WILDLFE ISSUES – A popular camping area up the North Fork of the Coeur d’Alene River is being closed to public use because of a black bear that’s been raiding campsites and picnickers.
Idaho Panhandle National Forests officials say the closure affects the Graham Creek area about 14 miles north of Interstate 90 and up the North Fork of the Coeur d’Alene River off Forest Highway 9.
Frequent bear encounters have been reported in the area, said Kimberly Johnson, Coeur d’Alene District deputy ranger.
“While most people are storing their food and trash properly, we have a situation that could potentially turn dangerous if the bear continues to return and becomes habituated to encounters with humans,” she said.
“By removing food and trash from the area, our goal is to protect both the visitors and the bears by discouraging the bears from returning.”
When camping in bear country keep a clean camp, secure food and trash in bear-proof containers or a vehicle at all times, and keep pets under control, she advised.
Info and updates: Coeur d’Alene River Ranger District in Fernan (208) 664-2318.