May 10, 2011

"The family of an 11-year-old boy killed by a bear in Utah in 2007 was awarded nearly $2 million in damages...."

"Judge Dale Kimball... ruled that the federal government was 65 percent responsible for Samuel's death, the state government 25 percent responsible, and the boy's family 10 percent responsible."

106 comments:

Scott M said...

"A lawyer representing the bear has released a statement, quoting Mr. Bear, 'I. Am. Bulletproof.'"

Baka Photos said...

The link is bad.

Abdul Abulbul Amir said...

Link broken.

Scott M said...

The link isn't "broken". Mr. Bear has an excellent PR operation. Very web-savvy.

George said...

Do bears shit 11 year old boys in the woods?

Blind said...

sdf

al said...

Try this link for the story.

Might be a good idea to be armed in Bear country.

Titus said...

There are gay bears and gay cubs.

They growl.

The Crack Emcee said...

"There's something about the words "killed by a bear" that makes me think this was a wrong call,...you know, like calling atheists "spiritual", it just doesn't pass the smell test.

Superdad said...

This is complete bullshit. If you go into the an area with bears or a chance of bears who assume the risk of a bear attack. You have three choices: stay home, roll the dice or bring a gun to increase your odds.

MadisonMan said...

I wonder what they'll use the money for. I know what the opportunistic lawyer will do with the money, but if I had a kid mauled this way, and I was given a huge settlement, I'm not sure what I'd do with it. Seems kinda water-up-the-bridge-ish to me.

Michael said...

So the government knew about a dangerous bear, and failed to warn people who went to the campsite.

Some here suggest that a specific warning was unwarranted, and general signage should have taken care of the problem.

What kind of generic signs should they have put up: "Warning: we're not going to tell you if we know something really dangerous is happening"?

If there's a specific threat that's substantially above average, it requires a specific warning.

Ann Althouse said...

Apparently, the govt failed to follow its own rules and tell the family that there was a dangerous bear in the area. The parents probably said that if they had received that warning, they wouldn't have camped there.

Here's a longer version of the story with a picture of the boy.

"During the trial, government lawyers argued that posted signs adequately warned the family of the potential dangers of bears. They also pointed out that Ives had brought a granola bar and Coke Zero into his tent, though Rebecca Ives testified during the trial that she didn’t know there was food nearby. But Judge Kimball’s ruling describes government employees as negligent, saying specifically that United States Forest Service law enforcement officer Carolyn Gosse failed to follow regulations and inform Ives’s family about a potential threat. Gosse was notified on the day Ives died that another camper visiting the area had been attacked by a bear earlier that morning. Judge Kimball attributes Ives’s death in part to Gosse’s failure to properly respond...."

sonicfrog said...

Hmmm... Kimball is the same judge who initially handled the SCO vs Linux fiasco, where SCO originally claimed there were millions of lines of code from Unix in Linux. After a very long trial, he ruled against SCO because there was no code in Linux that was stolen from Unix. Oh, did I forget to mention they don't own the rights to Unix either?

More info here.

k*thy said...

In the comments, from someone familiar with the story, mentions that the family was careless with their food at the campsite. I am truly sorry for their loss, but if this is indeed true, it should negate the FS's culpatility (as long as there was posting a bear problem at the trailhead).

I'm not familiar with Utah, but was it a grizz or a black bear?

LarsPorsena said...

Ever since I've read this post I can't stop humming "Teddy Bear Picnic".

MadisonMan said...

Michael, according al's link, the bear caused problems 12 hours earlier -- I don't expect any government agency (except the weather service) to be so nimble as to erect warning signs in so short a time, and how would that help someone in the park already?

A good idea when camping is to assume the worst will happen. And then stay in a motel.

Ann Althouse said...

Doesn't every camper know not to bring food into the tent?

Meade said...

Judge Dale Kimball on Tuesday ruled that the federal government was 65 percent responsible for Samuel's death, the state government 25 percent responsible, and the boy's family 10 percent responsible.

