No, Not COVID-19 – It’s Bears That Are Closing Upstate Campgrounds
Back in April, the New York Department of Conservation announced that they expected to see an increase in bear activity in Upstate New York. They said that it would be due to the reduction of people being outside this spring, not going to work, not socializing and not camping, and hiking. All activities that drive most bears further into the woods and away from civilization.
I've seen a mama bear and two cubs in my yard in Averill Park, another black bear was spotted on June 10th near South Manning Boulevard and Keeler Drive and a few others have been reported getting into bird feeders in people's backyards.
Now, the New York Department of Conservation has decided to close some campgrounds and lean-to shelters around the Adirondack Mountains and Lake Colden due to increased bear activity. The announcement was made Sunday after an uptick of bear encounters in campgrounds and trails in June. The closings were started at noon on Sunday.
Luckily, here in Upstate New York, we're mostly dealing with black bears, which are timider and more afraid of humans that some of their bigger, badder brothers and sisters. Most of the time black bears are more of a nuisance bear that gets into the garbage, bird feeders, and your campsite food.
Check out the New York Department of Conservation for tips to reduce human and bear interaction whether you're out hiking, camping or just around the house. Like, campers should keep their campsites as clean as possible, store and leave food inside their car, and never in tents. Backcountry visitors are recommended to pack little food, cook and eat before dark and away from campsites, and avoid spills. Also, don't cook in the same clothes you're planning on sleeping in. Basically, if you reduce those food smells, you reduce the chance of a bear entering your campsite looking for a snack.