The worst best trail

No question, the Highline is the worst of the very best trails in Glacier. On the one hand it’s extraordinary scenic, cutting a bold traverse right along treeline through one of the steeper walls in the park. You almost always have complex, 5th class crags above you, and steep green slopes (and the road) below you. On the other hand the popular part of the Highline is, when down out to Granite Park chalet and down to The Loop, as we did, almost all downhill, and with easy access comes lots of people. Lots of people; M counted over 40 in view early on, and I bet close to a thousand hike at least the first few miles on any sunny summer day. Passing is a nuisance, and the miles beat you with unexpected rapidity, as most of the dirt is hard as asphalt. The Highline is the alpine sacrificial lamb of Glacier National Park, as it may be the furthest many folks every get from a road in the alpine, and hopefully the noise and visual pollution are justified by the visual and inspirational value the experience provides.

I have fond memories of first hiking it when I was 9, when the last mile across the final basin to the chalet seemed very long indeed.  Had we been more clever we would have done the route backwards, or gotten a very early or late start, but instead we went along with the hordes,  and M saved the day by hitching back up to get our car, rather than rely on the very overburdened shuttle.  First time visitors to the area should by all means do this hike, but should not make the mistake of thinking it will be a lonely experience, or that the extent to which the frontcountry crowds here extend from the road is replicated many other places in the The Park.

Bear aware, maybe

Last week a Forest Service law enforcement officer, Flathead native, and longtime recreator in bear country was killed by a bear near West Glacier.  According to rumor, and the local paper,  the bear was probably a Grizzly, and the gentleman collided with the bear while going quite fast down a gentle, tightly forested descent on his mountain bike.  The bear reacted out of surprise and fear, and the injuries were quickly fatal.

DSC00601Grizzly sow and cub, center right, a comfortable 3/4 mile away.  M photo.

There is a longstanding and vigorous campaign around here, and in the Yellowstone area, to be “bear aware.”  As presented in the handouts you’ll get in national parks, the signs you’ll see on forest service land, on the posters you’ll see in local stores, being bear aware means carrying bear spray, hiking in groups, storing ones food wisely, sleeping away from said food storage, and being careful when hiking near food sources or in noisy areas.  As a matter of public policy it is important to have a soundbite-friendly version of this to which neophytes are likely to pay attention, but I cringe 50 times a summer when I see folks sauntering around with spray clipped to their packs, out of reach and available for accidental triggering.  Spray certainly deters attacks, and for every such attack surely gives 100 hikers the poise necessary to not panic during a close encounter.  Incidental, indoor discharge is also responsible for the temporary evacuation of a building or two every summer, and while its effects aren’t deadly, bear spray is nonetheless a potent weapon carried around with a carelessness unacceptable in any other context.

Frankly, while it is unrealistic to expect the millions of tourists who roll through the Crown Ecosystem to undertake sufficient research to form their own opinions of what being prudent in bear country entails, anyone who spends a lot of time in the bear woods without plenty of research is doing themselves a disservice.

Living here, and being in those woods on a daily basis, one is almost obligated to become inured to the hazard.  This past Saturday, on a routine 2 hour hike with Little Bear, on a trail I’ve biked in the past, we came upon a black bear off in the bushes at 30 yards.  Another black bear was right behind it.  I watched them, for less time than I would have had I been without a child in a backpack, and then yelled a little to scare them off.  And they complied by disappearing in the opposite direction.  Bears probably aren’t common in this area, Grizzlies especially, but it is 10 minutes from home, and 300 yards from a group of houses.  Bears don’t easily live among us, but they live far closer far more often than most people imagine.  Grizzlies included.  Certain activities, like mountain biking, are no doubt more probable than others to produce a bad encounter, but more time spent out there increases the likelihood of running across the wrong bear, in the wrong place, and at the wrong time.  When it happens, as it did last week, neither bear nor human may be doing anything miscreant and incorrect.

R0010682Sow griz and two cubs, at a comfortable 1.5 miles.  I later saw them at a less comfy 120 yards.

So the first thing for proper bear awareness is the admission that bears kill humans, and not always when they are a sow with cubs or protecting a kill.  The probability is low, but it is possible that while you are out in the woods a bear might kill you through no fault of your own.

