Project aims to keep Crater Lake black bears wild – August 18, 2003

Project aims to keep Crater Lake black bears wild

Herald and News

Klamath Falls, Oregon
August 18, 2003

By LEE JUILLERAT

Friends of Crater Lake National Park will make improvements aimed at making a park campground less bear-friendly this weekend.

The Friends’ 10th annual project weekend is planned at Lost Creek Campground, where volunteers will install food lockers.

Members will work Friday and Saturday at the park. Campers may use Lost Creek, but people with recreational vehicles must use Mazama Campground.

Dave Brennan, the park’s chief ranger, and George Buckingham, Friends president, said the installation of food lockers will provide obvious benefits.

“It is well established that the installation of bearproof food lockers and garbage containers, along with strict enforcement regarding the use of lockers and garbage containers, is by far the most effective way to keep bears in the woods eating bear food,” Buckingham said.

Buckingham, a former chief ranger at Crater Lake, said bears quickly find and become addicted to human food.

“Once this happens – and it often takes only one incident – the bear will continue to attack any human food source,” Buckingham said. “This includes tents, trailers, ice chests, even your dinner on the table while you are sitting there. The conflict almost inevitably leads to the destruction of the bear by park rangers.”

Volunteers will dig foundation holes, drill holes in the concrete foundations and bolt down the food lockers.

The Friends will provide dinner Friday and Saturday nights at Lost Creek Campground, but breakfast and lunch will be the responsibility of volunteers.

Saturday’s work session will begin at 9 a.m. Work will resume Sunday until about noon.

Buckingham also announced the Friends’ annual meeting is set for Saturday, Oct. 4, at the park. Registration is set for 9:30 a.m. at the community building in Munson Valley with coffee and snacks. Seminars will be offered beginning at 10.

Lunch will be held at Crater Lake Lodge’s dining room. The group will hold its formal meeting at 1:30 p.m.

The purpose of the meeting is to review accomplishments of the past year, chart a course for 2004 and elect new board members.

For information contact Buckingham at 783-3136 or email at crlaranger @alwayssonnetworks.com or visit the group’s Web site at www.drizzle.com/~rdpayne/foclnp.html.

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