It was ruled that the bear was only 0 percent responsible, as it was only following orders.

Ann Althouse said...

The order is: Carnivora.

Quayle said...

If you go into the an area with bears or a chance of bears who assume the risk of a bear attack. You have three choices: stay home, roll the dice or bring a gun to increase your odds.

Well, for decades the bears were scarce, but they are now multiplying and returning.

Plus, for some reason people in Salt Lake seem to forget that they are living right next to high wilderness country with real high-country risks.

I think it is the proximity (as this picture shows well) - you can drive to real high country danger in 15 to 20 minutes.

Quayle said...

I'm not familiar with Utah, but was it a grizz or a black bear?

Black bear, is my recollection.

E.M. Davis said...

'extremely violent, bear-like behavior'

Sofa King said...

There is a bear in the woods.

For some people, the bear is easy to see. Others don't see it at all.

Some people say the bear is tame; others say it's vicious and dangerous.

Since no one can really be sure who is right, isn't it smart to sue the bear? If there is a bear?

junyo said...

"I wonder what they'll use the money for."

Pay to get the bear's family whacked? he pulls a claw, you pull a gun. He eats your kid, you turn his into a rug. That's the Jellystone way.

Sorry. But I don't really see blaming the government for such an outlying event, no matter how tragic.

rdkraus said...

Animal rights groups are protesting the decision. Their spokesbear, Ima Maroon, was disappointed that the bear, a living being with rights equal to or exceeding that of evil human beings, was not awarded a minimum of 50% of the credit for the kill. She described the Judge as a "typical white bearist" who could not overcome generations of bear prejudice.

Titus said...

I love seeing deer in the wild.

I fucking love deer.

Their white tails are so cute.

Trooper York said...

There is only one way to handle a dangerous bear.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

His parents Kevan Francis and Rebecca Ives filed a lawsuit against the federal government and the US Forest Service arguing that authorities failed to warn them that a dangerous bear was prowling the area.

Next: parents who let their child go into the lake and he/she drowned, sue government for failing to warn that water is wet.

Soon: parents of child who sustained a terrible sunburn that may cause skin cancer sue government for failing to warn that the sun is hot.

Clue to clueless parents: the world is full of danger and it is YOUR responsibility to be aware of it.

The forest is full of animals who want to eat your food and eat YOU if you aren't careful.

Too bad the bear didn't eat them too and end their sojourn in the shallow end of the gene pool.

To be serious for a moment, if the US Forest Services had been relocating dangerous bears and cougars into the area, like the are doing in our local National Forests (which really pisses us off), they should have had a notificiation of that practice.

If that wasn't the practice, then how can you hold the government responsible for the actions of one of hundreds of wild animals.

The forest isn't the zoo. It isn't Disneyland. Even Bambi would kill you if he could.

Fred4Pres said...

It seems strange that you would sue the feds and state for a wild animal, but if the facts showed the ranger knew about a dangerous bear and did not take proper steps, I could see how they could be liable.

These things are fact specific.

PaulV said...

It bothers me that the parents get rich becasue they were irresponsible. My mom said I was responsible, responsible when something went wrong.

MarkG said...

Large predator populations are on their way back. The government is going to have to change its rules to a blanket, "At your own risk."

sonicfrog said...

I caution everyone. I hate forming an opinion on a court case based on a newspaper clipping. 92% of the time (and yes that is a riff off Judge Kimball), there are pertinent details left out that would clarify exactly why the case went the way it did. In my opinion, the only people who have the perspective to know if the ruling was fair or not are those who were actually in the court room during entirety of the trial.

k*thy said...

Doesn't every camper know not to bring food into the tent?

You'd think, but it happens a lot. It's not just food, it's food scented clothes or any scented items. You also don't cook anywhere near your tent.

The FS is pretty good about posting these general safety rules at the trail heads (where you're supposed to check in). I have seen specific warnings at trail heads, myself, so it makes me wonder if staffing issues was the reason this previous bear incident wasn't posted.

