companies doing some heli-logging, but the amount being done pales in the face of clear-cutting and other abuses. If things do not change, sadly and unacceptably The Great Bear will be spelled The Great Bare, ...but they will have to get past this gal first... ;-)

"(Which, of course was going to effect the grizz, which they depended on as a resources for their spring guiding. So they were worried, I could tell.)"

Lastly, I have to say Coyote, I feel sad for the bears and other animals that are suffering due to the habitat devastation by humans one way or another, but for the G\O you met to not have enough grizz to support them and their buisness... Fuck 'em, they shouldn't be killing the bears anyways...

Peace and Love Bro,


Coyote said...


He sure does look stuck on there velcroe-like, doesn't he. That was about my thought at the time.

But, though it doesn't show up here, what I could see were unbelievable, almost Scissor Hands like claws. They were awesome-, larger than I have generally appreciated on black bears, for sure. And while he did come down cautiously, periodically checking to see where I was and what I was doing, he did descend quite quickly and surely, which is harder and riskier for them than ascending.

And, while I knew this particular guide I encountered this fall, who by the by got a pretty good mauling, leaving pretty good goddamn scars by a grizz this spring, by a bear his "Yankee customer" had wounded, and I consider him a generally pretty good guy, these folks get no real sympathy from me either. In order to live the out in nature lives these folks generally live, and for many of them, the only one they know, they really do have to "not think about it" and sell their souls for "the Yankee dollah".

Still, the need is to move away from that "endless space" frontier mentality of the long ago, which a lot of these guys have in my experience, and these guys be absorbed into greater investment in livelihood inactivity of monitoring and defending wildlife from poaching and habitat destruction and rebuilding etc., rather than killing them. 'Cause some of these guys do understand their prey, no bloody doubt. Which can be usefull of harmful.

But within "every man for himself" capitalism, it all goes just one way. Down to the last tree and critter. That much I do know them.

Which is preceisely the precipice we need to order a new social arrangement to move away from. The key to which is our own human numbers, unchecked immigration, and the unsustainable continual growth of demand on our natural resources-, much of which is going to a bloated open maw USA, frankly. That's the primary source of all the resource exploitation pressure, including on wildlife and their habitat destruction. (And we really do need to finally stop seeing these endless immigration inflows as always a good thing, and a measure of our "tolerance". This view needs to begin to be challenged. And I ain't talking about driving anyone out, who is currently in the country. But we do need to finally "grandfather" this policy of non-stop immigration. They are part of the endless growth dynamic of capitalism that is leading to this resource and habitat destruction.)

And driving it all are the endless growth market driven needs of Endless Growth Capitalism. And the problem, in my view, is not going to be resolved without the prior resolution of this overarching issue of the capitalist system itself, and of its endless population and market demand growth insistance that feeds it. (And blaming this or that person who needs to feed his family, in and of itself is mere pissing into the wind. It ain't going to do it.)

To which all, on the present course, including the logger and other resource dependant folks, the hewers of wood and drawers of water, in the end, are destined to fall victims as well. Can't help but. Already are.

Coyote said...

Apologies for all the typo errors above. Failed to spell check.

bear said...

Hey Coyote,

Always good to hear your feedback bro…!!

Well said, and I understand and agree with your comments friend. I too know a number of hunters and G\O's because of my involvement in competitive FA shooting, and I can say the same...some are really good guyz, with a great knowledge and respect for the earth and the animals. Others indeed lack respect. And yes absolutely 'Yote, the same could be said for logging companies and so on, and so on...

Coyote said: "And driving it all are the endless growth market driven needs of Endless Growth Capitalism. And the problem, in my view, is not going to be resolved without the prior resolution of this overarching issue of the capitalist system itself, and of its endless population and market demand growth insistence that feeds it.(And blaming this or that person who needs to feed his family, in and of itself is mere pissing into the wind. It ain't going to do it.)"

True words indeed Coyote. The spirit of Capitalism is the root of these issues, and imo, needs to be pulled out yesterday. Even though these issues are perhaps evidence of the underlying problem which is imo a sick spirit, I do and always will take it personally when someone sells out their soul and then cuts my old cedar, or shoots my bear, or puts a pipeline through my home, or dams my river... I take an assault on the earth and her “resources” personally. Not a surprise, as I am sure most of us do... But, in saying this, I still do believe in the potential for change in humans Coyote, as I have seen it...

Thanks again and more pictures please… :- )

Peace man,