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Why ban mountain bikers altogether while leaving hikers continued freedom? Steve Michel, the human-wildlife conflict specialist at Banff, explained that bicycles travel more rapidly than hikers, thus elevating the potential for a surprise encounter.

Doug Topp, a director of the Bow Valley Mountain Bike Alliance, said the scientific evidence justified the summer-only restriction and pointed out that all other trails in the valley remained open.



Grizzly bears expand

JACKSON, Wyo. - Grizzly bears have significantly expanded their range from the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Some bears have been seen hundreds of miles away, south of Lander, Wyo., and at Dillon, Mont., even in the desert country of the Bighorn Basin, located southeast of Yellowstone.

Bear biologists tell the Jackson Hole News&Guide they think the Yellowstone region now has 1,000 grizzlies, compared to an estimated 224 in 1975. The range has nearly quadrupled. They also say they suspect most of the bears in the more distant outposts are young males.

Conservationists hope for even more expansion of terrain. Mark Pearson, conservation program director for the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, said ultimately populations of grizzly bears in Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks should be connected.


Road through Glacier finally opens

WHITEFISH, Mont. - If all goes as planned, the entire 80 kilometres of the thrilling Going-to-the-Sun Highway that traverses Glacier National Park are to be opened July 13. In early June, the road looked more like it usually does in April. A heavily drifted area at Logan Pass as of early July was still nine metres deep, reports the Whitefish Pilot .

Post bark beetle a mystery

SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. - There's been little talk lately about the bark beetle epidemic that is expected to kill up to 90 per cent of lodgepole pine forests in Colorado. Maybe that's because people are accustomed to the sight of rusty red and then gray forests.

But what will come next?  Since the epidemic began in 1996, "next" is already arriving in many places of northern Colorado, in the area around Winter Park, Summit County and Vail.

And the answer, says Ph.D. candidate Kristen Pelz of Colorado State University, is that there is no one thing. She arrives at that vague answer after having studied the transitions after a bark beetle epidemic in the early 1980s in Colorado.