"Tom, I wish that you would try to understand my posting before you asked these sorts of questions."
Bob - Our discussion began with your comment to Jason that the modified PCT hanging system he referred to left a strand of rope dangling within reach of a bear, with the implication that this rendered the system vulnerable. I asked you to explain your reasoning. When you replied that all a bear had to do was grab the strand in its mouth and start pulling, I expressed skepticism and asked you for supporting evidence. You replied that you didn't owe me any, which turned my skepticism to outright disbelief. Now you ask me to try to understand your posting and then digress into one of your trademark expositions on your many years of experience, complete with anecdotes about a ranger/naturalist's experience of undefined sloppy bear bagging that left a strand of rope dangling down, but without any reference to the PCT BAGGING SYSTEM we are supposed to be discussing. What is there for me to understand? You continue to evade my requests for supporting evidence for your assertion that the single strand of rope dangling down in all variants of the PCT bagging method renders it vulnerable. Instead you lapse into vague generalities, intermixed with anecdotes about the "good old days" and your extensive experience that have nothing to do with the PCT method. It is frustrating, to say the least. If you have solid evidence that the PCT method is vulnerable, I sincerely request that you share it with those of us who regularly use it. Otherwise, why not just let it go and stop wasting our time?
"My bear techniques come from two sources. I led Sierra Club backpacking trips in Yosemite for twenty years. It is difficult to do that much and not learn something. The ranger-naturalist that I referred to had spent a lot of time on trail patrol in Yosemite National Park, and the PCT goes right through there. He observed some good behavior, and he also observed some bad behavior, and that is what he had told me about and showed me. There were several techniques for bear bagging, but several of them feature a dangling rope. While on trail patrol, and coming upon a scene with backpackers running around one way and the bears running around the other way, sometimes with the food bag in mouth, a ranger can make some assumptions about who was doing what. When he thought he had a particularly bad example, he had the backpackers describe exactly how they had bear bagged the food, and that is what he had formed his opinions about as to which techniques were good and which were not. Often, the bears had not quite reached the food, but the ranger's observations of ropes and bags meant a lot to me. You can chalk that up to just one ranger's observations. However, if he had been some crank, then I doubt that he would have been promoted to be the head ranger-naturalist, so I accept his stories at face value. Ranger-naturalists do not have to be specially trained as wildlife biologists, but they do tend to see the interactions between park visitors and the park wildlife. This next part may be legend, but the black bears in Yosemite were once thought to be the most skillful at stealing food from humans. It seemed that there was a generation-to-generation skill learning going on with the bears, so the mother bears taught the cubs. The bear canister program that went into effect more than ten years ago had intentions of breaking that learning among bears. The solitary bears who live farther out away from people don't seem to have that skill going so well. Maybe it was only Yosemite bears that were smart enough to bite and pull a rope, but I doubt it.
I did a six-day trip in the park with the ranger. Each night, sitting around the campfire, we discussed the topics such as proper techniques to use for bagging.
Alas, now with federal budget cutbacks, there isn't so much trail patrol going on, so there are fewer rangers with the time to observe how effective the various techniques have become on a more current basis."
I include the above for emphasis. The fact that the PCT runs through Yosemite NP does not do much to support your implication that the PCT method is vulnerable, and there is nothing else in the post that specifically refers to ANY bear bagging system, let alone the PCT method.