Next, admit that certain activities are less safe than others.  Anything high velocity, quiet, off trail, in the fall during hyperphagia, and in a group of less than four increases the probability of a bad injurious or fatal encounter.  Read Herrero’s Bear Attacks, and all the great data kept by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee, and decide for yourself, but in my mind the evidence here in overwhelming.  That said, at least 50% of the time I am personally out in Grizzly country I’m doing at least two of these things at once, and not infrequently all of them simultaneously.

I’ve reconciled myself with that because my reading of the research tells me that the most significant factor in keeping bear encounters from turning wrong is not doing anything stupid.  Be aware of the area you’re moving through, read the situation when you do encounter a bear, and act with cold rationality.  Most of the time all this entails is not getting any closer, acting confident but non-threatening, and allowing the bear to figure out what you are.  My closest sustained encounter with a Griz was during the 2012 Bob Open, hiking through Pretty Prairie around dusk.  I was on high alert, because dusk is good time for bears, especially in the long days of spring, and that area is a good place for spring bears, with big south facing meadows and lots of deer and elk.  True to expectation, I came upon a bear as I emerged into meadow.  It took a good minute or more doing a quarter circle of me at 30 yards, standing to better look and smell several times, before winding me and running off, quickly.  I did nothing but stand still, made possible by not panicking, as I was on bear alert.  It’s worth noting that these days I would probably not hike so late into the night, alone, in that particular place at that particular time of year.  Bears can be almost anywhere at the most unlikely time, but fear evenly applied across settings sucks focus from when it can be best put to use.

Beyond this, bring spray if you want to.  It has a good track record, so long as it isn’t too windy or raining hard.  I still find the fragility of the nozzle disconcerting, and believe that 80% of folks who carry spray are putting themselves at net greater risk, due to the frequency of accidental discharge (spray on shoulder strap, alder pulls trigger, spray in face, blind hike out).  Also bring a firearms if you want to, provided you’ve trained the hell out of it.  Plenty of incidents in Alaska where a good shot saved someone from a good mauling.  That said, 75% of the rafters I saw on the South Fork of the Flathead in early August two years ago had 3-5 pound revolvers in chest rigs, and I’m very skeptical that many would have been able to shoot them well enough to do any good under duress.

IMG_0782Griz print in the Almost-a-Dog chimney, Norris Traverse.  Bears go where they want, often in very improbably places.

In summary, being bear aware is mostly about being self-aware, though having a decent knowledge of what bears do at different times is also important.  A good nights sleep in bear country shouldn’t be the result of ignorance, or even worse, a bunch of Tylenol PM.  It should be earned, over time, and while that doesn’t help the policy makers much, concerned as they must be with greatest good for greatest number, proper knowledge built on a body of experience is nonetheless the only way to really get there.  No shortcuts.

wilderness in Wilderness

The Bob is awesome. Video by Michael Reavis.

Anyone who’s been out in the woods a lot and has been paying attention should be aware of this problem; that even the quietest, most fleeting and “natural” of human travel in the wild has a significant impact on the plants and animals who live there full time.  And there is virtually no way, save perhaps the more abstract political/policy realms, in which that impact is anything other than negative.  This isn’t the space to debate the axiomatic, idiomatic importance of wilderness for the human soul, but it is the space to say out loud, repeatedly, that in the 21st century we humans inevitably do violence to parts of what we value when we go out to find it.  At the same time, folks like the Sustainable Trails Coalition point to considerable evidence that the architects of the Wilderness Act intended for people to not only be visitors to Wilderness, but to be catered to in the process.

So perhaps it is time to admit that the Wilderness Act needs revision.  I’ve never been in favor of stock in Wilderness, and I am no longer in favor of bicycles being admitted under certain circumstances.  Instead, lets make Wilderness wilderness and ban any substantive human presence: any buildings, any bridges, and any trail maintenance.  Shoulder areas around the areas of greatest biological integrity can have trails cut and faster-than-foot methods of travel allowed.  Many current roads can remain open, but allowed to fall into decay, and will become bicycle, stock and sub 30 mph ATV only by default.

There is precedent, in the form of the Bear Management Areas of Yellowstone and of Wildlife Management Areas nationally to name two examples, for humans being eliminated entirely from the landscape, at least on a seasonal basis.  I just don’t think it’s realistic to implement that on a grand scale, and have always been in favor of the most democratic way of capping visitation: making stuff hard to get to.  It has simply been too easy, in the midst of all the fighting over what was and was not included by the Wilderness Act, to not ask broader questions.  And as Casey said a few months ago, science and common sense are both telling us, ever more loudly, that the Wilderness Act asked the right questions, but didn’t think big enough.

