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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

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Bears gone, Forest Service reopens Graham Creek area to camping

CAMPING -- With bear problems under control, Graham Creek, a popular dispersed camping area near the North Fork of the Coeur d'Alene River has been reopen for public use, Idaho Panhandle National Forests officials announced this morning.

Graham Creek, 14 miles north from I-90 on Forest Highway 9, was closed in late July because campers were reporting frequent bear encounters.

“We enacted the area closure to discourage the bears from returning to Graham Creek," said Kimberly Johnson, Coeur d'Alene River District deputy district ranger. "By removing campers from Graham Creek, the food and trash that was attracting the bears to the site was also removed,”  In addition, huckleberries and other food sources have recently become available drawing bears away from the lowlands and into the hillsides away from the site."

Campers still need to be Bear Aware, she said. All food and trash should be kept inside bear proof containers or locked vehicles while camping on national forests.

“If people do not store their food and trash properly, do not follow Bear Aware protocol, and the bears return, Graham Creek may close again," she said. "We want to protect both humans and bears."

Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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