A customer recently forwarded an email from a SEKI wildlife biologist in which he responded on behalf of Kings Canyon, Sequoia, and Yosemite National Parks to the customer’s query. Here is the email I sent to Yosemite and SEKI on June 10, 2015 in response:
“Your email [to the Ursack customer] stated that the parks periodically review “new” portable bear-resistant containers certified by the IGBC to assess whether newly IGBC certified products are “a standalone device that functions independently of park resources” and whether there are “any other issues or concerns” relevant to the objectives of the program. You went on to state that the Parks you represent are currently reviewing the IGBC certified Ursack Model S29 AllWhite.
As you know, the Ursack S29 AllWhite was certified by the IGBC in July 2014. The actual grizzly bear test was more than a year ago. On October 22, 2014, I wrote the superintendents of Yosemite and SEKI (copied here) asking them to approve Ursack. Two months later, they responded by asking for a sample for further evaluation. I sent one within a week. I have heard nothing since. The recent lists of approved canisters posted on the Parks’ websites do not mention Ursack.
Rachel Mazur’s interesting new book, Speaking of Bears, tells of a Yosemite bear that broke about 25 canisters in 2013 by rolling them off a cliff. Presumably, all of these canisters remain on the Parks’ approved list while Ursack remains in limbo.
In short, Yosemite and SEKI have theoretically been reviewing the IGBC certified Ursack for six months or more with no indication of what that review process is, what the specific criteria for approval are, or when a decision might be made. As you might imagine, both the company and thousands of customers and potential customers are frustrated by this lack of progress. (Thousands of customers is not an exaggeration. One of them started a change.org petition which has garnered more than 2,500 signatures).
Please let us know, with specifics, what is happening with your evaluation. If it is easier to call, please do.