The next empire of grandeur

When it comes to National Parks my enthusiasm and sentimentality knows few bounds, and thus it made for a delightful day last weekend when I both woke up with a stomachache and found that PBS had put Burns’ “National Parks” up for free viewing, in their entirety. My curiosity over the years has been such that I’ve almost purchased them outright. Too cheap to do so, I watched all ten hours without significant break, and being unable to eat much without pain was hardly a distraction.

IMG_0724I have no desire to cultivate what would create an even-handed sensibility about this documentary, or the National Parks generally. Like many of the commentators in the film, I got religion in the parks as a young boy, and while the intimacy and perspective of age have given me many grounds for cynicism, to this day I find it easy to hold these opposed ideals in hand, simultaneously and without distress. As the film quotes Steven Mather, first director of the NPS, the parks are “a cheap way to make better citizens.” All the roads and restrooms and lines and publicity get people into the parks who would seldom otherwise go to nature. They are shown the door to a wild world, and it is up to the individual to see and then walk through it.

One subject Burns et al dance around but do not directly touch is the extent to which racism continues to shape National Park visitation. A survey in 2008/2009 found that white folks make up the majority of park visitors, significantly beyond their percentage within the general population of the United States.  It would take an exhaustive historiography to give an accurate picture of why, it is too easy to cast blame on individuals in retrospect, but their can be little argument that as of today minorities feel less welcome in National Parks.  This is of concern because the US population is becoming less white, and while National Park visitation continues to climb, in my opinion average visitor engagement has become ever more brief and potentially shallow in the last 30 years.*  While Burns gives several, crucial examples of individuals who both acted significantly for a given park and never visited it in person, if “National Parks” shows nothing else it gives evidence that in general engagement with the parks correlates directly with them being well funded and protected.

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That historiography of race and the US National Parks would likely mention the ways that in the 19th century, when the idea of national parks was created, that creation was driven by the affluent, who were the only humans with the luxury of fetishizing rather than conquering wild nature.  It would probably also mention how hiking, camping, and backpacking remain the sort of esoteric, expensive, potentially uncomfortable, and somewhat perverse kind of vacation which still only appeals to those whose daily lives are suffused so thoroughly in comfort that being cold and having pine needles in ones hair is a pleasant novelty.  Digging into specific examples, be they from 1890 or 2016, makes this portrayal less certain, but I still believe it to be at base an accurate explanation.

I also believe, to make a statement deeply coloured by privilege, that in moments of conflict social justice has to take a back seat to environmentalism.  It matter little who is around after, if the world saved for them is so truncated.  I think we can view “the world” as socially constructed and intersubjectively determined (which in the public mind is a fait accompli, culture wars notwithstanding) while still acknowledging that there is a world beyond us, whose influence on creation is unknowable because of our own limited place within it, and experience/cognition of it.  Hume comes together with Muir here:

For my part, when I enter most intimately into what I call myself, I always stumble on some particular perception or other, of heat or cold, light or shade, love or hatred, pain or pleasure. I never can catch myself at any time without a perception, and never can observe anything but the perception.**

We all flow from one fountain Soul. All are expressions of one Love. God does not appear, and flow out, only from narrow chinks and round bored wells here and there in favored races and places, but He flows in grand undivided currents, shoreless and boundless over creeds and forms and all kinds of civilizations and peoples and beasts, saturating all and fountainizing all.***

I’m skipping a bunch of steps and alluding to some big words here, and the plain english  of it all is that there will always be a tension within National Parks between education and preservation, and between the present and future.  And in my experience when one finds such tension and paradox drawn like a tightrope, that tightrope is as close to truth as we’ll ever get.

 

* 1 in 68 US Citizens visited Yellowstone in 2004; 1 in 2,700 in 1904.  1 in 41 Yellowstone visitors in 1979 spent at least one night in the backcountry; in 2015 it was 1 in 91.

