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Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve acting Superintendent Eric Veach announced today that an immediate closure to visitor use due to increased bear activity has been instituted for the Nugget Creek trail upstream of its confluence with Porcupine Creek up to the Nugget Creek cabin, but excluding the Nugget Creek airstrip, with the exception of local land owners accessing private property. The Nugget Creek Cabin is also closed to occupancy and no reservations will be taken. A recent incident in which a park visitor reported being charged by a sow grizzly bear with two cubs, where the sow chased the visitor into the Nugget Creek cabin, striking the door as it was closed, has created concerns for public safety. This closure will remain in effect until further notice.
Title 36 CFR 1.5, 13.25 and 13.50 authorizes the superintendent to temporarily close an area in order to protect park resources and public safety.Earlier this season a bear broke into the cabin and appears to have obtained human food.A moose killed by a bear was also recently observed within the vicinity of the cabin.Food conditioned bears can pose a serious threat to the health and safety of visitors.Proper food storage is required when camping in the park and preserve.This temporary closure has been instituted in order to protect the safety of park visitors.
Visitors to Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve are advised to contact the Park at (907) 822-7401 for the most up-to-date bear information for this area.