The main Bedwell Lakes campground, a popular overnight destination in Strathcona Park remains closed due to bear activity in the area. Please note the bear in this photo is not the same as the bear in the story. (Black Press Media files)

Popular backcountry destination in Strathcona Park closed for bear activity

The main Bedwell Lake campground has been closed since Aug. 30

A popular Strathcona Park backcountry campground remains closed this week.

The main Bedwell Lakes campground was closed on Aug. 30 due to a habituated bear spending time in the area.

The decision was made jointly by the BC Conservation Officer Service and BC Parks.

“This was a precautionary action due to a black bear frequenting the site and not displaying any signs of fear towards park visitors,” said the BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change in an emailed response to Black Press questions. “While the bear appears content on feeding on berries in and around the campsite, its lack of fear of humans and confidence in moving through the campsite, could lead to potential conflict and therefore, the campsite was closed for public safety to allow the bear to move out of the area.”

Hiker Wendy Harrison Deveaux and her husband were staying at one of the backcountry campground’s 12 sites late last week.

She said she was sleeping lightly Friday morning when she heard the neighbour’s dog make a small “woof.”

“I have some experience with bears and my instinct told me the dog could smell something,” she said.

Harrison Deveaux poked her head out of their tent and saw a bear approaching their site from over a small ridge about 20 feet away.

“I grabbed a camping pot and banged it against the wooden camping pad,” she said. “The bear was startled and ran back over the ridge.”

She said her husband got up a little later and saw the bear just over the ridge eating blueberries.

“He definitely was not concerned about being so close to people,” she said.

The ministry said the bear has been hanging around the campsite area, feeding on berries, but that there’s no indication it has gotten into any human food or garbage.

“Park visitors are good at using the provided bear-proof food caches and keeping campsite clean,” it said.

If a trip in the area is part of your plan, BC Parks recommends staying at the Baby Bedwell campground, which is about 45 minutes before the main Bedwell Lakes campground. Cream Lake, which is beyond the main Bedwell Lakes site is still open to wilderness camping, but there are no facilites in the area.

To help avoid animal conflicts while camping in the backcountry, BC Parks recommends keeping all food and other attractants away from tents and secured in food caches. Campsites should be kept clean and pets should remain on leashes.

More information about wildlife encounters while hiking can be found here.

The ministry said that the main Bedwell Lake campground would remain closed for at least a week. The closure will be re-evaluated next week.

RELATED:

Woman receives stitches after black bear attack south of Campbell River

Photo of bear walking with hikers sparks warnings from B.C. conservation officer

VIDEO: Mother bear saves cubs in B.C. lake


@marissatiel
marissa.tiel@campbellrivermirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Two causes to be heard on legislature lawn during B.C. budget unveiling

Demonstrations from forestry workers and Extinction Rebellion planned

Peninsula and Area Agricultural Commission criticizes Central Saanich over committee demise

PAAC also calls on municipality to revive ag committee disbanded earlier

Migration drives Greater Victoria’s population growth

Region surpasses 400,000 population despite seeing more deaths than births

Recent arrests skim surface of Victoria’s human trafficking problem

Port city makes desirable place for traffickers flying under the radar

Oak Bay looks into boulevard gardens

Legalizing boulevard gardening among working group ideas

VIDEO: Ottawa wants quick, peaceful resolution to pipeline protests, Trudeau says

The protests have manifested themselves as blockades on different rail lines across the country

No dramatic shifts expected as B.C. government tables new budget today

Finance Minister Carole James has promised to stay the course when she tables the budget in the legislature

AFN national chief calls for calm on Wet’suwet’en crisis, rail blockades

Hereditary chiefs in the Wet’suwet’en First Nation oppose the natural-gas pipeline

Federal, B.C. ministers seek meeting with Wet’suwet’en in hope of blockade solution

Coastal GasLink signed agreements with all 20 elected band councils along the pipeline route

Flight to evacuate Canadians from cruise ship ‘expected’ to depart Japan on Thursday

Canadians seeking to return to home by commercial means will be subject to the Quarantine Act

Canucks acquire forward Tyler Toffoli from Kings in push for playoffs

Vancouver sends Schaller, Madden, pick to L.A.

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

Wet’suwet’en and B.C. government have been talking Aboriginal title for a year

Coastal GasLink says it has agreements with all 20 elected First Nations councils along the 670-kilometre route

Most Read