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

Province buys Paul’s Motor Inn to house Victoria’s homeless population

Inn is the second hotel the province has purchased to support vulnerable community

Fire at Victoria hotel contained to one room, leaves 20 suites in need of remediation

Fire crews extinguished the blaze at the Comfort Inn in 12 minutes

Telus headquarters to come to Victoria in ‘landmark building’ development

City sells land on coroner of Douglas and Humboldt streets for $8.1 million

Victoria man identified as victim in Thunder Bay murder

Police investigating after Paul Vivier, 29, discovered in hotel

B.C. records four new COVID-19 cases, Abbotsford hospital outbreak cleared

Four senior home outbreaks also declared over, eight still active

Friendly Cove and Kyuquot will remain closed until further notice

Transition of other B.C. communities will be monitored before a decision to ease restrictions

Gold River organizes a shop local initiative to creatively boost economy

Local purchases can earn shoppers $200 gift certificates to be spent on businesses within Gold River

Young killer whale untangles itself from trap line off Nanaimo shore

DFO marine mammal rescue unit arrived as whale broke free from prawn trap line

About 30% of B.C. students return to schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

B.C.’s Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics goes virtual

The annual event partnering RCMP with Special Olympians is dramatically altered by COVID-19

Most Read