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Contact: Dan Johnson, Chief of Interpretation and Visitor Services, (435) 781-7702
Jensen, UT & Dinosaur, CO – Park rangers have reopened the river campsites at Pot Creek which are located along the Green River in the Canyon of the Lodore. The campsites had been closed due to bear activity in the area.
On June 24th a rafting group reported to the Echo Park Ranger that they encountered a bear at Pot Creek Campsite # 2 the previous night. According to reports, the bear managed to acquire some packaged food. Members in the group reported that the bear charged several individuals and was not deterred by throwing rocks. No one was harmed during the incident.
Following the monument's bear management plan and in consultation with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, when human-bear interactions such as this occur, one of the first steps is to close the area to visitors to prevent further encounters. The Pot Creek campsites were closed and have been patrolled by rangers for signs of the bear since June 26, 2015. In the three weeks since, there have been no sightings or signs of any bears in the Pot Creek area.
All monument visitors are reminded to store food, garbage, camp coolers, and other items with a scent that can attract bears in hard-sided vehicles, a latch able hard-sided container, or in bear-proof storage boxes. This helps keep bears from becoming conditioned to human foods and helps keep monument visitors and their property safe.
Some people may not think of Dinosaur National Monument as "bear country," but frequent sightings confirm a healthy black bear population. Hikers, boaters, and campers are encouraged to be alert for their presence and report bear sightings as soon as possible at a visitor center or ranger station. Visitors should remember the following safety tips:
Prevent an Encounter:
- Hike in a group, keep children in sight and close by, make noise.
- Keep a clean camp, use bear-proof boxes to store food, toiletries, and garbage. Wash your dishes.
- Never leave food unattended, even for a minute.
- Do not burn food or trash in fire rings.
- Keep vehicle windows and doors locked and closed at all times.
- Never approach or feed any wildlife.
If You See a Bear:
- Back away slowly and leave area.
- Make noise so the bear knows you are there.
If a Bear Approaches You:
- Face the bear, back away slowly;do not run.
- Stand tall, appear large, wave arms or jacket.
- Group together, pick up small children.
- Make noise, throw things, and try to scare it off.
- Fight back aggressively and use bear spray if the bear attacks.
Unfortunately, bears that acquire human food will associate people as a food source which may cause safety risks. Relocation efforts are rarely successful in such situations and the bears often must be destroyed to prevent potential injuries to people. Please do your part to keep bears wild by never allowing bears access to human food. For more information, call (435)781-7700.