Bear-Proofing Campgrounds – Still a Concern

June 27, 2013 by · Comments Off on Bear-Proofing Campgrounds – Still a Concern 

Diagram shows a proper way to suspend food items from a tree out of the reach of bears.

When Caren Austin and her husband arrived last week at Difficult Campground near Aspen, Colo., they were prepared to enjoy a weekend of outdoor activities. Instead of relaxing around the campfire and taking a few casual hikes, Austin spent most of her four-day vacation worrying about bears.

“Personally, I just didn’t have that much fun,” Austin told the Aspen Times. “I was too paranoid about bear-proofing everything. I felt like I was on edge at all times.”

Austin, who lives in Arvada near Denver, never saw a bear, but heard them on several occasions. A bear tried to break into a car less than 30 feet from the Austin campsite, and set the car alarm off five times in one evening. The next day, a large black bear broke into a car in the Difficult day-use parking lot with several people watching. The bear bent a door and broke a window before leaving the lot with a bag of marshmallows in its mouth.

“If we come back to Aspen next summer, I doubt we’ll be camping,” Austin said. “We’ll be in a hotel or staying at a friend’s house.”

For the past month, there have been multiple bear sightings at the Difficult Campground, as well as several surrounding campsites. Weller Campground is close to Difficult and had to be closed from June 15 through June 22 so the Forest Service could fix and secure the bear-proof dumpsters at the campground.

Click here to read the entire story.


RV Park and Campground Briefs

June 25, 2012 by · Comments Off on RV Park and Campground Briefs 


From the Aspen Daily News:

The U.S. Forest Service has lifted a temporary ban on the use of tents and fabric trailers or campers in an area west of Aspen because problems with bears foraging for food there appear to have subsided.

Ranger Scott Snelson tells The Aspen Daily News ( that wildlife officials hadn’t heard of any human-bear conflicts since the ban was enacted in the Difficult Campground area in May. Campers had reported several sightings of a black bear in the area.

Forest Service officials say campers should keep unattended food and coolers in a bear box or locked vehicle, and all garbage must be disposed of in trash containers. Food and cooking equipment should be stored in enclosed vehicles when not in use.


From The Associated Press:

A wildfire that broke out north of Los Angeles on Saturday afternoon (June 23) triggered evacuations of campsites around an off-road recreation area.

The Ventura County Fire Department says the fire was reported shortly after noon near the Hungry Valley State Vehicular Recreation Area. It has burned at least 400 acres.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Hungry Valley is located in the Tejon Pass along the Interstate 5 corridor.


From Yahoo! Sports:

Outodor writer Killeen Gonzalez had identified the top five state park campgrounds in Kansas. They are: Pomona State Park, Kanopolis State Park, Crawford State Park, Tuttle Creek State Park and Perry State Park.

Click here to read the entire story.

Forest Service Enacts Food Storage Regs to Stem Bear Threat

May 30, 2012 by · Comments Off on Forest Service Enacts Food Storage Regs to Stem Bear Threat 

National Forest Service campgrounds in Colorado enact food storage regulations in reaction to recent bear threats.

Car campers in the national forest of the upper Roaring Fork Valley in Colorado will be required to take extra precautions with food storage because of the potential for conflicts with bears, The Aspen Times reported.

The Aspen-Sopris Ranger District is drafting a “food-storage order” that requires coolers and other food containers to be stowed in locked vehicles when not in use, according to Martha Moran, recreation staff supervisor at the district. The order also will require campers to use bear-proof food boxes when available in campgrounds. The food boxes are available at Difficult Campground. They also will be installed at Weller Campground, Moran said.

The food-storage order will be enacted as soon as possible, Moran said. The Forest Service must go through a specific procedure to take action.

The Forest Service also wants campers to dispose of garbage in bear-proof containers at campgrounds or temporarily store it in locked vehicles at night or when a camp is unattended. Cooking equipment should also be secured.

The fine for violating the food storage order is $100. A food service order has never been fully implemented before in the Aspen-Sopris Ranger District, according to Moran.

The food storage order will affect campers at Difficult, Weller, Lincoln Creek, Lost Man and Portal campgrounds as well as the dispersed sites along Lincoln Creek Road and along Castle Creek Road. Signs will be posted to alert campers about the order and campground hosts will inform them.

