Above Green Canyon, looking north toward Mt. Naomi.
LOGAN — As summer officially begins, many people are heading to the mountains to enjoy fishing, hiking, picnicking, and camping in the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest. Summertime also means that bears are on the move. There have been recent sightings of black bears near Tony Grove Lake and Franklin Basin.
For the safety of the public and bears, the Forest Service is encouraging campers and visitors to practice Bear Aware safety while visiting the mountains. There are simple things that can be done to avoid an encounter with a black bear.
- Keep a clean camp. Keep food scraps and trash out of campsites.
- Keep dishes and cooking equipment clean.
- Cook and store food away from sleeping areas.
- Do not eat in a tent.
- Deposit garbage in a bear-resistant refuse container and always pack out what you pack in.
- When hiking or walking in the woods, travel in a group when possible. Make noises, especially in heavy vegetation and along streams. Normally, if a black bear hears you coming, it will try and stay out of your way.
- If you encounter a bear, do not run. Make loud noises or hit two rocks together repeatedly, and if it does not run off, walk slowly backwards facing the bear, but avoiding eye contact. Never turn your back on a bear.
- Keep in mind that bears tend to be more active at dawn and dusk so plan your hikes accordingly.
- Stay on marked trails and obey the regulations of the area you’re camping or hiking in.
- Make sure that your pet’s food is properly stored.
- Mother bears are fierce protectors of their young. If you see cubs, stay well away from the family group.
- Never feed a bear + yes, they are cute, but they’ll want more than you have and will follow you to get it.
The Forest Service said by taking these precautions, everyone can have a safe and enjoyable experience in the back country.