Campers should secure food to prevent bear problems
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — U.S. Forest Service rangers have closed a dispersed camping area near Castle Creek after a rogue black bear looking for food entered several tents in the past few days.
“Bears and people do not mix well, especially when bears get used to people and their food. To protect both people and bears, we are closing the dispersed camping sites along Castle Creek until further notice,” said District Ranger Scott Snelson.
As an alternative to the Castle Creek area, the Forest Service is recommending the dispersed camping opportunity along the Lincoln Creek Road off of Colorado Highway 82.
Bears are opportunistic feeders, they go after the easy food especially if they have gotten used to human foods. To minimize the potential of attracting a bear to your campsite, the Forest Service recommends the following precautions:
- store your food and cooking equipment in an enclosed vehicle;
- do not take any food into your tent at any time;
- Leave the clothing worn during food preparation in your vehicle and not in your tent;
- do not set your tent up in close proximity to your cooking area.
These guidelines apply in any camping situation, but are especially applicable in dispersed camping areas.
District Wildlife Biologist Phil Nyland said, “This bear does not have a history as a problem bear. People need to understand any time you camp in a dispersed area, especially in areas where bears tend to travel such as along creeks, they need to take appropriate precautions.”
Additional information about camping on the Aspen and Sopris Ranger Districts can be obtained by calling 970-925-3445 or 970-963-2266 during office hours. Information may also be found on the Forest Service website at http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/whiteriver/.