Titus said...

Did the bear eat the whole kid or did he leave anything for the parents to berry?

Do the bears eat us because they are hungry or feel threatened or what to scare us?

What's in the mind of a bear?

Bears.

Fred4Pres said...

The feds should have charged the parents putting the boy at risk. That will show them.

And did anyone check to see if dingos were in the area? Never trust a dingo.

traditionalguy said...

Wait a minute. Has the Federal Tort Claims act extended its coverage to a failure to warn tourists about bear sightings? How about some immunity for honest governmental discretionary acts here. If this case is good, then what about the hundreds of crimes committed by Hispanic illegals that Holder and Obama are inviting to cross the so called border and then refuse to deport when apprehended?

Fred4Pres said...

Titus, I am going to take a wild guess you are not into bears.

Titus said...

NO bears for me Fred.

They are hairy and large and go grrrrrrr.

They even have their own special weekend at Ptown. What about us non-bears? Where is our special weekend?

Fred4Pres said...

traditionalguy, I do not think there are some rash of tort claims against the feds. That is why I suspect the facts may distinguish this one. Plus it involves a kid gettng killed which is pretty emotional too. But I do not know enough about it.

Henry said...

The bear could not be reached for comment.

Fred4Pres said...

Titus--I am guessing 51 other weekends out of the year are your special weekends.

MarkG said...

Clue to clueless parents: the world is full of danger and it is YOUR responsibility to be aware of it.

Anger is one of the five stages of grief. The parents were angry, and with the help of a lawyer, they found someone to blame.

Trooper York said...

None of this would have happened if they had the kid in stroller.

ricpic said...

Who needs signs? Minimal awareness is all you need to know that when you get off the beaten track in Utah, Wyoming, Montana, Colorado, Nevada, Idaho and California you are in probable bear country. And Arizona and New Mexico. In other words the whole west. For once the gummint was not to blame.

Trooper York said...

It's not just the problem of dangerous bears that get you. It's
the horny ones.

Timothy said...

I like to know about bear attacks wherever they occur in America. And if a bear attack recently occurred in the woods where I'm about to camp, I definitely want to know about that attack.

Thorley Winston said...

Sonicfrog’s caution about prejudging the case based on the excerpt is a good one. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve read a story about a seemingly “outrageous” court decision only to find that I changed my mind as I learned more about the specific facts that went into the decision that weren’t disclosed in any of the early reporting. Traditional guy’s point about the Federal Tort Claims Act seems like a good one and I’d be curious to see how this was addressed by the court.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I like to know about bear attacks wherever they occur in America. And if a bear attack recently occurred in the woods where I'm about to camp, I definitely want to know about that attack.

How about you just assume that there may be dangerous bears, coyotes, mountain lions, wolves, foxes, snakes, spiders and evil blue jays (as well as illegal Mexican drug cartels) that are not anxious to share their space with you and act accordingly.

The wilderness is not an organized neat place where the staff can post "instant alerts" for the latest accidents or attacks that occured in the last day or so. The wilderness is not a theme park.

However, if there has been a rash of attacks over time there should be some notification.

Just go on the assumption that there is danger. That's how I roll when I go into the urban wilderness as well.

Rob said...

Once upon a time, in a law school far, far away I learned of an arcane concept- proximate cause. Apparently it has gone the way of the dinosaurs. Actually, it was eaten by a school of sharks using the packatheappelatecourts method of hunting.

edutcher said...

Well, that explains this year's budget deficit.

By all means, the Feds should have sold off all that land so people couldn't enjoy it.

Ann Althouse said...

Doesn't every camper know not to bring food into the tent?

Althouse is Pioneer Woman?

Who'da thunk?

Must be from those creamy hippie love chick days.

PS Since Chuckie Schumer now wants a Do Not Ride List, the judge makes the case for a Do Not Appoint List, also.

Christy said...