** A Treatise of Human Nature, 1.4.6.3

*** Life and Letters of John Muir, June 9, 1872 letter to Miss Catharine Merrill.

4th class

The east exit chimney in Rock Canyon in not 4th class.  I’m fairly Steve Allen first called it that, in Canyoneering 2, but Allen’s notorious, egregious overgrading can be justified as he was usually the first person publicizing these things.  What is less easy to justify is the use of that rating in the Hayduke Trail beta, whose routing through the Red Benches has popularized this little chimney, and led to much amusing, hyperbolic chatter.

The west, upper exit chimney in Rock Canyon (pictured above, at left, with the crap camera I had back in 2009) is emphatically 4th class.  Allen calls it easy 5th, and even at that I discounted his rating, and had to back down and pull all the guylines off my tarp for a solo pack haul up the final stretch.

Ratings aren’t a elegant thing to get excited about,and at the risk of being venal I’ll say that in cases like this they are important, and their general integrity should be maintained.  In the case of the Hayduke, you have the internet fashion of the thruhiking “community” running out of objects, and turning to routes like the Hayduke Trail and Sierra High Route.  The later was first publicized by one of the better rock climbers of the 1960s, and the later was pieced together using beta from folks like Steven Allen.  In both cases the technical background of the originators is substantial, while the technical background of the average thruhiking blogger seems to be just barely this side of non-existent.  Simply put, if folks hike the Hayduke and use that standard as a guide for 4th class (“one step below real rock climbing!”) they might well get themselves in trouble in the future.

In the Sierra Club/Yosemite Decimal system, 1st class is hiking, on or off trail.  2nd class is rugged hiking with the occasional use of hands.  3rd class is scrambling, with the near constant use of hands.  4th class is scrambling where all but the exceptionally experienced will want a rope due to exposure.  The translation of exposure means that if you fall off, you’ll probably get hurt.  You’d probably get hurt swan-diving off the top of the east chimney in Rock Canyon, but that’s a scenario whose improbability prevents it from counting towards the rating.  If you slipped off the upper moves in the west chimney, which in trail shoes is easy to imagine, you’d likely bounce off the upper ledge and ricochet a further 30 feet down to the bottom.

While technical difficulty isn’t supposed to influence the transition from 3rd to 4th class, it inevitably does, and this is the tricky bit when you have someone coming from trail hiking to route hiking, rather than from climbing to route hiking (and eventually, as maturity set in and attention span lengthened) to trail hiking.  Physical skill and more importantly experience builds mental strength, which beyond a very basic athletic ability is the only relevant thing when it comes to scrambling.  Climbs like Moonlight Rib are within the physical ability of just about every non-obese or disabled member of the human race, if they can sublimate the experience of exposure well enough to move at their physical potential.  Oversimplifying the mental aspect of scrambling (and easy climbing) doesn’t just get backpackers in trouble, the American Safe Climbing Association writes that

Modern climbers learning in a gym are often misled by the use of the YDS in indoor gyms. The use of the YDS inside is entirely inappropriate, as indoor gyms have little relation to outdoor climbing. Most people who learn in a gym and think they “climb 5.11” would likely DIE attempting a 5.0 chimney system first climbed in the 1930s. Because of this new generation of gym-educated climbers, the use of the lower 5th class ratings has fallen by the wayside, and modern climbing guidebooks typically condense all climbs formerly 5.0-5.6 into the 5.6 rating. A large number of accidents are directly attributable to the use of the YDS in climbing gyms.

Distinguishing between 4th class and 5.3 is, should be, and will remain a problematic task.  Ratings aren’t, and can never be, objective.  But that doesn’t mean that discussion of the details and differences, and attempts to maintain distinctions between concepts, is of no value.  I enjoy reading about hikers more experienced than me getting initiated into, and occasionally beaten down by, comparatively mild off-trail terrain.  Trails are awesome and convenient, but the way stock needs to move through the wild has so completely shaped how contemporary backpackers experience the world, and in the lower 48 the chances to experience major swaths of land totally free of human-built trails so rare, that the collective vision of backpackers is very narrow.  Being able to actually scramble and manage exposure, just liking being willing to get your feet wet, opens important doors.  Hopefully places like Rock Canyon can do that for plenty of folks, lets just make sure they have an accurate picture of what they’re doing.

