The main Bedwell Lakes campground, a popular overnight destination in Strathcona Park remains closed due to bear activity in the area. Please note the bear in this photo is not the same as the bear in the story. (Black Press Media files)

Popular backcountry destination in Strathcona Park closed for bear activity

The main Bedwell Lake campground has been closed since Aug. 30

A popular Strathcona Park backcountry campground remains closed this week.

The main Bedwell Lakes campground was closed on Aug. 30 due to a habituated bear spending time in the area.

The decision was made jointly by the BC Conservation Officer Service and BC Parks.

“This was a precautionary action due to a black bear frequenting the site and not displaying any signs of fear towards park visitors,” said the BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change in an emailed response to Black Press questions. “While the bear appears content on feeding on berries in and around the campsite, its lack of fear of humans and confidence in moving through the campsite, could lead to potential conflict and therefore, the campsite was closed for public safety to allow the bear to move out of the area.”

Hiker Wendy Harrison Deveaux and her husband were staying at one of the backcountry campground’s 12 sites late last week.

She said she was sleeping lightly Friday morning when she heard the neighbour’s dog make a small “woof.”

“I have some experience with bears and my instinct told me the dog could smell something,” she said.

Harrison Deveaux poked her head out of their tent and saw a bear approaching their site from over a small ridge about 20 feet away.

“I grabbed a camping pot and banged it against the wooden camping pad,” she said. “The bear was startled and ran back over the ridge.”

She said her husband got up a little later and saw the bear just over the ridge eating blueberries.

“He definitely was not concerned about being so close to people,” she said.

The ministry said the bear has been hanging around the campsite area, feeding on berries, but that there’s no indication it has gotten into any human food or garbage.

“Park visitors are good at using the provided bear-proof food caches and keeping campsite clean,” it said.

If a trip in the area is part of your plan, BC Parks recommends staying at the Baby Bedwell campground, which is about 45 minutes before the main Bedwell Lakes campground. Cream Lake, which is beyond the main Bedwell Lakes site is still open to wilderness camping, but there are no facilites in the area.

To help avoid animal conflicts while camping in the backcountry, BC Parks recommends keeping all food and other attractants away from tents and secured in food caches. Campsites should be kept clean and pets should remain on leashes.

More information about wildlife encounters while hiking can be found here.

The ministry said that the main Bedwell Lake campground would remain closed for at least a week. The closure will be re-evaluated next week.

RELATED:

Woman receives stitches after black bear attack south of Campbell River

Photo of bear walking with hikers sparks warnings from B.C. conservation officer

VIDEO: Mother bear saves cubs in B.C. lake


@marissatiel
marissa.tiel@campbellrivermirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sooke Arts Council opens first gallery

Classes available at new location

PHOTOS: Families, spectators wave goodbye to Navy Task Force from Victoria shorelines

HCMS Winnipeg and HCMS Regina sailing to Hawaiian training exercise, further deployments

COVID-inspired RV sales soaring on West Shore and beyond

Health restrictions, recommendations keep Vancouver Island vacationers closer to home

371 British Columbians battling COVID-19, health officials confirm

Thursday (Aug. 6) saw a second straight day of nearly 50 new confirmed cases

Cowichan RCMP use spike belts to end car chase — man in custody

The driver was arrested at the scene a short distance from his vehicle

COVID-19 tests come back negative for remote First Nation

“There are no suspected cases in the community at this time.”

Visitors and non-residents entering closed remote B.C. First Nation’s territories

With limited resources, they say they don’t have any authority or power to enforce the closures

UBC loses appeal on Fisheries Act convictions

BC Supreme Court upholds order to pay $1.55-million fine

Masks to be mandatory on BC Transit, TransLink starting Aug. 24

Both BC Transit and TransLink made the announcement in separate press releases on Thursday

Acclaimed B.C. actor Brent Carver passes away

Carver, one of Canada’s greatest actors with a career spanning 40 years, passed away at home in Cranbrook

B.C. would not send students back to school if there was ‘overwhelming risk’: Horgan

Plan has left many parents across the province worried about their children’s safety

Canucks blank Wild 3-0, take series lead in penalty-filled NHL qualifying clash

Jacob Markstrom stops 27 shots to lead Vancouver past Minnesota

Most Read