Darwin was right!!

k*thy said...

ripic, I don't think the FS is at fault, either, but disagree with you about the need for signs. They're good reminders and can provide important, trail-specific, information, for those not that familiar with the area. Also, it'd behoove you to consider WI probable bear country, as well.

bagoh20 said...

"Doesn't every camper know not to bring food into the tent?

But he was the food.

I know the safety protocol, but it's pretty much impossible to avoid having the scent of food at a campsite. Humans need to be armed in the wilderness to be safe - period. I want to be, but it's often illegal. Still, I do what I have to. Like they say, better ask for forgiveness than to be eaten.

Scott M said...

Like they say, better ask for forgiveness than to be eaten.

Better to shoot than be shat?

Triangle Man said...

@ricpic

Looks like you could use some help from signs yourself. Bears are more widely distributed than you seem to think.

William said...

The good news for the parents is not the cash settlement, but the finding that they were only 10% responsible. If I were the parent of a child mauled in similar circumstances, I would go through life second guessing myself. As they visit the gravesite, they can perhaps take comfort in the fact that only 10% of the guilt is theirs.

EDH said...

How is the award not capped by the Federal (and State?) Tort Claims Acts?

k*thy said...

I know the safety protocol, but it's pretty much impossible to avoid having the scent of food at a campsite.

It's actually not that hard. Anyway, the rumors around this story was that there was food in the tent. If so, all bets are off.

Humans need to be armed in the wilderness to be safe - period.

No, that's not at all true.

PatCA said...

Sure, the parents might have been more savvy, but they trusted the government (mistake number one). When the government sets itself up as your nanny and claims to manage the wildlife and the human life in their extensive western holdings, when they allow amateurs to camp overnight, a reasonable man would expect them to follow through and actually protect!

When I commented on the wolf thread, I was going to add, "The next step is the wolf will kill a a child. Handwringing and lawsuits will commence. The wolf hunt will be delayed again and the one 'bad' wolf will be shot." It's happening faster than I thought.

sonicfrog said...

This is just an educated guess, but I bet the events went something like this. I'll bet that the previous bear attack happened before the Ives got to the park. I'm betting that Gosse made the decision that gate attendants NOT inform incoming campers at the gate when they paid to gain entrance into the park, but instead posted signs warning there are bears in the area. Signs like these are all over the national parks. I see them all the time when I hike Yosemite. We're used to them and don't pay much attention to them. Maybe they posted more urgent signs, but a sign doesn't carry the same type of urgency as a verbal warning. This was probably shown to be a decision made by Gosse in part to prevent the loss of money made at the gate, which would explain why Gosse resigned from the Forest Service.

Ver Word for Titus: licksh

Scott M said...

No, that's not at all true.

Being armed when you're a day's hike from your car and out of cell range is simple common sense precaution. You need a fall-back versus both the four-legged dangers...and the two-legged versions. They're the wiley one's, after all.

I wouldn't trust luck where my kids are involved. I prefer a little prep and well-maintained firearm.

E.M. Davis said...

None of this would have happened if they had the kid in stroller.

Holy shit. This is how you "win" a thread.

Timothy said...

@Dust Bunny Queen: Well it's not that hard for employees just to say "there was a recent bear attack." And it doesn't seem unreasonable to require such employees of the United States Forest Service to inform campers (God forbid government employees be required to do something).

And if something were to happen to you in the "urban wilderness", I would expect someone to be responsible despite your dangerous assumptions.

Joe said...

So people are clear; there was a bear attack 12 hours earlier at exactly the same camp site. Not in the general area, but at the same place. The park rangers failed to inform visitors as they entered or them specifically.

Paul said...

I was stung by a bee last week. How much can I sue for?

Richard Dolan said...

The Federal Tort Claims Act doesn't have any caps, and its basic provision states that the US is liable "in the same manner and to the same extent as a private individual under like circumstances, but shall not be liable for interest prior to judgment or for punitive damages." (28 USC Sec. 2674). The remedy against the US is exclusive (Sec. 2679), meaning that you cannot sue the allegedly negligent federal employee if the employee was acting within the scope of employment. There are a list of exceptions (Sec. 2680) but none of them applies to a failure to warn about a dangerous condition.

