Our Last Trip to GNP

Well, tell us how your trip went. We all want to hear about your special experience.

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NDjason
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Re: Our Last Trip to GNP

Post by NDjason »

Great trip, sorry about the blisters!
~ jason

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Re: Our Last Trip to GNP

Post by poky5mom »

Your trip report was amazing! & your pictures were beautiful!
Kim

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Re: Our Last Trip to GNP

Post by mjdchenault »

Is nobody going to say anything about the feeding of the ground squirrel???

Comparing feeding animals to breaking in hiking boots is ridiculous, if you don't break in hiking boots the only victim is your own feet, feeding animals potentially hurts future hikers when squirrels chew through food bags/packs/etc to get at people's food. Now granted, these potential future hikers should be watching out for animals getting near their packs, but it's a lot easier to do that with animals that aren't food conditioned, squirrels can get quite sneaky when they know food is on the line.

Vicki and her partner should be ashamed of themselves... or at least aware enough to not put photos of it in her trip report. And every person who read that report and didn't call her out on that behavior is tacitly saying such behavior is okay (therefore you should all be ashamed of yourselves too).

It is NOT okay. Do not feed the animals. How complicated is that???

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Re: Our Last Trip to GNP

Post by pitamakan »

mjdchenault wrote:Is nobody going to say anything about the feeding of the ground squirrel???

Comparing feeding animals to breaking in hiking boots is ridiculous, if you don't break in hiking boots the only victim is your own feet, feeding animals potentially hurts future hikers when squirrels chew through food bags/packs/etc to get at people's food. Now granted, these potential future hikers should be watching out for animals getting near their packs, but it's a lot easier to do that with animals that aren't food conditioned, squirrels can get quite sneaky when they know food is on the line.

Vicki and her partner should be ashamed of themselves... or at least aware enough to not put photos of it in her trip report. And every person who read that report and didn't call her out on that behavior is tacitly saying such behavior is okay (therefore you should all be ashamed of yourselves too).

It is NOT okay. Do not feed the animals. How complicated is that???
Thank you for saying something that I, and hopefully others, were thinking.

A fundamental rule of being a good traveler is to show respect for one's destination. And in Glacier, interacting with the wildlife -- even something as innocuous as a squirrel -- is a marked violation of that respect. Our national parks aren't petting zoos.

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Re: Our Last Trip to GNP

Post by VickiH »

I admit to being guilty of not thinking of tossing an almond to a ground squirrel on the same level as giving a peanut butter sandwich to a bear. For that, I apologize. However, the tone and self-righteousness of your message leaves much to be desired.

I pack out my trash, I don't step off the trail, I don't approach wildlife for photos, I hang my food, I don't use chemicals or soap in the water, I try to be conscious of and respectful of the environment. Apparently, you are perfect and never make any oversight, which gives you the right to take an arrogant posture toward others rather than phrasing you message in a way that would be more insightful and helpful rather than superior and judgmental.

How's this? "I realize that it may be tempting to toss a nut to squirrel, or that you may not think about the impact of feeding a squirrel in the same manner that you would a bear or a deer or a moose, but I suggest that you recognize that wildlife is wildlife and none of it should be fed, no matter how small the animal or how insignificant the amount of food given."

That message might get through to someone like me who doesn't run irreverently through the park disregarding the environment, but maybe, just didn't think about it that once.

Shame on me? Yes, I'll accept that.

But shame on you.

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Re: Our Last Trip to GNP

Post by mikie »

Indiscretions or not...I LOVED your trip report! I desperately hope you write another one. You're a wonderful story teller.

No need to fret over a few unhappy members. Your still my favorite criminal.

As for the offending rodent, I'll set him straight when I hike down there on Monday.

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Re: Our Last Trip to GNP

Post by derek.larson »

Sub-Zero wins!

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Re: Our Last Trip to GNP

Post by mjdchenault »

Vicki - With anyone else I most likely would have taken what I consider the "educational" approach, something very similar to what you suggested, politely pointing out the person's error and educating them of the consequences of their actions.

But considering the flippant and blatant language you used to acknowledge that you knew what you were doing was wrong but you intended to do it anyway, and the fact that you were broadcasting your error and thereby spreading a message to others that such behavior was alright, it seemed like Education would be wasted and a stronger tone was need to reach you.

It appears I reached you quite well. I applaud the other actions you take to protect and maintain the wilderness nature of Glacier and I hope you have many excellent trips here in the future, just keep your almonds to yourself.

P.S. I was particularly aghast that not a single other person had pointed out such a flaunting of an important restriction, and must say, the largest chunk of my disapproval was for them.

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Re: Our Last Trip to GNP

Post by brindledog »

mjdchenault wrote:
P.S. I was particularly aghast that not a single other person had pointed out such a flaunting of an important restriction, and must say, the largest chunk of my disapproval was for them.
The best thing to me about the Glacier Chat site is that it is a friendly place. I have been to other park chat sites that were not. You do not know how thoroughly anyone else read the report, or what any of us thought while we were reading it. Please, let's not get personal.