The universal trophy mentality

Doug Peacock, inspiration for Hayduke and author of the excellent Grizzly Years, has continued to solidify his place as one of the most divisive and intellectually cheap writers on wilderness issues in the 21st century.  First it was this article two years ago, conspicuously lacking in detail and conspicuously abundant in name-calling and deliberate mis-characterizations.  Now there is this op-ed for Outside, which raises several points against the proposed delisting of Grizzly bears in Yellowstone from the Endangered Species Act.  The concerns over food sources being altered by climate change, and especially the limited genetic diversity available to the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem population are valid, but today, with the knowledge of hunting I’ve won in the past three years, I can’t take a person like Peacock seriously when he dismisses the integrity of state wildlife management with phrases like “trophy bear hunt.”

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The phrase “trophy hunting” is itself all but meaningless, and today an almost certain proxy for “I don’t like it, but can’t or don’t care to go into specifics.”  Approximate comparisons would be calling someones writing or art derivative, or calling a person or thing crazy.  There are plenty of things in state wildlife management which can reasonably said to be objectionable, but failing to specify (why) for instance Wyoming lost the ability to govern their wolves (their hunting regs were ludicrously liberal and openly hostile to the species) one abdicates their right to critique.

If/when Grizzlies are delisted, and if/when (for example) Montana gives out too many tags in the inevitable hunting lottery, there will be grounds for objection.  The most compelling argument for delisting is that Grizzly bears have met the population target set for them, and that in the GYE said population has been stable for over a decade.  The credibility of the Endangered Species Act is dependent upon the process of protection having both a beginning and an end.  If additional what-ifs are used too often to delay what was originally agreed upon, the ESA will end up with even less support than it currently does.  Some folks will always hate the idea of the ESA, just as some folks will always want to see all large non-human predators extirpated, but living in fear of the extremes is no good guide.

But back to trophy hunting.  In the 21st century, and in the 1st world, all hunters are trophy hunters.  Even someone killing does for food will retain memories, and likely photos, that will sit on the literal and metaphorical shelf.  There is a difference of degree, in comparison with a Dall Sheep shoulder mount whose hunt cost 25,000 dollars, but not kind.  The challenge in hunting is the reward, and often that challenge is enhanced by artificial means.  In this there is little difference between holding out for a bull elk of a certain size, when many, smaller elk are in abundance, and choosing to climb a peak via the fifth class wall rather than the 3rd class ridge.  Summit photos and a loose piton serve the same function as dead animal skulls.  People tend to object more forcefully to bear hunting because bears are more human-like in their actions, and grow to a greater age, than ungulates and small game.  It’s also easier to call bear hunting “trophy hunting” because in some states (e.g. Idaho and Alaska) one is not required by law to take the meat out of the field.  Presumably Montana at least will apply the same rules they have for black bear meat, where the quarters and backstraps must be taken, to Grizzly bears.

What hunting needs to articulate is the morality of cheating trophy experiences, when doing so is acceptable, and when doing so is not.  An experienced mountaineer can probably justify the occasional use of a helicopter to shortcut the approach, and all but the true purist will use cable cars and ski lifts, when they exist, for similar purposes.  Provided one does not always use technology to avoid hiking, and has plenty of miles and summits won purely with sweat and effort, occasional discretion’s can be forgiven.  Something similar ought to be fine for hunting.  After all, the reason road hunting works is that many of our favorite hunting targets are drawn to the traces of human settlement.  Trying to divorce hunting too far from this is artificial, but at the same time hunting will always be at base a wilderness pursuit, and the many hunters and paradigms of hunting which ignore or try to consistently cheat that fact deserve nothing less than ridicule.  Just don’t dismiss it as only trophy hunting.

Thrice busted

It is a poorly understood aspect of Wilderness management that any commercial filming requires a permit, and that these permits are almost never granted.  Therefore films like this one, and perhaps this one, however modest they may be in scope and limited in commercial ambition, are almost always illegally made.  It’s a particular conflict between a 50 year old law and the new media regime, and the legal and ethical dimensions are still very much evolving.  What means commercial, these days?  Specific sponsorship and pay-per-view?  Youtube revenue?  Free gear?  Film tour notoriety?  And beyond the definition of commercial, is this restriction reasonable, and desirable?