Failure to warn cases are a routine type of tort claim. Whether a particular warning was required, or whether the failure to warn was the proximate cause of the claimed damages, are also routine but fact-bound issues. The judge resolved them (FTCA cases are tried to the court without a jury), and his findings can only be set aside on appeal if they are clearly erroneous (a high and rarely met standard, especially in a tort case).

As another commenter said earlier in the string, it's easy to carp about the judge's ruling but only someone familiar with the trial record has a factual basis for doing so. The rest is just uninformed blather.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Well it's not that hard for employees just to say "there was a recent bear attack." And it doesn't seem unreasonable to require such employees of the United States Forest Service to inform campers (God forbid government employees be required to do something).

Have you ever BEEN camping? Have you ever been to a National Forest in the Western states?

Lassen National Forest is 1700 square miles. Shasta Trinity is 3280 square miles. NOT acres....miles.

Dane County Wisconsin, for comparison, is only 2000 square miles. Rhode Island 1214 square miles. Connecticut is 5543 sq mi.

While it is a good idea to be able to notify people of imminent danger and post warnings in campgrounds and put public warnings about specific dangers in some central location, it is just impossible to have the few rangers running around 'notifying' people of danger in an area that is bigger than most counties, bigger than some States.

Just how do you propose that the few rangers, say to people scattered over thousands of miles that there is danger. If they miss one person, like a needle in a haystack, they should be to blame?

DUH.....the forest, the wilderness, is dangerous.

And if something were to happen to you in the "urban wilderness", I would expect someone to be responsible despite your dangerous assumptions.

I'll deal with the bears and lions and tigers....oh my.

Probably have a better chance of survival with them than with driving a rental car through certain neighborhoods Miami or Oakland.

Having someone to 'blame' doesn't excuse stupidity and putting yourself in danger.

Timothy said...

"Have you ever BEEN camping? Have you ever been to a National Forest in the Western states?"

No, I haven't. And I assume Mr. Ives didn't either before his death. I imagine one of the purposes of the United States Forest Service is to warn ignoramuses like myself of possible dangers... like dangerous bears (the worst kind of bears).

If the government is going to take charge of the forests, it should be held responsible for when it is negligent.

E.M. Davis said...

Parents were stupid.

Government is really truly to blame.

Two million dollars is nothing.

The money will just be a hollow reminder, and will never replace the value of their son.

They will live with the torture of knowing, deep down, despite what lies they may tell themselves, that they are the reason their son is no longer here.

Pogo said...

This is how kids playgrounds became boring, where there's no fun allowed; no running and no football, not even tag, no dodge ball, no swings, no jungle gym.

The world becomes designed for the morons, the immature, and the willfully stupid.

That is, we all think like lawyers now.

Pogo said...

'I imagine one of the purposes of the United States Forest Service is to warn ignoramuses like myself of possible dangers."

Then you are too stupid to step outside of your house.

Did the gubmint warn you today that you may be raped, robbed, or killed by one of your fellow citizens (or by illegals streaming across the southern border?

Do us all a favor and stay indoors.

But do keep away from anything mechanical. And avoid your car and your steps.

Wouldn't want you to get hurt.

Quayle said...

Lassen National Forest is 1700 square miles. Shasta Trinity is 3280 square miles. NOT acres....miles.

DBQ, but this national forest is a 10 minute drive from the valley floor, on a single road that starts in one canyon and loops around a huge peak to a canyon to the south.

cold pizza said...

Bears get all the press--it's become a pain in the Ursa Major. The obvious bear bias in the MSM warns you to be on the lookout for bears-of-color with nary a mention of the lurking mountain lion threat. PWND! -cp

wv: cales: merciless.

Fred4Pres said...

