PITKIN COUNTY, Colo. — An increase in bear activity has forced the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) to allow only hard-sided campers or trailers at Chapman Campground until further notice.
Day-use at Chapman is also prohibited, White River National Forest officials said.
>Video above from earlier this year: Despite recent headlines, bears aren't Colorado's most dangerous animal.
A black bear entered and damaged an unoccupied, soft-sided camper at the campground in a search for food, officials said.
The black bear that has been causing problems has been coming into the campground during daylight hours, officials said. The bear's behavior is not unusual for food-conditioned bears, according to the USFS.
“We’ve had to move to these restrictions directly because of a black bear getting food from campsites,” Aspen-Sopris District Ranger Kevin Warner said. “This is an easily preventable problem if people follow basic food storage practices that prevent bears and other wildlife from having access to food and coolers.”
The campsites at Chapman each have bear-resistant food lockers and there's information for campers to properly store food and other attractants throughout the campground, officials said. Camp hosts have also been trying to educate campers on proper storage practices, the USFS said.
“Keeping bears from getting your food keeps you safe, keeps your neighboring campers and the campers who follow you safe, and helps keep the bears safe,” Warner said.
The campground is located in the Upper Frying Pan River Valley about 29 miles east of Basalt.
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