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

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

‘Someone knows something’: a look into Vancouver Island missing persons with interactive map

There are more than three dozen people listed as missing throughout Vancouver Island

Big Beach parties spark concern in Ucluelet

“You find needles, left over party debris, bottles and still burning fires.”

Ucluelet’s Terrace Beach Resort is for sale

The commercial offering of 21 suites and cabins was recently listed for $4,495,000

Young tourist caught untying boats from Ucluelet dock

“He was just untying the boats and watching them float away,” said Harbour Master Kevin Cortes.

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Shellfish industry get funds to clean up at Island sites and beyond

Businesses can apply to cover half of costs to clean up so-called ‘ghost gear’

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Most Read