I certainly wasn't intending to badmouth the rangers. I was wondering myself whether there'd be room in the bear boxes , which is why I was easily convinced to bring a cannister anyways. As it was, on a weekend in August, space was never even close to an issue. I bring my cannister everywhere, even when not required, because I don't have the skill to properly hang a bear bag, so I had kind of been looking forward to leaving it behind.
As I was hiking, I was wondering if rangers carried any kind of 'weapon' for subduing unruly hikers. They sadly have to assume that every hiker they come across is the lowest common denominator, like those people who didn't want to carry a bear cannister, so I don't get annoyed when the have to explain to me the most basic rules, and they usually do it with a "I know you know this, but there are idiots who don't/don't care?" kind of tone.
I met a guy a Lake Merced who was spending the summer hiking every trail in the park (minus the Hetch Hetchy part) He had to yell at a guy who was trying to pull down a dead tree for firewood, explain to him that the rule was 'Dead and Down', not just dead. They guy listened eventually, but he and his group spent the rest of the night giving him and pretty hard time verbally. And don't even get him started on the places he's found illegal fire rings. I found a recent one at the backpackers camp at Vogelsang, way, way above the altitude limit for fires.
Anyways, I don't want to hijack the thread, just explain my reasoning behind maybe not bringing a bear cannister