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Install Temporary Secure Food Storage Containers-Salt Creek, Needles District

Canyonlands National Park » Install Temporary Secure Food Storage Containers-Salt Creek, Needles District » Document List

In recent years more and more black bears and bear tracks have been observed in Salt Creek drainage. The drainage has been documented as a known movement corridor for black bears. Now we suspect that some bears stay in Salt Creek year round. We know from experience in many other parks that black bears and camping can lead to safety issues for both campers and bears. If bears get have one successful experience obtaining food from humans, they can be hooked for life. Unsecured food is an easy target for a hungry bear. The food is not good for the bear and of course habituated bears are a significant danger for anyone traveling through Salt Creek whether of not they have food. The bears soon learn to associate humans with food. Managing habituated bears is expensive, time consuming and usually not successful. Habituated bears most frequently are destroyed in order to minimize risk to park visitors. By providing secure food storage, we can minimize the bear- human food issue.

2 Large ammo boxes will be secured at each camp site at least 50 yards away from any food preparation area or tent area. The ammo boxes will have a cable mechanism that prevents bears from opening the latch. The design has been tested and used successfully at Rock Mountain National Park. Instructions will be provided so that visitors understand why the boxes are at the campsites and how to properly use the boxes. A concerted effort will be made to inform visitors about sharing Salt Creek with bears and proper food storage procedures.

This setup is a temporary measure to minimize the risk of bears getting human food and to protect the camping Public in Salt Creek. Another project will be implemented to look more closely at the best long-term option for managing secure food storage for campers in Salt Creek, some of which is in recommended wilderness.

Contact Information

Sabrina Henry 435-719-2135