Bears force temporary closure of Sand Island campingApostle Islands National Lakeshore has temporarily closed Sand Island to overnight use because of black bear activity.
By: News Tribune staff, Duluth News Tribune
Apostle Islands National Lakeshore has temporarily closed Sand Island to overnight use because of black bear activity.
One of the island’s bears was exposed to human food and is now frequenting campsites. It has damaged property.
The island remains open for day use, but visitors are asked to ensure that no food is left unattended and to immediately report any bear activity to the Sand Island Ranger or Park Dispatch at (715) 779-3398, ext. 122.
NPS staff will monitor the bear and attempt to deter it from staying in areas frequented by people. The closure will be re-evaluated at least weekly. As soon as it appears the bear will stay away from visitor-use areas, the island will be reopened for overnight use.
“We don’t enjoy closing places to our visitors, especially on a busy holiday weekend,” Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Superintendent Bob Krumenaker said in a news release. “However, for the safety of our visitors and the bear, we need to train the bear to be afraid of humans.”
In the past the National Park Service trapped problem bears and moved them to the mainland. That practice was ended either because it failed — with the bears returning to the island — or because it simply moved a problem elsewhere.