Campers are being asked to stay away from the Slant Rock lean-to area this weekend to avoid contact with a nuisance bear that has been seen there recently.
Forest ranger Scott Van Laer tweeted that request Friday on his personal Twitter account. “I will be in the area but the best temporary measure would be to remove his attraction entirely,” Van Laer wrote, referring to food used by campers. When bears become habituated to human food, they will sometimes seek it out from campers and hikers.
The Slant Rock lean-to is located near Basin Mountain in the Great Range. Van Laer is asking people to consider camping at lower elevations, including campsites near Johns Brook Lodge.
Apparently, that’s not the only place where bears have been seeking food from campers. Bobby Clark, manager of the Adirondack Mountain Club’s High Peaks Information Center, said he’s been hearing reports of bears looking for food from campers in recent weeks in the Marcy Dam and Lake Colden areas.
“The reports I’ve been hearing from hikers and (state Department of Environmental Conservation) forest rangers is that bears have been quite active this year,” he said.
Clark did note the activity was on par with past years and not extremely unusual for the High Peaks. One report he heard recently was that bear went into a backpack in the Avalanche Camps area, looking for granola bears.
“We’re urging people to store their food property and use bear canisters,” he said.
Currently, the DEC requires the use of bear-resistant canisters for overnight users in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness between April 1 and November 30. All food, toiletries and garbage must be stored in bear-resistant canisters.
A DEC proposal for the High Peaks Wilderness would require overnight users to use bear-resistant canisters from May through October throughout the High Peaks Wilderness, which now includes the former Dix Mountain Wilderness area and Boreas Ponds.