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Contact: Melissa Wilson, 406 888-7895
WEST GLACIER, MONT. – Officials at Glacier National Park anticipate opening Old Man and Morning Star backcountry campgrounds this summer. These campgrounds were closed the past two summers due to a female grizzly and her two cubs frequenting the campgrounds. While reservations are currently being accepted for nights beginning August 1, it is likely that the actual opening date for the campgrounds will be July 18, although this date may vary based upon trail crew work. Hiking trails in the area will be open throughout the summer.
In early July, park bear management rangers will spend several days in the backcountry locating and assessing the bears’ behaviors. If there are no bear-related issues, park trail crews will then go into the area to complete work that they have not been able to perform for the last two years. This work includes removing one of the spur trails into Old Man Lake that has been shown to draw bears to the campground. Throughout the project, the bears’ behaviors will continue to be monitored. Assuming there are no concerns with the bears, the campgrounds will be open to the public.
Aversive conditioning of the adult grizzly by park rangers and staff from the Wind River Bear Institute (WRBI) was conducted over the last two years. Last year’s two week program was paid for by a grant from The Glacier National Park Fund; the park funded the first year’s conditioning. All sightings of the grizzlies after last season’s aversive conditioning indicated more natural bear behavior.
In general, backcountry camping reservations may be requested for other campgrounds for trips beginning June 15 through October 31. A $30 processing fee is charged. More information is found in the 2007 Backcountry Camping Guide available online at http://www.nps.gov/archive/glac/pdf/bcguide07web.pdf or from the backcountry office at 406-888-7859.
Information about backcountry reservation availability is also available online for all backcountry sites. Visit http://www.nps.gov/archive/glac/whatsnew/bcres/bcmap.htm. This site is updated daily and will indicate any changes in the status of Old Man and Morning Star Campgrounds.
For additional park information, please visit Glacier National Park’s Web site (www.nps.gov/glac) or call park headquarters at 406-888-7800.
- NPS -