Wildlife managers say they will try to trap and kill the bear
FRISCO — Camping restrictions are in place at a Colorado campground after a bear bit a man inside a tent. The Dearhamer Campground, southeast of Glenwood Springs at Ruedi Reservoir, has been temporarily restricted to hard-sided campers.
The man, who was sleeping in the tent with his wife and one-year-old child, said they woke up about 3:30 a.m. Wednesday morning when his wife heard scratching, then saw paws on their air mattress.
At the same moment, the man said he felt a bite on his left forearm, but was able to shake the animal off by hitting it with his free arm. He said the animal ran away, jumping over the tent in the process.
Spring snow delays campground openings in a few areas
FRISCO — The wet and chilly spring weather may not exactly be perfect for camping, but Coloradans are hearty, and a few showers, or even snowflakes, won’t deter outdoor enthusiasts from taking their first trip of the season.
On the White River National Forest, most campgrounds are open, including the key concessionaire-operated sites in Summit County, mostly clustered around Dillon Reservoir. You’ll find the full scoop on WRNF campgrounds below, right after these outdoor safety tips from the U.S. Forest Service. You can also reserve a campsite in online at Recreation.gov.
Motorized travel is permitted on roads only, off road travel is always prohibited (do not drive around snow drift/muddy spots through meadow/forest – turn around!)
Please do not cause resource damage- if you get to an area that is muddy and would create ruts or road damage, turn around.
Snow patches occur at higher elevations. While they may not look deep there is thick ice crust- which does break and on which it is easy to get stuck
Use caution: some areas on the Forest are experiencing high water crossings and muddy conditions that make travel unsafe and hazardous.
Aspen-Sopris Ranger District
All campgrounds for Aspen – Sopris managed by White River Recreation are open for except for Lost Man and Chapman-South loop Camp Ground. All three of Maroon Bells Scenic Area campgrounds will be open by Ma. 22.
Blanco Ranger District
Snow at higher elevations will keep some roads closed for a couple of weeks ago. Some of the Buford Newcastle Road is open and the road to Trappers Lake is open but not the Campground.
Main Marvine Campground is open and has water
East Marvine Campground is open
Hines Peak Campground is open
North Fork Campground is open and has water
South Fork Campground is open
Dillon Ranger District
All 6 concession-managed campgrounds on and around Dillon Reservoir will be open for the Memorial Day weekend: Heaton Bay, Peak One, Pine Cove, Prospector, Lowry, and the Windy Point Group CG.
At Green Mountain Reservoir, four of the six campgrounds will be open: Cow Creek South, Prairie Point, Elliot Creek, and McDonald Flats. The Willows and Cow Creek North Camp Ground will remain closed due to wet “native surface” roads.
Cataract Lake campground and Blue River campground will also be open by Thursday, May 21,
Eagle-Holy Cross Ranger District
We aspire to have the following campgrounds open. Fees are listed. All are first come first serve:
Sweetwater Campground $8/night
Fulford Cave $8/night
Loop B Yeoman Park $8/night
Loop A will remain closed due to wet/snowy conditions
Meadow Creek Lake Campground will not be open. You cannot drive to Meadow Lake as there is too much snow. A sign will be installed on Buford New Castle Road indicating snow drift ahead. If recent weather continues, it will take another week or two for the road to cleared to Meadow Lake.
Court says private concession companies don’t have to meet agency standards for recreation fees on public lands
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — One of the legal efforts to try and check the recent proliferation of public land access fees was rebuffed by a federal court in Washington, D.C. last week. U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras ruled that private companies running recreation facilities on federal lands don’t have to follow the same regulations as agency managed facilities.
In a worst-case scenario, the ruling could open the door to more widespread fees for trailhead parking and other types of access that have traditionally been free, said Kitty Benzar, president of the West Slope No-Fee Coalition, a group dedicated to eliminating fees charged for access and recreation on undeveloped public lands.
Forest Service orders campers to keep food in sealed storage bins at campgrounds
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — A spate of bear encounters in the Aspen area has prompted the U.S. Forest Service to require campers to store their food, cooking equipment, cooking utensils, and coolers in bear-resistant containers, such as a closed, locked vehicle or a food locker.
The order affects all developed recreation sites on the Aspen-Sopris Ranger District in the upper Roaring Fork Valley of Pitkin County including the designated campsites along Lincoln Creek and Castle Creek. Nineteen sites on the Eagle-Holy Cross Ranger District in Eagle County are also included.
The Forest Service is trying to get an early handle on unwanted encounters after a series of incidents in late May, when a large bear approached campers at one or more camp sites and was undeterred by human presence, shouting, car horns, and other noise and commotion.
One camper reported that the bear tried to open a car door with people and a dog inside. Other campers that improperly stored food and garbage probably played a major role in these incidents. When bears associate food and garbage with humans and their belongings, they will become habituated to the human environment.
The food storage order helps break the bear’s link between human presence and a possible reward of food or garbage. If bears don’t get rewarded, their natural behavior is to avoid humans and their belongings. Compared to natural foods that bears eat in the wilds, human foods and garbage have a tremendous amount of calories, fat, and nutrients.
Any odorous substance can attract bears, including garbage and refuse, cooking oil, dirty dishes, and toiletries. It is important to prevent bears from associating any such odors with people.
Violators could be fined up to $5,000 or up to six months in prison. Visit the White River National Forest online to get more information on national forest lands camping and addresses and telephone numbers for local ranger stations.
SUMMIT COUNTY — Campers in western Colorado will have more options this summer, as the Bureau of Land Management quadruples the size of the Rabbit Valley Campground, from four spots to 16.
The campground, in the McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area west of Grand Junction, will be closed for several weeks while the work — including two new group campsites — is under way. The campground road will be improved, and each campsite will now have a tent pad, fire ring and picnic table.
Forest Service orders special precautions in Vail area
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Numerous encounters between people and bears in the high country have prompted the White River National Forest to require campers to store all food and refuse in a bear-resistant container or inside a vehicle in a sealed container.
“Due to a lack of forage bears are on the hunt for alternative sources of food, campsites and picnic areas can appear, to a bear, an easy target,” said Eagle Holy Cross deputy district ranger Matt McCombs.
SUMMIT COUNTY — Mid-July is definitely the height of the summer season pretty much anywhere in the northern hemisphere, so when #FriFotos host and founder @EpsteinTravels announced this week’s theme for the popular Twitter chat, I zipped through the archives to find a few shots from this summer, as well as year’s past. And as much as I love cold powder snow and skiing, there’s something to be said for being able to go outside without putting on multiple layers, hats, gloves … you know what I mean, right? Join in the fun by uploading pics to Twitter and tagging them with #FriFotos.