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Grand Junction, CO, August 9, 2019 –

The Grand Valley District of the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison (GMUG) National Forests and Colorado Parks and Wildlife are aware of the increased black bear activity in and around the Cobbett and Ward Campgrounds.

  • Due to improper human food storage and disposal practices, the bear has become food-conditioned, approaching campers and campsites in the area.
  • Over time, food-conditioned bears may become bold or aggressive in their attempts to obtain human food – posing a danger to individuals, their property and their pets. This can ultimately lead to the bear being euthanized. Bears have good memories and will return to places they’ve found food.

All recreationalists are asked to use the following food storage and disposal practices:

  • Only have the food out that you are actually using; if you’re not using it, put it back into storage, do not leave food or other attractants (i.e. toothpaste, soap, lotion etc.) unattended, even for a few minutes. Keep a clean camp, whether you’re in a campground or in the back-country.
  • Allow grills to burn for a couple of minutes after cooking to burn off grease and to eliminate odors. Clean the grill after each use.
  • Always keep your food within arm's reach and don't turn your back to your food.
  • When away from camp, store food and other attractants in an approved bear canister or hang them in a tree at least 10 feet high and 4 feet from the trunk, never in your tent.
  • When car-camping, secure all food and coolers in a locked vehicle after you’ve eaten.
  • Keep a clean camp and practice “Pack-It-In, Pack-It-Out”. Do not use fire rings to dispose of food, cooking grease or food scraps.

If approached by a food-conditioned black bear remember the following:

  • If the bear behaves aggressively, try to intimidate it by raising arms or a large object over the head and shouting loudly.
  • If charged, throw rocks, branches, or other objects at the bear. Be threatening. Do not run.
  • If attacked, fight back!  Shout loudly and try to remain standing. Protect head and neck if possible.

For more information go to the Living with Wildlife section on the Colorado Parks and Wildlife web site: https://cpw.state.co.us/ 

For information on National Forest System lands call the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison National Forests at 970-874-6600, visit the GMUG Forest website (www.fs.usda.gov/gmug), Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/GMUG.NF) or Twitter (https://twitter.com/GMUG_NF)