WMNF: Keep a Clean Campsite to Help Avoid Bear Encounters

Human encounters with black bears have increased across the White Mountain National Forest. While many visitors and campers never encounter a bear, the Forest is their home and bears can quickly become habituated to human food. In the past week, numerous incidents of bears looking for food have been reported by visitors at Sugarloaf I and II, Hancock, Campton, and Tripoli campgrounds, as well as along several trails on the Pemigewassett Ranger District east of Interstate 93.Visitors are reporting that bears have been seen rummaging through coolers, crawling into tents and underneath shelters, and reaching food in improperly hung storage bags. When bears are successful in obtaining food rewards, their fear of people lessens.
It is vital that you keep a clean campsite to ensure bears and other animals don’t forage for your food. Be sure to properly store all food, including drink containers, condiments like ketchup and mustard, and empty food wrappers!  Improperly stored food not only attracts bears to people currently camping at a site, but lets the bear know that it can find food at that campsite in the future. The bear may return to the site when other families are recreating there.

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