A brown bear at Glacier Bay in AlaskaPhoto credit: National Park Service
A popular hiking trail in Alaska’s Glacier Bay has been closed for the remainder of the month following an incident with a bear.
The National Park Service announced that the Scidmore Cut area of the West Arm of Glacier Bay will be closed to all foot traffic until August 30.
The move comes after a brown bear obtained food from campers at the site on July 30. The were no injuries or property damage as a result of the incident, the NPS said in a release.
The closure includes the western half of the Scidmore Cut area from the Scidmore tides cut west to the Scidmore camper drop-off. It includes land from the water at Barlett Cove to a quarter-mile inland.
The goal of the closure is to prevent bears from further associating people with food rewards, the NPS said in the release.
Although not part of the closure, the NPS recommends no camping take place in the entire Scidmore Cut area, both on the West Arm side and the area within Scidmore Bay. This is because bears are known to travel great distances in the area.
NPS officials recommend that if a bear approaches while you are eating, visitors should pack up all food into bear-resistant canisters, group together, and stand their ground.
The NPS also recommends having bear pepper spray on hand and using it if an animal gets within 20 to 30 feet.
“Bears range widely throughout Glacier Bay National Park, and human-bear conflicts can occur anywhere,” the NPS said.
Keys to reducing the chances of a conflict with a bear include storing food and other attractants properly, and keeping control of gear at all times.
Those planning to visit the area can get current information regarding bear incidents from the visitor information station at (907) 697-2627 or (907) 697-2495. Those numbers can also be used to report any bear sightings or encounters.
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