Bear activity in backcountry increasing, campers urged to use care with food storage

From: Boulder Ranger District

Boulder, Colo. – Because of a recent significant increase in reports of bear activity in and around dispersed and backcountry camp sites in the Boulder Ranger District, forest officials are urging backpackers and others venturing off road to use bear wise camping techniques, including the use of portable bear resistant canisters for food and toiletries. 

 Bev Baker, Wildlife Biologist for the Boulder Ranger District said, “Bear encounters have been reported recently in dispersed camping areas across the District, and now more so in the backcountry. If a bear approaches your campsite, try to scare it away by making loud noises, such as banging pans together, or keep a whistle or air horn handy. Known bear attractants include food, drinks, trash, toiletries and pet food – please store them properly to help keep you safe and bears alive.” By keeping a bear-wise site, campers will reduce the risk of drawing bears into their campsites and becoming habituated on human food sources.  A habituated bear is a problem bear.

All visitors are asked to report bear activity within the Boulder Ranger District as soon as possible by calling the bear activity reporting number at Colorado Parks and Wildlife: (970) 472-4462.  For emergencies requiring immediate response please call 911.  For information about recreating in bear country, please visit http://cpw.state.co.us/bears.   You may also visit usonline at www.fs.usda.gov/arp, Twitter@usfsarp or www.facebook.com/usfsarp.

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