No campers, whether car-camping or backpacking, should store food in their tents. The Forest Service recommends specific guidelines to backpackers about proper storage of food. Those guidelines are available at the Aspen and Carbondale visitor centers.

The Forest Service decided to issue the order after a second campground experienced problems with a black bear. A two-tone, cinnamon-colored male bruin weighing about 300 pounds got into a cooler at Weller Campground about 8 miles east of Aspen on Monday, Moran said. It is believed the same suspect was spotted numerous times last week and attempted to get into a tent at Difficult Campground, 6 miles east of Aspen.

The bear “pawed at another tent and snapped a pole” at Weller Campground, according to Kevin Wright, district wildlife manager with Colorado Parks and Wildlife. There was nothing in the cooler except a computer, Wright said, but the bear has learned to associate a cooler with food.

Moran said a trap was set in Difficult last week but the bear didn’t take the bait. The trap has been relocated to Weller, she said.

The Aspen-Sopris Ranger District temporarily banned use of tents and fabric trailers or campers last week after the bear sightings. No ban has been issued at Weller, a smaller campground with spaces more suited for tents than RVs and other campers, Moran said.

The Forest Service is being “proactive” with the warnings about bears in the Aspen area this year because there have already been two incidents, Moran said. There were five conflicts between bears and humans last year, she said.

The agency has been more active in warning campers about bears after 11-year-old Samuel Evan Ives was mauled in June 2007 in Uinta National Forest in Utah. A bear pulled the boy from the family tent and killed him. The family sued the Forest Service for lack of warning about earlier bear activity in the area. A judge in 2011 awarded the family $1.95 million.


RV Park and Campground Briefs

August 17, 2011 by · Comments Off on RV Park and Campground Briefs 


From the St. Louis Kids Magazine:

Festival to be held at Eureka, Mo., Jellystone Park.

Now in its 10th year, the TOCO (Tapestry of Community Offerings) Family Music Festival held at the Jellystone Park Six Flags Resort in Eureka, Mo., offers an amazing array of activities including music, camping, kids’ concerts & party zone, face painting, kids’ workshops, mini golf, swimming, hiking, art, food & beverage vendors, campsite decorating contest and more.

This three-day festival helps fund TOCO, which assists children and families in need through community partnerships, and takes a progrssive role to promote a community pledge to reduce, reuse and recycle to build sustainable communities.

Entertainers on the Kids Stage include Babaloo, T-Bone Langen, Roscoe Beano, the Chromotones and more. Entertainment on the Yogi & Boo Boo Stages includes Aaron Kamm & the One Drops, Mom’s Kitchen, Auset Music Project, Flea Bitten Dawgs and many others.

The festival takes place Sept. 9 through Sept. 11. Gates of fun open at 3 p.m. Friday through 3 p.m. Sunday.

For more information and to purchase tickets, go to or call (618) 257-8626.


From the Cochrane Eagle:

Vehicle enthusiasts can expect quite the show for the upcoming fifth annual Charity Show and Shine at the Spring Hill RV Park on the corner of Highway 22 and Highway 567.

The Aug. 20 event showcases vehicles of different makes and models and includes live music by WD and the 40s, 50-50 draw, door prizes and trophies.

New to the show this year is every car registered receives a ticket for a draw to win a trip for two to Las Vegas including airfare, accommodation and tickets for a NASCAR race explained organizer and Spring Hill RV Park owner Sean Veraart.

With sunny skies and warm weather anticipated, Veraart is expecting over 300 entries.

Entrants register Aug. 20 between 10 a.m. and noon with the show taking place between noon and 4 p.m.

Registration is $10 with all funds raised going to the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation.


From KMGH-TV, Denver:

A bear that has entered tents in a campground near Aspen has prompted the Forest Service to close the campground to some campers.

The black bear has been looking for food in the Difficult Campground, 6 miles east of Aspen, according to White River National Forest District Ranger Scott Snelson.

“Bears and people do not mix well, especially when bears get used to people and their food,” Snelsen said. “To protect both people and bears, we are closing this campground to tents and soft-sided trailers until further notice.”