And so it goes...

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Teddy Roosevelt on Vail Mountain at the 2015 Forest Service Reunion.

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Speaking of Reunions...

2018 Forest Service Retirees Reunion - Ashville, NC

Make your plans for the 2018 Forest Service National Retiree Reunion, Asheville, NC
September 24-28, 2018.

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Untitled Document

Mountaineer Memories

This is one of the closest bear encounters ever experienced by Forest Survey crews in Alaska.

On a very rainy day, the Forest Survey crew had completed a high elevation plot measurement near Hoonah in the Neka Bay area, and was headed back down hill to the airplane pickup area on the beach. They were walking along a game trail which followed the Neka River, and a very heavy rain was adding to the noisy stream and shrubbery environments. The crew leader, Tommy Thompson, was in the lead with the 375 H&H Magnum bear rifle over his shoulder.

The trail contoured several hundred feet up a small side drainage and to save time Tom decided to cut across the ravine.  In front of him was a large spruce tree with a limb about 6 feet from the ground and he decided to swing from the limb down to a "mound of moss" below the tree. Hanging from both arms, Tommy swung down and put his foot on the "brown mound of moss," which turned out to be a sleeping brown bear. The bear had not heard the crew coming because of the noisy rain and nearby running stream. The awakened 8 ½ to 9 foot bear stood up with its head no more than 2-3 feet from the Tommy's face. Tommy could not get to his rifle because he was hanging by his arms with the rifle on his shoulder.

Tommy later said he could smell the bear's foul breath. Fortunately, the bear retreated from our "hung up forester" without attacking. It is hard to say who was more frightened, the bear or the Tommy or his partner Bob Mattson who was headed back up the trail as fast as he could run.

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