Joe said...
So people are clear; there was a bear attack 12 hours earlier at exactly the same camp site. Not in the general area, but at the same place. The park rangers failed to inform visitors as they entered or them specifically.

5/10/11 11:05 AM



That is a significant fact.

EDH said...

Richard Dolan,

Thanks for the info.

Not having worked with the FTCA, I guess I just assumed it had a statutory cap like many/most state TCAs.

Fred4Pres said...

Triangle Man said...
@ricpic

Looks like you could use some help from signs yourself. Bears are more widely distributed than you seem to think.

5/10/11 10:35 AM



There are black bears in every eastern U.S. state again. Even New Jersey.

LordSomber said...

I knew the day would come when someone would sue Mother Nature.

ET1492 said...

If the the federal government is liable in a bear attack, are city governments liable in rape, murder or robbery cases?

The only difference I see is that man-eating bears are rarely encountered in forests, but rapists, robbers and murderers are always present in crime-ridden neighborhoods.

Can you imagine the outrage if a city government put signs up in some areas saying "Beware. This is a dangerous neighborhood. Enter at your own risk."

Do some cities do that?

Comrade X said...

the federal government was 65 percent responsible for Samuel's death, the state government 25 percent responsible, and the boy's family 10 percent responsible.


and judge logic dictates the taxpayers must be punished for it.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

When I was a kid my parents took us on a summer vacation out west. We saw many bears along the road. People would stop and take pictures. Some would feed the bears. One couple tried to put their toddler on the back of a bear for a souvenir picture. Not a good plan.

Anyway, I learned that bears in the wilderness are a fairly common sight. If I were to go camping in these areas I would take precautions. This is the wild, not Disney Land.

As for the monetary award, if the bear was not a government employee, the government should not be at fault.

Cedarford said...

That a bear attack occurred at the same campsite and the bear was still on the loose is a salient fact that the rangers should have alerted campers of. It was a higher risk than normal situation...lets say I am sure the ranger herself had no plans to do overnight camping there herself..and safety information was not passed on to others as regs required of her.

======================
Tradguy - "If this case is good, then what about the hundreds of crimes committed by Hispanic illegals that Holder and Obama are inviting to cross the so called border and then refuse to deport when apprehended?"

That is a fine point, IMO. If we sue the Feds for not capturing, relocating a dangerous bear...what about whan a dangerous illegal they refuse to deport goes on to harm US citizens?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

That a bear attack occurred at the same campsite and the bear was still on the loose is a salient fact that the rangers should have alerted campers of.

That is an important point and the government or the managers of the campsite DID have an obligation to warn people of that event.

Put up a sign or something in a prominent place and hope that people aren't too stupid to read, understand it and take the proper precautions. (I doubt it would work. People still will think that the forest is Disneyland.)

If we sue the Feds for not capturing, relocating a dangerous bear

Perhaps we should sue the government for relocating the dangerous bear in our neighborhood.

How about suing the government for their catch and release program with the dangerous illegals who are growing pot and operating meth labs in the same forest locations as the nasty bears? At least the bears aren't armed with automatic weapons.

Steve Koch said...

I usually carry pepper spray if hiking or camping in bear country. It is much easier to hit a bear with pepper spray than a handgun (plus my handgun is not powerful enough to reliably stop a bear).

The national park rangers tend to be soft on the problem bears. They don't try hard enough to instill fear in problem bears (bears that hang around a campsite). Any bear at a campsite needs to be hit with pepper spray at a minimum.

A couple of years ago I was at Yosemite at Glacier Point when a mama bear (ear tagged as a problem bear) and her two cubs got between my wife and I.

The park rangers' Yosemite newspaper complained that relocating these problem bears was a waste of their time because the bears kept coming back.

Revenant said...

Ok, I get the argument that the US park service guy failed to warn them about the bear. I don't know if I agree with it, but I understand the argument. 65% federal responsibility: check.

I get that the parents were at least somewhat to blame. 10% parental responsibility: check.

