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Oak Island dock, campsites reopen in Apostle Islands

Apostle Island National Lakeshore officials announced Monday that they have reopened the Oak Island dock area and several campsites, nearly two weeks after bear activity forced their temporary closure.

The dock area was closed to overnight and most day use, and three campsites declared off-limits, on July 23, after two bears visited the dock and campsite area, boarded boats and caused minor property damage. Park staff and volunteers then conducted patrols and monitored bear activity.

“It appears that natural foods have become more abundant and bears are resuming their normal behaviors,” park officials reported in a news release.

Park staff reported that visitors to the islands need to remain vigilant about leaving no food — or items with food odors — unattended. Bear lockers are available to use at all campsites.

“We hope that no more closures will be necessary — however, it is really up to visitors,” Apostle Islands National Lakeshore acting superintendent Myra Foster said in a news release. “Keeping food away from bears is key.”

Last summer, another of the Apostle Islands — Sand Island — was closed because of similar bear activity.