Camping restrictions due to pesky bear lifted at Island Acres |

Camping restrictions due to pesky bear lifted at Island Acres

Staff Report

Officials with Colorado Parks and Wildlife lifted restrictions Monday on “soft-sided” camping at the James M. Robb Colorado River State Park, Island Acres section.

Concerns about a bear pushing on tents and recreational vehicles as it searched for food prompted CPW officials to restrict the campsite to “hard-sided” only late last month; however, they say the bear appears to have moved away from the area.

“We set several traps and we have been keeping a close eye on the campground but we have not seen evidence of the bear in over a week,” said Park Manager Pete Firmin. “But it is still very important for campers, whether in a tent or an RV, to follow our recommendations to help keep bears and all wildlife from interacting with people.”

Colorado Parks and Wildlife reminds the public that feeding, or allowing food and trash to be accessible to wildlife is a leading cause of conflicts.

If you are planning a camping trip, Colorado Parks and Wildlife offers the following recommendations:

• Stash your trash. Use bear-proof containers when available. If they are full, double bag trash and lock it in your trunk or RV. Never leave trash outside.

• Store attractants safely. Store food, beverages and toiletries in airtight containers and lock in your trunk. Many bears have discovered that coolers, bags and boxes are full of food; never leave them in your tent or anywhere a bear could see, smell or reach.

• Keep a clean camp. Bears are attracted to odors of all kinds and will investigate anything interesting in hopes of finding food.

• Keep a clean tent. Don’t bring anything with an odor into your tent — that includes all foods, bever­ages, scented toiletries, gum, toothpaste, sunscreen, candles and insect repellant. Don’t sleep in the clothes you cooked in; store them with your food.

• Bears can easily open an unlocked vehicle door. Close windows and lock your vehicle or RV when you leave your campsite and at night before you go to sleep.

• If a bear comes into camp, try to chase it away. Yell, toss small stones in the direction of the bear, bang pots and pans, or blow your car horn, air horn or whistle. It is very important to make sure the bear has an escape route.

• If you see a bear, enjoy the experience from a distance with binoculars, a camera lens or a viewing scope.

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