But where the heck does the 25% state government responsibility come from? There's no indication in the article of the state government or its employees doing anything wrong at all.

Jane said...

I was in a building with 40 children in a residential/industrial area 40 miles from DC, and a huge black bear ran through the playyard minutes after the toddlers had gone inside.

There are too many damn bears. Pa Ingalls was right -- bears are for killing. They're our enemies. I grew up on a farm in PA, and now we're too afraid to camp or walk on our own property that had previously been bear-free for 200 years. It's called civilization.

How many children are acceptable losses?

Crunchy Frog said...

@ET1492

"Can you imagine the outrage if a city government put signs up in some areas saying "Beware. This is a dangerous neighborhood. Enter at your own risk."

Do some cities do that?"

There are now signs at the entrances to the national parks on our southern border to not enter because of all the Maxican drug gangs that have set up shop there.

Nothing to see folks, move along.

wv: matiret - smallish, not so famous mountain in Switzerland

k*thy said...

I'm betting that Gosse made the decision that gate attendants NOT inform incoming campers...

National Forests aren't gated like National Parks. You fill out a trip plan, pay a small fee and go. Unless they stopped at the regional NF office it'd be very unlikely they'd even see any NF staff.

Robin said...

What a pack of nonsense. People have to be warned that the outdoors has dangerous animals?

This is the kind of nonsense that make people disgusted with the courts.

k*thy said...

Being armed when you're a day's hike from your car and out of cell range is simple common sense precaution.

For you, perhaps, but I haven't ever found it necessary.

Scott M said...

For you, perhaps, but I haven't ever found it necessary.

Then you've never had a strange person, acting strangely, approach your camp site after dark. Likewise, you've probably never suffered an animal attack.

kate said...

I imagine one of the purposes of the United States Forest Service is to warn ignoramuses like myself of possible dangers... like dangerous bears (the worst kind of bears).

In the general sense, they do (their website, at their headquarters and at the trailhead), but you, as an ignoramus hiker/camper need to know what your getting into and plan accordingly. If you're in bear area, it might be in your best interest to stop in for some updated information.

Fred Drinkwater said...

Crunch Frog: Just lovely.
But on the bright side, there's no need to strain to invent a name for the region. IIRC there's a country near India that has this situation - they call it the "Tribal Area".
Every country should get one.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

These people, the parents of the dead kid are really something.... quite a piece of work.

"This situation could have been prevented had they simply taped off the area," Rebecca Ives said

WTF?. Do they think this is CSI Crime Scene and that some police tape would stop a hungry bear from attacking?

NOW....they want to jump on the victim bandwagon.... "They suggested the federal government create a more instantaneous alert system which they dubbed a "Sam Alert."

Perhaps a robot with some twirling red lights, sirens and waving arms....."alert alert danger Will Robbins.....animals are in the woods...run away, run away!!!"

Meanwhile, sonicfrog thinks that there are Gate Attendants in National Forests, like flight attendants who show you to your seat and make sure you are properly buckled in. Perhaps they gave out the fatal candy bar?

/facepalm

PatCA said...

What really bothers me about the park's behavior is that it seems based on the prevalent "we can live in harmony with nature" ethic so prevalent today.

If there are bear attacks, they should close the park to rube city folk campers, or have a camp in a fenced area.

It's like they can't admit that animals can be dangerous.

Scott M said...

It's like they can't admit that animals can be dangerous.

It's the same mentality that doesn't believe that Clovis Man didn't wipe out a shitload of large land mammals in North America, but does believe that the CIA created the Black Plague back in the 1340's.

Calypso Facto said...

A minor point, but does anyone know if the damages payment would come out the Forest Service budget?

Scott M said...

Move along...disregard the double negative. Nothing to see here...

AST said...

Dale Kimball was one of my law professors. Interestingly 65% is near the percentage of Utah that is owned by the federal government.

AST said...

Only $1.95 million? Make that Trillions and it would teach them a lesson.

On second thought, probably not.

Freeman Hunt said...

