Bear Threat Closes Pennsylvania State Campground
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A campground in Pennsylvania’s Lycoming County is closed and may not reopen until next month because of a bear problem.
The animals keep coming back to feast on campers’ food, WNEP-TV, Moosic, Pa., reported.
Feeding wild animals is not allowed on state forest land. Nevertheless, the campground near Jersey Shore attracted enough bears in recent months to lead foresters to close it down, in hopes the bears stop dropping by for a bite to eat.
It is a ghost town at the Black Walnut Bottom Camping area north of Jersey Shore.
“Now we have bears coming in and looking for food. They’re raiding the campgrounds,” said Tom Finkbiner who runs the Slate Run Tackle Shop. While Finkbiner said the closure should not impact business much, he is glad state officials are working on a growing problem with bears. “It’s an important issue, and people need to not feed bears.”
Black Walnut Bottom is still open for recreation, however camping is off limits for at least another 30 days. The idea is no campers, no food, no bear problem, according to forestry officials.
“We’re in their element, so you know. You just deal with it,” said Art Nonemaker. He lives across Pine Creek from the campground showed pictures of the bear game officials captured this week. Nonemaker figures if people stop feeding the animals the problem would be solved.
“On the weekend you get people up here, and you get people who throw marshmallows and all kinds of feed for them,” added Nonemaker.
“A lot of the campers are not feeding them intentionally, other people have fed them. Bears are now looking for food,” said Finkbiner.
Many in Pine Creek Valley do not think it is worth the risk of someone getting hurt and urge everyone to keep food away from bears.
“If you have food, keep her put away tight,” advised Nonemaker.
After 30 days, district foresters will decide if the campground should stay closed any longer to keep the public safe and the bears away.
Permits are still available for other camping locations at Tiadaghton State Forest.