Numerous bear/human encounters prompt camping closure along portion of North Platte River

USDA 8-27-19

Multiple black bear/human encounters along the North Platte River on the west side of the Snowy Range, Medicine Bow National Forest, has prompted a temporary camping prohibition for public safety while wildlife officials attempt to trap the bear.

Effective immediately, the Pike-Pole/Pickaroon area will be temporarily closed to camping until the bear has been removed from the area. The affected area includes where Forest Road 512 turns south and begins to parallel the river, south of the A Bar A Ranch, until the Douglas Creek Trailhead, and within a quarter mile of the road. Forest Road 495, on the west side of the river, is also closed.

The closure is necessary because previous attempts to trap the bear have been unsuccessful while attractants, such as unsecured food from campers, have been available.

“This camping closure was put in place with the safety of our Forest visitors at the forefront,” said Laramie District Ranger Frank Romero. “Bear encounters near campsites has become a frequent issue in this area of the National Forest and on nearby private land. We are working with Wyoming Game and Fish to resolve this issue before it becomes an even larger problem.

“Along with our partners, we want to remind the public that this is bear country and that campers should properly store their food,” added Romero.

This is the second instance of a temporary camping closure due to bears on the Laramie Ranger District this summer. The other instance was resolved quickly after two bears were trapped in the Barber Lake area on the east side of the Snowy Range.

Visit this ‘Bear Wise’ page on the Wyoming Game and Fish web site for more information about Laramie Region camping in bear country.

For updates on the status of this closure, contact the Laramie District Office at 2468 Jackson St. in Laramie or (307) 745-2300.  You can also visit https://fs.usda.gov/mbr, or follow us on Twitter, @FS_MBRTB.

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