So people are clear; there was a bear attack 12 hours earlier at exactly the same camp site. Not in the general area, but at the same place. The park rangers failed to inform visitors as they entered or them specifically.

In that case, I'm glad they won.

Doesn't every camper know not to bring food into the tent?

I didn't know that. But then, I'm not a camper. (Though I'd like to be.)

Michael said...

"No, I haven't. And I assume Mr. Ives didn't either before his death. I imagine one of the purposes of the United States Forest Service is to warn ignoramuses like myself of possible dangers... like dangerous bears (the worst kind of bears)."

I don't work for the park service but I will take it upon myself to inform you that bears are dangerous animals. I would warn anyone going into bear country to understand that bears are not your friends. They have the capacity to maim and kill. It is wise to travel with bear spray at the least and bear spray and heat optimally. Cougars will also eat you or simply kill you for fun.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

So people are clear; there was a bear attack 12 hours earlier at exactly the same camp site. Not in the general area, but at the same place. The park rangers failed to inform visitors as they entered or them specifically.

This story drives me nuts. People who have never been camping in a wilderness area have no idea of what it is like and are making judgments as if these people were in Disneyland or some sort of controlled environment.

1. They were camping in an undeveloped area. NOT a cute little campground with paved roads, concrete picnic tables, bathrooms or ANY other amenities. The camping area was at the edge of a dirt road in the WILDERNESS. It wasn't a DESIGNATED or official campground.

2. If there was a bear attack/incident previously, unless the forest rangers were able to follow that particular bear around the miles of wilderness, there is no way to know that it was the SAME bear. Clue people: there are many bears in the woods. So even IF they were able to follow the bear around to try to trap it.....12 hours is a very short time and it is almost impossible to track a bear without dogs.

3. When you enter a National Forest or many National Parks.....PEOPLE>>>>>>it isn't Marine World an amusement park. There are many ways to get into the area. There may not be any rangers around when you enter. There often is not a cutsie kiosk and flight attendant to guide you to your campsite, which in this case was just some place at the end or side of a dirt road.

The Park or National Forest Headquarters is often located far far away from the actual forest or park. Miles away. If the campers had gone to that headquarters and asked they might have gotten some specific information.

4. There were signs all over the place telling people about the danger of bears. Not just this one bear but ALL bears.

5. They violated the basic safety rules of camping. They slept with food!!!!! And that makes YOU food. It is like hanging a bag of chum around your neck and then go swimming with the sharks.

I have some sympathy because they lost their child.

However, I have no sympathy for STUPID people and these parents qualify in spades

mdgiles said...

Everybody isn't born in a forest and suckled by a she wolf. Until the Marine Corps got a hold of me, I was a NYC kid who thought Central Park was the wilderness. You assume that these people should have known all the "rules" of the wilderness. Why? Perhaps they were nothing more then weekend campers who just wanted to see some of the wilderness THEY'RE TAX DOLLARS SUPPORT. I guess the could have stayed home and left it to all the Daniel Boones out there, but those crazy folks actual wanted to see some of that nature they've heard so much about. What they should have had was a sign telling you you must report into the Ranger station before you set up camp. At that point you get advised of the rules, and sent on your way. Either that or have on your person, the official "rule" book,available from the Forest Service. At that point the Forest Service will have done all they could, and the taxpayers will be off the hook.

Rob said...

I don't understand the logic of most of the comments here: how did the government CAUSE the death? At what point did most people accept this math: failure to prevent=cause? If I cross the center line and hit someone driving the other way I cause the collision. If I see someone driving on the left hand side of the road and I don't warn the person coming from the opposite direction I don't cause the collision, do I?

Rob said...

I don't understand the logic of most of the comments here: how did the government CAUSE the death? At what point did most people accept this math: failure to prevent=cause? If I cross the center line and hit someone driving the other way I cause the collision. If I see someone driving on the left hand side of the road and I don't warn the person coming from the opposite direction I don't cause the collision, do I?