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Re: Our Last Trip to GNP

Post by VickiH »

mjdchenault - Frankly, it is not your job to "reach me" or to reprimand anyone on this forum. Assuming anything about me or my behavior or assuming anything about the others who have failed to rise to your level of perfection on this particular thread....well....you know what they say about assuming.

As for this being a friendly place, it is not. You have "reached me" in only one respect, and that is that I will quietly and graciously take my interests elsewhere. I do not voluntarily participate in your type of behavior nor do I accept it. I will not choose to spend my free time here.

And for the record, when I was there last week, I gave a banana chip to a chipmunk. And I'm not sorry. They'll likely have to hunt it down, tranquilize it, and relocate it to a remote area of northern Canada so that it won't be a danger to itself or others. Maybe there is a Chipmunk Rescue somewhere that it can live out its days in a quiet zoo-like setting since it is such a danger to park goers like yourself.

We can only hope.

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Re: Our Last Trip to GNP

Post by mjdchenault »

BrindleDog - When it comes to what you are teaching other people reading this thread, it does not matter what any of you quietly thought to yourselves while reading the article. It only matters what you did or did not say on this forum.

This forum is read by many inexperienced hikers and backpackers, many of whom are making their first or second visits to Glacier, and the attitudes and norms expressed on this forum have an outsized impact on how they behave when they get here.

It may not be my "job" to correct people, but it sets a valuable precedent for future visitors and is just as important as recommending restaurants or advising on campsites.

Vicki - considering your exuberance for flaunting park rules and regulation I see it as a benefit to future readers that you've decided to not be as involved on the forum in the future. Also - problem bears are no longer relocated to Northern Canada. Canada will not take them anymore. They are typically relocated within Northwest Montana, or occasionally Idaho or the Yellowstone Area (if they are breeding-age females and considered worth the effort). Much more often these days they are simply killed. I know of at least two bears who were 'put down' this year in Glacier. You'll excuse me if I missed the humor in your comment.

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Re: Our Last Trip to GNP

Post by flatlander »

Tsk, tsk, children ... I think it is time for a timeout! :lol:
I loved Vicki's trip report, even forwarded the link to a couple of friends I thought would enjoy it. She is an outstanding writer, and hope she shares future trip reports with us. However, I had the same reaction to her commentary on feeding the ground squirrel as mjdchenault ... it appeared she was well aware of the rules, perhaps not fully aware of ramifications, but simply chose to ignore them. Yes, mjdchenault's criticism ... and the first follow-up ... were a bit over-the-top, but at least had some merit. He/she should have stopped there; the second seemed to be simply trying to "get in the last word" ... it added little IMO.
Both of you seem to be a bit too sensitive to criticism ... time to lighten up, not to run! I've visited this site for years so am well aware that it is a very friendly site, with wonderful caring members. We are all human so capable of crossing another poster at times, but isn't that what makes us human?

PS I should admit I have been guilty of the same transgression as Vicki over the years ... the animals are just too cute! How can animals become so dependent on human food to forget their natural foraging skills?

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Re: Our Last Trip to GNP

Post by daveparker »

Folks,

I am going to step in here for a minute on the aspects of feeding squirrels and chipmunks and one of the biggest reason to not do it. Normally these little ground foraging animals, eat a bit and store a bit of their food for the winter and I know, they are cute and it seems harmless, but the reason you don't want to feed them anything, is sometimes the food they store that comes from humans is actually deadly to them, they take it back to their dens and place it in their storage piles and during the period over the winter it will mold or spoil completely destroying their food stores. They end up starving to death or spreading a non-habitat illness to others in their colonies. In certain areas of the world, this has had catastrophic results on some populations.

I know it is difficult to resist them, they are cute, but just remember by feeding them, you might actually be killing them and others. Also remember, you can be cited by the park service if you are seen doing it by a park employee. So in the future, please don't feed the residents in the parks, with the larger animals, it can become dangerous for other visitors. The animals don't need our help and it might feel like you are helping, but the best help you can give the residents in the parks, is it take pictures and leave no trace of you being there when possible.

As far as not saying something, I normally don't read the trip reports unless someone brings something to my attention, the reason this thread caught my attention because it was locked, which normally does not happen, especially in the trips report section, so I wanted to read through it. In the future, if there is a concern about what another user has posted, please let one of us know and we will take a look at things. I have spent over 20 years of my life educating people on wildlife safety and food storage, how to set up safe camps in the NW United States, I have taught both individuals as well as larges groups and I can say, it is never easy to make mention of a violation you know about in a tactful way.

Lastly, please don't feed the wildlife, it can have far ranging effects that we might never even think of.

To the poster who stated she will not come back, I am sorry to hear that, we are really a good group of outdoors enthusiast and all are very passionate about the outdoors. If you again find yourself heading to Glacier, or the surrounding area, stop by again and let us know how it goes or if you have any questions. I don't like to see anyone leave with hard feelings.

Dave Parker
Owner, Glacier Park Chat.

Jen

Re: Our Last Trip to GNP

Post by Jen »

Thanks, Dave.

I locked the topic because when I was alerted that things were getting heated I was actually in the park so I didn't have time to read through. I figured it best to just lock it until one of us could get here to see what was up.

Locked