Bothersome Bear Shuts Down Lolo National Forest Campground
Forest officials have closed Kreis Pond on the Ninemile Ranger District to give game wardens with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks an opportunity to locate and trap a black bear that has been frequenting the area.
Spokesman Boyd Hartwig said the bear started hanging out at the poplar campground when visitors began to get sloppy about storing and disposing of food.
"We've had some campers leave some garbage behind, and there's been some food left unattended, so a black bear has been getting into that," Hartwig said. "Over the last couple of days, law enforcement and forest officials have been noticing this behavior. As a precaution, they've closed the campground and they're going to try to trap the bear."
Hartwig said the campground should only be closed for a few days, but he reminds potential visitors to practice better food storage habits.
"Bears get habituated to human food very quickly," he said. "So, if there's food left on a picnic table or garbage left behind, the bear will find it and they'll come back again to that same spot."
Hartwig said the vast majority of campground visitors handle food safely, but all it takes is a few careless campers to bring the bears back again.