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Contact: Ben Hayes, 907-983-9206Skagway –Parks Canada has issued a trail closure for the Canadian side of the Chilkoot Trail in response to a bear incident at Lindeman City yesterday afternoon. Response teams from Parks Canada with assistance from Yukon Conservation Officers are deployed and will take measures over the next few days to identify the bear and return the trail to open status as soon as possible.
On Monday, Parks Canada staff returned to Lindeman City camp around 3:30pm to find that a bear had broken into the patrol cabin through a window and raided the refrigerator and cabinets. The bear gained access to a significant quantity of human processed food and was observed again in the structure at 6:45pm last evening. Hair and prints found at the site suggest that the suspect is likely a black bear. There have been a number of similar habituated and food conditioned bear incidents along the south Klondike Highway in recent weeks. Due to the significance and degree of reward attained and the hazard posed to public safety by the food-conditioned bear, Parks Canada has decided to dispatch the bear.
The closure is enacted between the Chilkoot Pass and Bennett. Hikers may still reserve permits for hiking only the US side of the Chilkoot Trail round-trip, while the Canadian side of the trail remains closed to use. The Bennett Day Use area remains open.
The National Park Service and Parks Canada regret the inconvenience this closure causes for hikers who made this trek a significant part of the destination to Alaska and Canada. Further notification will be released as soon as the situation is deemed safe to return to open status. Hikers scheduled to begin the trail over the next few days should contact the Trail Center in Skagway at 907-983-9234 or the reservation desk at 1-800-661-0486 to manage rescheduling, cancellations and refunds. Stay current on all Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park alerts and conditions by visiting www.nps.gov/klgo.