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For Montana Wild there was little ambiguity.  Back in 2013 the Missoula-based film company was still getting on their feet, and if I recall the logos correctly had arranged a deal with a few companies to provide support for a film about fly fishing the South Fork of the Flathead, which is of course almost entirely within the Bob Marshall Wilderness.  I even posted about the trailer, which was well done, and didn’t think all that much the next summer when the video was made private, and the film itself never came to light.  I assumed they’d been appraised of the commercial permitting restriction, and had to scuttle the project.

Turns out there was quite a bit more to it, enough that a warrant was granted, computers were seized, and almost 6000 dollars in fines were paid.  Some of that had to do with the aforementioned filming issue, but reading between the lines it seems that what drove the State of Montana to put “hundreds of hours into the investigation” were the clear violations of fishing regulations depicted on film and photos, both previously publicized and private.  It was clear to me in that clip that they were targeting Bull Trout, a native species very much under threat in most of the rest of their range, in the White River and Youngs Creek, both of which are closed to such fishing.  The confiscated computers also reportedly contained evidence of landing a Bull Trout, photographing it, and then releasing it still hooked to obtain more footage.

I thought it poor form to excoriate Montana Wild in public until that last bit*, and the realization which shortly followed that I had repeatedly watched at least some of these violations, in most cases not thinking that the actions were illegal, and in all cases without considering reporting them to the relevant authorities.  Indeed, though I watched the Wild Confluence packrafting film a month ago, it didn’t occur to me until now that the explicit sponsorship of the film almost certainly makes it illegally filmed, assuming as I think one can that they did not secure and purchase a permit.

[Add: M-W has since posted a response to the FWP press release.]

This debate brings up, in a roundabout way, the Jurek-Baxter saga from this past summer.  Reknowned ultrarunner Scott Jurek finished his speed hike of the AT in Baxter State Park, where he was met by his support crew and others, and the group was collectively charged with drinking alcohol, littering, having too large a group, and filming without a permit.  If my memory is correct, Jurek ended up with a plea deal and minimal fine.  The large impact of the controversy was almost exclusively confined to the question of what commercially-related actions are and are not appropriate in wilderness, and what powers management agencies should have to regulate them.  As the parks Facebook page rather publicly and ungracefully stated at the time; “Let’s be clear and concise, Scott Jurek’s physical abilities were recognized by corporations engaged in running and outdoor related products…These “corporate events” have no place in the Park and are incongruous with the Park’s mission of resource protection, the appreciation of nature and the respect of the experience of others in the Park.”  (Substantial details left out by me for the sake of brevity, full post available in the above link.)  Baxter has a mission written into Maine state law which is quite similar to that enshrined in the Wilderness Act, so I think the debates generalize well.

Though I disagreed and disagree with the tactlessness of Baxter State Park’s Facebooking, I agreed and still agree with the content of the message.  Wilderness (and wilderness, too) are no place for commercial activity.  With large film crews increasingly a thing of the past, the potential impact is not so much in the filming, but in the publicity.  The information economy cannot be stopped, but it can be slowed.  The world cannot be made unflat, but it can have some coulees eroded back into it, which will prevent foreknowledge from being a universal thing when going into the wild.  Making a distinction between what is too much and what is not will always be deeply problematic, but that between commercial and non (however fuzzy the line) seems like as good a place as any to begin.

Land of No Use, linked to in the first paragraph, stated explicitly that the film was non-profit, and non-commercial.  As a project shot almost exclusively in Wilderness areas, they had little choice, and the finished product is a good demonstration of balancing inspiration and ambiguity.  Winter is always going to be less accessible than summer, after all.  What about Listen to the River, which on its face is only commercial insofar as it contains logo and product placement for Granite Gear and Kokopelli Packrafts?  But marketing these days is an insidious creature, and the “positive brand association…authentic adventure culture…[and] intimate exposure with core consumers”the company is selling will be dependent upon access to the right locales (roadside time lapses won’t cut it with more discerning brands and customers).  For this reason I think it is absolutely relevant to discuss this issue, and will for the foreseeable future it seems be tormented with when to turn fun online videos in to the local Forest Service and FWP offices.

 

* Catch and release fishing is ethically questionable enough, and posing fish for photos is very close to unacceptable in just about all circumstances when dealing with a fragile population of native, cold water fish.  And yes, I’ve done both.  But illegally targeting Bull Trout on the South Fork is pretty unambiguous.  If you’re chucking big stuff down deep, you’re going after them, and the rules governing where and when this is ok are very clear.